What? How does it work?
Movement/dance therapy is a form of therapy that uses movement and dance to help people improve their emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being. Therapy is based on the idea that movement and emotions are closely related, and that by exploring and expressing emotions through movement, people can achieve greater self-awareness and improve their mental health.
History of Dance/Movement Therapy
Dance/movement therapy has its roots in the early 20th century, when dance pioneers such as Rudolf Laben and Mary Wigman began to study the relationship between movement and emotions. In the 1940s and 1950s, dance therapists began using dance and movement in clinical settings to help people with mental health and emotional problems. In 1966, the American Society for Dance Therapy was founded, and dance/movement therapy was recognized as a legitimate form of therapy.
How dance/movement therapy works
Dance/movement therapy is a type of experiential therapy, meaning it focuses on the individual’s experience of the present moment.
The therapist uses a variety of movement and dance techniques to help the person explore and express emotions, improve self-awareness and develop coping skills.
The therapist may use a variety of techniques, including:
Guided movement: The therapist guides the individual in a series of movements designed to explore and express emotions.
Improvisation: The individual is encouraged to explore movement freely, allowing the body to express emotions without conscious thought.
Choreography: The therapist and the individual work together to create a dance or movement sequence that expresses a particular emotion or theme.
Authentic movement: The individual moves freely while the therapist observes and provides support and feedback.
Benefits of Dance/Movement Therapy
Dance/movement therapy: has been shown to have many benefits for people with mental health and emotional problems, including:
Enhanced self-awareness: By exploring and expressing emotions through movement, people can gain greater insight into their thoughts and feelings.
Increased self-esteem: Dance/movement therapy can help people feel more comfortable with their bodies and develop a higher sense of self-worth.
Stress reduction: Movement and dance can be a powerful way to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Enhanced communication: Dance/movement therapy can help people develop nonverbal communication skills, which can be especially helpful for people struggling with verbal communication.
Increased physical well-being: Dance/movement therapy can improve physical fitness and mobility, as well as reduce pain and discomfort.
Who can benefit from dance/movement therapy?
Dance/movement therapy can benefit people of all ages and backgrounds, including:
People with mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and PTSD
People with autism or other developmental disabilities
People with eating disorders or body image problems
People recovering from trauma or addiction
People with physical disabilities or chronic pain
In summary, dance/movement therapy is a unique and effective form of therapy that uses movement and dance to help people improve their emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being.
It can benefit people of all ages and backgrounds, and has been shown to improve self-awareness, self-esteem, communication, and physical well-being.
If you’re struggling with mental health or emotional issues, consider exploring dance/movement therapy as a way to improve your overall well-being.