Dance Movement Psychotherapy is a form of therapy that bridges body and mind and uses both words and movement to enable more authentic communication. It is the psycho-therapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the person and is focused on movement behaviour as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship.
Here in the UK, Movement psychotherapy is regulated by the Association Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMP UK). The profession is additionally overseen by the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
Creative movement improvisations and unconscious free association movement are fundamental to this process. As Winnicott (1971) writes, the goal of the therapeutic procedure is, "to afford an opportunity for formless experience and for creating motor and sensory impulses which are the stuff of playing and on the basis of PLAYING is built the whole of man's existence"
Bringing the soul and the spirit back to life are fundamental aims of this form of therapy too where the emphasis is on re-finding the roots of yourself and your spirit inside your own body.
"Returning to the body is a serious matter, because when we feel the body we begin to sense our vulnerability and our need for others, our ontology of interdependence"
Jill Hayes 2013
- Focused 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
- Integrating body and mind and spirit
- From the Heart, the seed, the centre of your life.
- Practised in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational and forensic settings, and in nursing homes, day care centres, 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.