The Method

The haptic sense is a core sense relating us to both the external world and to our selves, our interior world. It encompasses the skin sense, depth sensibility and balance. These three haptic senses aid us to experience ourselves, to orient and express ourselves in the world. 

When we touch something with the hands, we are also being touched by it. Every movement of haptic grasping will reciprocate through movements of internal awareness and further explorations with hand movements. Even here, the first infant experience of the world creates body-mind imprints and shapes an individual’s expression in movement. Every gesture in which we express ourselves contains the personal, biographical and relational experience of the world.

In the clay field it is possible to encounter oneself in the traces of one’s own becoming. But it does not remain with this encounter. The opposites of touching and being touched inevitably demand a response and thus open up a forth-rolling process of creation and recreation where the hands follow the urge to move, until this movement finds fulfillment in a new balance between afference and reafference, of cause and effect.

Whatever was not possible in the individuals biographical can now be retraced and rebalanced in a physical-sensory process at the clay field. The clay is unendingly available for this. It is pliable, feeds back the own touch and thus enables change and development.  What was modeled here as a movement of the hands, simultaneously encompasses the profound unfolding movement of life itself.




International Events: Work at the Clay Field

English Publications


2014, Larsch, Oliver; Biebrach, Monika: 
Work at the Clay Field; Recognizing potential, awakening resources, furthering development. Verein fuer Gestaltbildung e.V.

2009, Deuser, Heinz:
Work at the Clay Field: Grasping what moves us: Possibilities of haptic evolvement
Set of 7 DVDs, 21 hours of Heinz Deuser teaching. German with life English translation. Purchase


2014, Elbrecht, Cornelia; Antcliff, Liz:
Being Touched through Touch:
Trauma treatment through haptic perception
at the Clay Field: A sensorimotor art therapy
. INSCAPE, International Journal of Art Therapy, 2014, Routledge

2014, Elbrecht, Cornelia: 
The Clay Field and Developmental Trauma
In: Malchiodi, Cathy Ed., Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children. The Clay Field and Developmental Trauma. Guilford Press, Pennsylvania.

2013 ANZJAT, the Australian New Zealand Journal of Arts Therapy Vol 8, No. 1, 2013, p.67 review of: Trauma Healing at the Clay Field by Maggie Wilson.

2012 Elbrecht, Cornelia: 
Trauma Healing at the Clay Field,
A Sensorimotor Art Therapy Approach. 
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London/Philadelphia. This book has been translated into Korean and a Spanish translation is underway. Look inside