What is Dance Movement Therapy?

Dance Movement Therapy is a an experiential form of psychotherapy that has been used successfully Internationally since the 1940’s in hospitals, schools, prisons, treatment centres and private practice.

The technique is based on the assumption that the body and mind are interrelated, and that changing movement patterns effects change in other areas. Dance Movement Therapy utilizes an active, client-centred approach, providing each person the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings and express themselves in an environment that is safe, supportive and uplifting, through both movement and words.

For children, the nonverbal aspect of Dance Movement Therapy supports growth and integration of motoric, perceptual-motor, verbal processing skills, cognition & communication, and social emotional development. The focus on nonverbal behavior can help those with autism and other special needs improve socialization and communication, build body awareness, and directly affect motor deficits. Movement can provide a bridge for contact and a vehicle for communication between the dance therapist and the individual.

“If you can walk, you can dance”- Dance Movement Therapy is not just for those who enjoy movement- it is equally useful for people who don’t usually dance. In fact, it is an ideal modality for those who feel self-conscious physically, uncomfortable in their body or disconnected from their body- using gentle and non-intrusive methods, we can begin to ‘make friends’ with the body, so that we can fully inhabit ourselves and have access to a full range of expression in our lives.

Dance Movement Therapy sessions for adults typically involve some movement as part of the session, however also involve talking to identify issues, and to integrate any changes or learning from the movement in a cognitive way, so that we can access and utilise these insights in our lives.