Dance Movement Therapy for Children with learning Disabilities
So how might we as dmp’s unblock the child’s bodily resistances ?
By bombarding the kinaesthetic sense perceptions from and during the warm up in preparing them to be in the session. We have a warm-up which begins from where the child is. It may be movement, it may be play! The aim is the letting go of tensions within the sensory-motor expression. It may be walking to their favourite music.
During the creative middle part of the session the bodily resistances can be addressed through a theme, something that the therapist picked up on during the warming up phase. Movement range, exploration and development is what the therapist invites the child into.
The last phase of the session is a closure which could be a relaxation, it could be a fluid dance or it could be a goodbye exercise.
For dance therapists a change in the movement expression of the child who has learning disabilities signifies a change on a deeper level. It may be a slow process but it is a movement for emotional health and well being
The sensitivity of the therapist
And her ability to mirror, echo, sustain, follow or enlarge a child’s movement expression is really crucial in dance therapy
“The therapist is trained to become sensitive to movement expression as it relates to the psychological, motor, and cognitive development of the child, since in life these are closely affected by each other, and often problems in one area affect growth or integration in another”
Bodily resistances are a real expression of fear and so for the child to change her communication she needs to feel safe and have a good sense of herself. The dance therapist aids in this development toward a more joyful experience in her everyday living.