Dance movement therapy | E Therapy

Dance movement therapy

This is an experiential therapy that uses different theoretical ideas from the humanistic approaches and is used with individuals and groups, both young and old.

It is a creative endeavour and exploration using dance and how the body is held and moved by the client in a therapeutic relationship. The client will explore different movements to articulate their personal concepts and feelings about themselves and their relationships.

The therapist, who enjoys dance and movement, provides a safe space for the client to explore what comes up, but may also be directive in asking the client to show how they respond or react to certain situations or specific people in their lives. This is a holistic therapy as it concentrates on physical movement and blockages, as well as facilitating the client to understand deep-seated problems which manifest somatically (in the body) and emotionally.

Dance is an expression – and therefore allows clients to express what they cannot articulate.

There are two main ways the therapist helps the client:

  • The therapist recreates the client’s movements to help the latter see how they are holding their body.
  • The practitioner will demonstrate different movements to help the client to use the body differently and change feelings. For example, someone who is feeling anxious or depressed may walk around hunched up, making themselves look small; the therapist may suggest and use expansive, exaggerated movements to show confidence and get the client breathing and moving differently.

This is not suitable for people who do not like dance or need intellectual responses.