Movement is our first language. It is an integral part of our life. It is believed that 55% of our communication is though body language. Dance Therapy emphasizes on connecting, integrating and enhancing movement for personal growth and wellbeing.
Dance/Movement therapy emerged in 1940, when dancers witnessed psychotherapeutic use of movement influencing ones mental and emotional state. Dance Movement Therapists (DMT) use movement as essential tool to assess and provide body based interventions. Dance Therapy is based on the idea that body and mind are interconnected, the change in one reflect the change in other.
American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) defines Dance Therapy as a “The psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of an individual.“
Dance/movement therapy is:
Focused on movement behavior as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship. Expressive, communicative, and adaptive behaviors are all considered for group and individual treatment. Body movement, as the core component of dance, simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention for dance/movement therapy.
Practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational and forensic settings, and in nursing homes, day care centers, disease prevention, health promotion programs and in private practice.
Effective for individuals with developmental, medical, social, physical and psychological impairments.
Used with people of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds in individual, couples, family and group therapy formats.
WHAT DO DMT DO?
Dance/movement therapists focus on helping their clients improve self-esteem and body image, develop effective communication skills and relationships, expand their movement vocabulary, gain insight into patterns of behavior, as well as create new options for coping with problems. Movement is the primary medium dance/movement therapists’ use for observation, assessment, research, therapeutic interaction and interventions. Dance/movement therapists help develop treatment plans and goals, document their work in clinical records and collaborate with professionals from other disciplines.
WHERE DO DMT WORK?
Dance/movement therapists work in a variety of settings including nursing homes, schools, psychiatric, rehabilitation and medical facilities, drug treatment centers, counseling and crisis centers, and wellness and alternative health care centers.
WHAT DOES A SESSION LOOK LIKE?
The extensive range of dance/movement therapy techniques and the needs and abilities of participants allow for a wide variety of movement activities in dance/movement therapy sessions. Dance/movement characteristics, from subtle and ordinary movement behaviors to expressive, improvisational dancing could occur.