Dance Movement Psychotherapy provides the conditions for learning, growth and healing through compassionate, embodied awareness within a therapeutic relationship.
It is a unique form of psychotherapy in which the creative use of dance, movement and somatic sensing play a key role. The recognition and expression of physical sensations, thoughts and emotions are facilitated by the therapist through the medium of the body, inviting the unconscious into consciousness. As we connect to the direct experience of our embodied being, we awaken our somatic intelligence and begin to know our true nature.
Dance Movement Psychotherapy is founded on the principle that movement reflects an individual’s patterns of thinking, feeling and communicating. Through acknowledging and supporting the client’s movements, the therapist encourages development and integration of new adaptive movement patterns together with the emotional and relational experiences that accompany such changes. Body awareness and breath are invited as a resource to staying awake to whatever is happening in the present moment. Being witnessed just as we are, we learn to accept and appreciate all parts of ourselves and shed unhelpful thinking.
The MA level training includes study of western psychotherapy and group psychotherapy models, infant movement development, Laban Movement Analysis, psychopathology, anatomy and physiology, weekly individual and group psychotherapy for the duration of the training, and clinical practice with a variety of client groups supervised by a registered psychotherapist. Training in mental health is integral. DMP is practised as both individual and group therapy; in education, health, social services and other community-based settings (eg voluntary and private organisations), prison services and in private practice. The profession is being continually informed by international research studies.
Dance Movement Psychotherapy is an evidence-based practice regulated by the Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMP UK) and The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTR) in the USA. Further information is available on the resources page.