#DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY
Dance Movement Therapy
Dance movement therapy is the relational and therapeutic use of dance and movement to further the physical, emotional, cognitive and social functioning of a person.
What is dance movement therapy?
Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is a creative therapy that uses movement, dance, and other creative expressions to support people to improve their connection between body and mind. (Source: DTAA) In DMT the therapist may use dance and movement, engagement in music, verbal counselling, art materials and mindfulness.
DMT explores various qualities of movement that enhance a person’s body awareness, personal space, spatial awareness and help them to understand emotions that may arise from movement.
Sessions can be structured for people with different abilities. Dance Movement Therapists can work with people of any age and background.
It is an effective therapy to help people with the following:
- Gaining self-confidence
- Motor planning and motor skills
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Emotional regulation
- Social and relational skills
- Helping overcome trauma or bullied experience
- Building identity
What does a dance movement therapy session look like?
Dance movement therapy sessions are tailored to the needs of the individual. The following is a summary of what a session might look like.
There is usually a clear beginning and ending so that the participant knows what to expect each time:
- Sessions start with a verbal check in
- The therapist invites the participant to participate in a warmup
- With the guidance of the therapist, the participant may move with the therapist
- Participants may explore various movements with props such as ribbons and fabrics
- The movement will come to a close, working towards stillness using breath work
- Participants may then be asked to verbally or creatively reflect on their experience (e.g.: with visual art materials)
It is important to remember that the therapist has skills and experience to know how to support individuals. Every person is different, so what a person needs in their dance movement therapy session will vary.
The dance movement therapist will assess a participant and write a therapy plan with measurable goals to track how effective the therapy is for the participant.