Services for Children

Dance Movement Therapy & Arts Therapy integrate nonverbal movement observation, dance, music, play & multi-sensory techniques for the assessment, intervention & educational programming for children and their families. The nonverbal aspect supports growth and integration of motoric, perceptual-motor, verbal processing skills, cognition & communication, and social emotional development.

Dance Therapy NZ offers a range of services for children, including:

Individual Sessions for Children:

Sessions are 30-50 minutes long, and the child may attend by themselves, or with a parent orcaregiver, depending on the child’s needs and the goals of therapy. Sessions are held in a safe, spacious, comfortable room, with movement equipment, mats, art materials and toys available for use as part of the sessions.

The focus of sessions varies depending on the child, and may involve some direction and structure from the therapist, teaching the child new skills or modelling tools and skills for parents. The sessions may also be child-led with a more open structure, creating a safe and creative space for the child to express themselves and communicate their needs to the therapist so that she can support them to grow and develop in an optimal way.

STARS Social Skills & Emotional Literacy Groups for Children with Special Needs:

These Therapeutic Programmes combine creative expression (dance/movement, music, play and body awareness activities) with skill development (communication, self-regulation, motor planning and social interaction). The group activities support peer social relationships as the children learn about each other by sharing through creative self-expression. These groups help children develop understanding and empathy for others through following and responding to the actions, dance moves and musical dialogues of their peers.
DTNZ-NorthShore_549Groups typically run for a school term (8-10 weeks) and meet weekly for 45-60 minutes. Groups are limited in size to provide individualised attention for each child, and to reduce the level of stimulation that some children with special needs find challenging in group settings.

 Dance Therapy in Schools:

Dance Therapy NZ are available to deliver Dance Movement Therapy or Arts Therapy Programmes within schools, both mainstream and in special education. Programmes are designed to meet the needs of the specific group of students within each school context and all materials and equipment is provided. If funding is an obstacle, we may be able to assist in seeking funding for school-based projects.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Dance Therapy NZ specialises in working with children on the Autism Spectrum. Our therapists are gifted at finding the gateway into the child’s world- to engage them in interaction in ways that feel safe and comfortable for the child- and from this place of connection, to guide them gently out into a wider range of interactions, to expand their levels of comfort and safety in communication, and to move into skill building when appropriate.

Our approach is based on the concept that every action is a communication, and to look for ways to use the child’s atypical and perhaps self stimulatory actions to create and maintain a connected relationship in which the child can continue to grow and thrive, despite their neurological disorder. This therapeutic relationship can then be used as the basis from which to transfer these relationship skills into other relationships in the child’s social world.

IMG_1969 Parent-Child Dance Movement Therapy:

The ‘dance of relating’ between parent and child plays a huge role in the emotional and social aspects of a child’s development. Dance Movement Therapy, supported by current attachment models, can offer practical tools for enhancing or repairing this ‘dance of relating’ in a safe and playful environment. Early intervention and treatment can be highly effective and may prevent serious or lasting consequences for a child’s long term development and growth.

Our therapists work with infants and young children, alongside their parents or caregivers, to provide education, support, non verbal behaviour analysis, and to assess and provide interventions for developmental delays or parent-child relationship difficulties. This technique shares aspects of other early intervention approaches including Infant-Parent Psychotherapy and Watch, Wait and WonderTM.