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What is Dance/Movement Therapy?

What do Dance/Movement Therapists Do?

Goals of D/MT

Defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as the “psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the individual”, dance/movement therapy recognizes that we can create changes in the body to reflect lasting changes in the mind.

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.

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.

•Encourage identification of and expression of feeling

•Practice self-care and relaxation techniques

•Strengthen mind/body connection

•Establish a support system

•Practice acceptance

•Develop coping skills

•Encourage the release of tension

•Increase self awareness

•Redefine relationship with body

•Establish a sense of control over one’s body


Guided D/MT Videos

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