Dance Movement Therapy

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

Dance Movement Therapy is a form of therapy based on the principle that interaction between body and mind influences an individual's overall functioning and wellbeing; and the theory that the medium of dance can help individuals achieve change in their lives. As an arts based psychotherapy, Dance Movement Therapy supports people to integrate the psychological, physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual aspects of their lives through creative movement. Through this therapeutic process, it can be used to address behavioural and psychological concerns ranging from eating disorders to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

What does a Dance Movement Therapist do?

Working with individuals or groups, Dance Movement therapists are trained in both theory and practice of dance and its therapeutic capability. Practices may involve focusing on breathing, rhythm, gesture, and exploring personal space; creative expression and metaphor as tools for self-discovery and problem-solving; and mindfulness and non verbal communication.

More information about Dance Movement Therapy

With the healing power of dance and movement embraced by different cultures for thousands of years, the contemporary evidence base for its impact continues to expand. Meta-analyses of Dance Movement Therapy have found evidence of its effectiveness in improving individuals' body image and sense of wellbeing; and in reducing depression and anxiety (Koch, Kunz, Lykou and Cruz, 2014; Ritter and Low, 1996). However, Good Therapy reminds you that it is important to do your own research into the type of therapy and therapist who is a good fit for you. 

Further information on Dance Movement Therapy in Australia is available from the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia.

Sources: Koch, S., Kunz, T., Lykou, S., and Cruz, R. (2014). Effects of dance movement therapy and dance on health-related psychological outcomes: A meta-analysis. The Arts in Psychotherapy, Vol. 41, Issue 1; Meekums, B. (2002), Dance movement therapy: a creative psychotherapeutic approach. London: SAGE Publications; Ritter, M. and Low, K.G. (1996). Effects of Dance/Movement Therapy: A Meta-Analysis. The Arts in Psychotherapy, Vol. 23, No. 3.