The American Dance Therapy Association defines
dance/movement therapy as the psycho-therapeutic use of movement to
further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the
individual and bases this description on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are
Dance/movement therapy is:
Focused on movement behavior as it
emerges in the therapeutic relationship. Expressive, communicative, and
adaptive behaviors are all considered for group and individual
treatment. Body movement, as the core component of dance,
simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of
intervention for dance/movement therapy.
Is practiced in mental health,
rehabilitation, medical, educational and forensic settings, and in
nursing homes, day care centers, disease prevention, health promotion
programs and in private practice.
Is effective for individuals with developmental, medical, social, physical and psychological impairments.
Is used with people of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds in individual, couples, family and group therapy formats.
Benefits of Dance Movement Therapy
Dance movement therapy (DMT) or dance therapy can bring
about a renewal of body, mind and spirit, and integrate these parts of the
Dance therapy or DMT brings life, reaches depths, and can
bridge verbal and nonverbal modes of communication. It can go to levels
unreachable in the 'traditional' talk therapies.
DMT has been demonstrated to be clinically effective at
improving body image, self-esteem, attentiveness, and communication skills.
DMT is for everyone. It does not specify race, creed,
color, gender or age.
DMT can also reduce stress, fear and anxiety, as well as
lessen feelings of isolation, body tension, chronic pain, and depression.
DMT can enhance the functioning of the body's circulatory
and respiratory systems.
Proponents of DMT claim that it has also been used
successfully to help people deal with brain injury, AIDS, arthritis,
amputation, stroke, cancer, and a number of other physical ailments.
DMT has also been shown to benefit adolescent and adult
psychiatric patients, the learning disabled, the visually and hearing impaired,
the mentally handicapped, and the elderly (especially those in nursing homes).
DMT increases self-awareness; links feelings, thoughts
and actions; helps you express powerful feelings and actions; maximizes the
ability to communicate; tests the consequences of free expression on others;
helps to manage the feelings that obstruct learning; helps improve the
development of trusting relationships.
DMT can give you a sense of achievement.
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