Emotion focused movement therapy can address and transform the hyperactive child whose attention seems to be all over the place in a fun, playful and really significant way. One of the ways we do this is through the technique of mirroring the child’s movement.
This can be applied to establish trust and build the therapeutic relationship, which is nurtured sensitively through the therapists’ ability to mirror, echo, sustain, follow and enlarge the child’s movement range and expressions. She is trained to be sensitive to movement language as it relates to the psychological, motor and cognitive development of the child (Leventhal, 1980).
The clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Mario Martinez calls ‘attention deficit disorder’ an ‘abundance of curiosity’ and while these conditions are thought to be genetic I tend to agree with him when he says that they are adaptations the child makes to the complex nature of living in these times. The child that is needing attention from his/her home for example can not only find refuge in a safe, playful space but can be heard, seen, met and understood in an environment of music, colour, activities, different props that allow him to speak intelligently away from the rigidity of the culture.
Through an emotion focused therapy programme these curious children are invited to play with total acceptance of who, how and where they are in their difficult world.
This empathic attunement to the child through movement and play enables the therapist to discover his / her mode of learning, alleviate the anxiety and help make his/her experience of school a positive one where they are strong in their abilities to learn.
Next week: Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia