What is Dance Movement Psychotherapy?

Dance Movement Therapy

“Dance Movement Therapy! What’s that?” is something I hear a lot. I have also heard “is that a thing?” Yes, it’s a thing. Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is actually the name of the profession in the United States. In the UK, it’s Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) but they are essentially the same thing. Sometimes we refer to ourselves as Dance Therapists or Movement Psychotherapists, depending on the context but our correct title is Dance Movement Psychotherapists or DMPs.

Key Concepts

So how does it work?. I am an embodied practitioner, so the fundamentals of my approach are embodied emotion and kinaesthetic (movement-related) empathy. My practice is also underpinned by the principles of body oriented psychotherapy and the cognitive discipline of mindfulness. I work interactively and reflexively at depth to help people achieve the changes they want to make.

Theoretical Foundations

DMPs don’t all use the same therapeutic model, many of my colleagues are psychodynamic praticitioners. However, I work in person centred framework, with a humanistic integrative approach. This means that I consciously draw on different therapeutic models as my client and I work together. 

The result is a therapeutic process that encourages creative expression to bring healing, insight, learning and personal growth.  In simpler terms this means that, through the creative process and mindful movement, I support my clients as they explore their inner world and personal stories, working through their difficulties, developing their strengths and finding expression.  

And, by the way, despite the name, you do not need dance skills to engage in Dance Movement Therapy or DMP, the focus is on the creative process.

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