The Dance/Movement Therapy

Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   Continuing the not-so-common types of therapies series, I’m writing a few words about the dance/movement therapy (also called dance movement psychotherapy in UK).

“DMT (or DMP) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body. As a modality of the creative arts therapies, DMT looks at the correlation between movement and emotion.” – Wikipedia

   As can be seen, this type of therapy takes into consideration the fact that our body and our emotions are not two separate entities, but they are interconnected. Because of this, one influences the other so basically, we can dance our way out of bad moods.

   In my post Your Emotion is Your Energy, I mentioned that different types of emotions can create or drain our energy. The thing is that the process of draining that energy involves going through bad moods, depression or even bad behavior. Instead of letting that bad behavior consume our energy, we can beat up all those negative emotions with our kick-ass step dance.

   But there is a process involved. You can’t dance like crazy (although that might work too).

   “The therapy process has four stages, which occur during DMT and can be a creative time for both the therapist and patient(s). Each stage contains a smaller set of goals which correlate to the larger purpose of DMT. The stages and goals of DMT vary with each individual. Although the stages are progressive, the stages are usually revisited several times throughout the entire DMT process.

   The four stages are:

  • Preparation: the warm-up stage, a safe space is established without obstacles nor distractions, a supportive relationship with a witness is formed, comfort for participants to be familiar with moving with their eyes closed;
  • Incubation: leader verbally prompts participant to go into subconscious, open-ended imagery used to create an internal environment that is catered to the participant, relaxed atmosphere, symbolic movements;
  • Illumination: process which is integrated through conscious awareness via dialogue with witness, self-reflection in which the participant uncovers and resolves subconscious motivations, increased self awareness, can have positive and negative effects;
  • Evaluation: discuss insights and significance of the process, prepare to end therapy. – Wikipedia

   Are you in a bad mood? Maybe some salsa or belly dance can help you fix that. Oh, and don’t forget to look yourself in the mirror while dancing. I dance like a pudding, so it’s very funny for me to see myself dance.

   What type of movement helps you improve your mood?

8 thoughts on “The Dance/Movement Therapy

  1. Though I have never used dance as therapy, I did do movement therapy several times. It was interesting and a mixed bag as to whether it helped me.

  2. Yes, any exercises could lift us up by releasing endorphins, provided we enjoy the process. My favorites are walking, running and now it is Zumba.
    Dance for an hour with friends as if no one is watching. It is an experience to look forward to. It improves the energy level too.

  3. I love dancing and it has always been a free-mind therapy for me. Especially hip-hop and salsa/latino music work wonders when I feel stressed or overwhelmed!

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