Dance Movement Therapy / Movement Therapy

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How can Dance Movement Therapy help you?

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration. DMT can help people with physical health by increasing strength, improving flexibility, decreasing muscle tension, and boosting coordination. (Very Well Mind)

Dance/Movement Therapists focus on helping you improve self-esteem and body image, develop effective communication skills and relationships, expand your movement vocabulary, gain insight into your patterns of behavior, and create new options for coping with problems. (American Dance Therapy Association)

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Dance Movement Therapists use movement (body awareness, rhythm, time, space, gesture, posture, and dynamics) as a primary medium 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 to best serve your health needs.

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is based on the premise that thoughts, feelings, and the experience of self are expressed through the body and movement. It is a relational process that integrates emotional, cognitive, physical, and social aspects of self.

The DMT approach incorporates knowledge from psychotherapeutic approaches, psychology, sensorimotor and developmental movement, movement analysis, and neuroscience. The elements of dance (body awareness, rhythm, time, space, gesture, posture, and dynamics) are applied as a framework for exploration, discovery, learning and change. DMT focuses on movement behaviour as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship. Expressive, communicative, and adaptive behaviours 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.

A Dance Movement Therapist has a Master’s or PhD level of education that is followed by an extensive supervised internship prior to the onset of DMT practice. (Dance Movement Therapy Association, Canada)

Bodywork and Manual Therapy [including Dance Movement Therapy] are general terms that refer to body manipulation therapies used for relaxation and pain relief. Massage is a well-known form of Manual Therapy. 

The idea behind Bodywork and DMT is that people learn—or are forced by injury or stress into—unnatural ways of moving or holding their bodies. This unnatural movement or posture changes the natural alignment of bones, which in turn causes discomfort and may contribute to health problems. The aim of Bodywork and DMT is to realign and reposition the body to allow natural, graceful movement. 

Bodywork and DMT, along with identifying possible contributing causes of unnatural movement and posture, is thought to reduce stress and ease pain. 

Explore the Research

We believe you should have access to high-quality research to help you make informed health decisions. Below are four trusted databases you can use as tools to expand your healthcare knowledge.