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Dance Movement Therapy

Dance Movement Therapy

DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY – an easy yet effective therapy for anyone (you don’t have to be a dancer to experience this wonderful healing form)

Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.

About Dance/Movement Therapy

Dance/movement therapy is a type of therapy that uses movement to help individuals achieve emotional, cognitive, physical, and social integration. Beneficial for both physical and mental health, dance therapy can be used for stress reduction, disease prevention, and mood management. In addition, DMT’s physical component offers increased muscular strength, coordination, mobility, and decreased muscular tension. Dance/movement therapy can be used with all populations and with individuals, couples, families, or groups. In general, dance therapy promotes self-awareness, self-esteem, and a safe space for the expression of feelings.

What Kind of Issues Can Dance Therapy Help With?

Dance therapists work with people in therapy to help them improve their body image and self-esteem. Dance/movement therapy is a versatile form of therapy founded on the idea that motion and emotion are interconnected. The creative expression of dance therapy can bolster communication skills and inspire dynamic relationships. It is commonly used to treat physical, psychological, cognitive, and social issues such as:

Physical Issues:

  • Chronic pain
  • Childhood obesity
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease

Mental Health Issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Posttraumatic stress

Cognitive Issues:

  • Dementia
  • Communication issues

Social Issues:

  • Autism
  • Aggression/violence
  • Domestic violence trauma
  • Social interaction
  • Family conflict

Principles of Dance Therapy

DMT sessions often include observation, assessment, warm-ups, interventions, verbal processing, and warm-down phases focused on closure. Sessions can be highly structured or non-directive and may be conducted individually or in groups.

How Is Dance Therapy Different from Regular Dancing?

Most people understand that dancing can be good for their health; it improves cardiovascular endurance, muscle tone, balance, and coordination. Dance can also boost a person’s mood, improve his or her body image, and provide an opportunity for fun that may lower overall stress and anxiety. While these elements are certainly beneficial, dance/movement therapy takes therapeutic dance to another level.

People in treatment with a qualified dance therapist have the right to confidentially, and dance therapists provide a safe space for people to express themselves. Movement becomes more than exercise—it becomes a language. People in treatment communicate conscious and unconscious feelings through dance, which allows a therapist to respond in kind. Dance therapist help people work on issues through the use of a “movement vocabulary” that is centred around physical expression instead of words.

To conclude Dance Movement Therapy is a creative and an experiential therapy. Hence, only the person undergoing the experience can verbalize the shift in their well being. This shift in their well being can be recorded using self reporting tool.

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