What is Dance/Movement therapy?
Dance/movement therapy is a type of therapy that uses movement to help individuals achieve emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration. Beneficial for both physical and mental health, dance therapy can be used for stress reduction, disease prevention and mood management. In addition, the physical component offers increased muscular strength, coordination, mobility and decreased muscular tension. Dance/movement therapy can be used with all populations and with individuals, couples, families, or groups. In general, dance therapy promotes self-awareness, self-esteem, and a safe space for the expression of feelings.
What Kind of Issues Can Dance Therapy Help With?
Dance therapists work with people in therapy to help them improve their body image and self-esteem. Dance/movement therapy is a versatile form of therapy founded on the idea that motion and emotion are interconnected. The creative expression of dance therapy can bolster communication skills and inspire dynamic relationships. It is commonly used to treat physical, psychological, cognitive, and social issues such as:
Physical Issues: Chronic pain, Childhood obesity, Cancer, Arthritis, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease
Mental Health Issues: Anxiety, Depression, Disordered eating, Poor self-esteem, Post traumatic stress
Cognitive Issues: Dementia, Communication issues
Social Issues: Aggression/violence, Domestic violence trauma, Social interaction, Family conflict
How Is Dance Therapy Different from Regular Dancing?
Most people understand that dancing can be good for their health; it improves cardiovascular endurance, muscle tone, balance and coordination. Dance can also boost a person’s mood, improve his or her body image and provide an opportunity for fun that may lower overall stress and anxiety. While these elements are certainly beneficial, dance/movement therapy takes therapeutic dance to another level.
Movement becomes more than exercise—it becomes a language. People in treatment communicate conscious and unconscious feelings through dance, which allows a therapist to respond in kind. Dance therapists help people work on issues through the use of a “movement vocabulary” that is centred around physical expression instead of words.
(excerpt from the Good Therapy Blog: www.goodtherapy.org/blog/