Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) works on all levels; physically, emotionally and energetically.
Most of us understand the importance of movement for our physical heath and wellbeing. Movement creates cardiovascular fitness, enhances muscular strength and burns fat. Movement also pumps our lymphatic system, which is vital in the removal of toxins from our body. Many also experience an emotional shift, as endorphins are released after a cardio session, or after a gentle yoga session, which creates a peaceful centred feeling.
Movement also affects us on far deeper levels; energetically, emotionally and spiritually… these are the domains of Dance Movement Therapy. DMT works with the idea that an embodied experience can create new awakenings and understandings of our self, our relationships and how we relate to the world generally. The DMT experience is always tailored depending on the client group’s goals and intentions.
DMT can be used in so many different settings. Below are examples of the DMT sessions that I am currently facilitating or have facilitated in the past.
Personal Growth & Exploration
DMT can provide an opportunity to explore life’s challenges through different themes, creating understanding of ourselves on a deeper, intimate level. During my own DMT experiences I have given birth to a new me, and found new ways of being in the world. I’ve explored myself through the lens of archetypal characters, and experienced how my own history impacts my physical body and energetic body through the framework of chakra energy explorations. I have reviewed my life through the concept of the Traditional Five Elements, recognised my Metal and Water strengths and imbalances and discovered new ways to find my way back to centre.
All of these embodied experiences (and many more) have helped me to understand myself on a very deep level, so that I am more empowered to recognise what is happening when life becomes unsettled, and make changes to get back to a centred peaceful state…be my own ‘Inner Compass’. DMT can do this for you too.
Post Natal Depression (PND)
Mothers and Baby/Child Movement & Play – for mothers challenged by PND
The experientials used in DMT with mother and baby/child groups work on many levels, and support relationship building, through helping the mothers to simply slow down and enjoy their child. It provides a space for the baby/child to be seen and enjoyed, and thus promotes bonding. The interventions also work to promote self-esteem and confidence through education and role modeling. In addition there is a special level of mother nurturing that takes place during the session which ensures that at least for just a moment, the mother is the centre of attention and feels supported and taken care of. Achieving this with a new baby or child of any age, can be a real reward and provides a sense of rejuvenation in a mother’s otherwise challenging phase of life.
In this setting, there is a strong component of ‘simply creating the space’ for the participants, providing the experientials and education, and letting the natural mother and baby/child bond flourish in its own time, and in its own way.
Mothers Movement – for mothers challenged by PND
Mothers Movement sessions provide an opportunity for women to develop their own ‘sense of self’ again. A PND survivor once expressed to me…”How can you have a relationship with another, if you don’t have one with yourself!” This statement has become the foundation of this wellness DMT work. To achieve this goal, participants are supported in becoming fully present, leaving the past behind and future to its own accord, if only for a short time. The mothers travel on their own journey of self-discovery, re-discovering old aspects of themselves that had become lost in the mothering journey, redefining themselves with a greater sense of contentment and relaxation.
DMT provides a unique opportunity for children experiencing Intellectual challenges to explore their world through movement, drawing and performance. The sessions not only create the opportunity for participants to explore their life themes in a non-judgmental environment, but also assists them in creating connection with others, sometimes creating peer connections for the very first time. The sessions help the participants to redefine themselves, seeing themselves not through their label of ‘disability’, but through a view of themselves as a unique individual, celebrated in all their abilities….. to be everything they can be.
Youths experiencing Social and Emotional Challenges
These sessions run within the school environment and provide the children with an opportunity to connect in with their amazing creative essence, their abilities to delve into their own inner knowing and emotional understanding. It provides a platform for sensory integration, building relationships, shifts in self-perception and emotional exploration and expression. DMT creates a nurturing and safe opportunity to explore their life themes, through movement drawing and performance, so that they are seen and enjoyed, and given an opportunity to shine in their own individual and unique way, in a non-judgemental space.