Dance Movement Psychotherapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance through which a person can engage creatively in a process to further their emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration.
Dance/Movement Psychotherapy is not a Dance teaching, but the way of psychological work through movement and dance. The focus of attention is a body-language as a principal form of nonverbal expression and communication.
It is founded on the principle that movement reflects an individual’s patterns of thinking and feeling. Through acknowledging and supporting clients’ movements the therapist encourages development and integration of new adaptive movement patterns together with the emotional experiences that accompany such changes.
Dance Movement Psychotherapists work with a wide variety of clients including people who are:
- emotionally distressed,
- people with learning difficulties,
- those with physical or mental illness
- and people who want to use the medium for personal growth.
Who is DMP for?
- for anyone experiencing difficulties or concerns with emotional problems, conflict or distress
- for people who want to enhance personal communication skills, self-exploration or self-understanding
- for people who may find some feelings or experiences too overwhelming or difficult to communicate by words alone, or for those who may avoid feelings or confuse issues in their use of words
- for people whose problems are bound up in bodily form; in distortions or concern about body image, in actual movement difficulties such as tension or blocked areas of the body, impaired movements or in anxieties about proximity, physical contact or trust
- for people where impairment or trauma may hinder the capacity for them or others to acknowledge and understand personal areas of strength and weakness
- for people during particular periods of distress such as those associated with loss, transition or change
- for people concerned that problems they feel have gone on for too long, or who have a general sense that “things are not right” for them, their relationships or their family
- for those for whom verbal communication is less available
Benefits of DMP
- increasing self-awareness, self-esteem and personal autonomy
- experiencing links between thought, feelings and actions
- increasing and rehearsing adaptive coping behaviours
- expressing and managing overwhelming feelings or thoughts
- maximising resources of a communication
- contacting inner resources through contained creative movement play
- testing the impact of self on others.
- testing inner with outer reality.
- initiating physical, emotional and/or cognitive shifts
- developing a trusting relationship
- manage feelings that interrupt learning.
- enhancing social interaction skills
Learn more about Dance Movement Therapy: