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Dance Movement Therapy

Updated on April 24, 2015

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

Dance/movement therapy, a creative arts therapy, that is rooted in the expressive nature of dance itself. Dance is the most fundamental of the arts, involving a direct expression and experience of oneself through the body. It is a basic form of authentic communication, and as such it is an especially effective medium for therapy. Based in the belief that the body, the mind and the spirit are interconnected, dance/movement therapy is defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as "the psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process that furthers the emotional, cognitive, social and physical integration of the individual."

Movement provides us with a profound medium in which the observation of ones movements are utilized in discovering where we are moving and where we are stuck. Dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of an individual.

Dance/movement therapists value the healing nature of the creative act, believe that movement has inner meaning and purpose, and outer expressive and communicative properties, and that body-mind synchronization is an essential component of healing.

Central to the stated purpose of contemplative practice at Naropa University is the belief that contemplative practices synchronize body, speech, and heart. As this synchronization occurs, it is said that the practitioner becomes a "spiritual warrior."

Dance Movement Therapy has been found to be quite successful for those that suffer from Major Depressive Disorder.....


Results of Dance Movement Therapy

Per Isabella Pericleous (2011), Depression is a real medical disorder, like anorexia, epilepsy, and autism. It is strongly recommended that people who suffer from depression for long periods of time get professional help. To date, relatively few studies have focused on the effects of dance/movement therapy on people with depression. However, the results have pointed in a positive direction. The down-mood of patients seemed to improve on days they were in therapy as opposed to days they were not. Even if past studies have not closely examined the long-term effects of dance/movement therapy on depression, I have found a number of sources verifying its impact on the lives of people with major depression. I believe that if movement therapists as well as psychotherapists pay close attention to this condition, there will be a significant increase in research on using dance to reduce severe depression and melancholia. Why dose the body with antidepressants if there is an alternative therapy available such as Dance Movement Therapy.

The Importance of Artistic Expression

Artistic Expression is very important for a person suffering from Depression.
Artistic Expression is very important for a person suffering from Depression. | Source
This dancer has always stated that dance puts balance in his life.
This dancer has always stated that dance puts balance in his life. | Source
Just keep dancing....
Just keep dancing.... | Source

Dance Movement Therapy With Children

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