Dance Movement Therapy

Creative Arts Therapies involve using all aspects of the creative arts in order to promote more positive emotional behaviours. There are five creative arts therapies: Art Therapy, Dance Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, Poetry Therapy and Music Therapy.

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) can be described as an expressive version of Psychotherapy in which clients are encouraged to perform spontaneous dance movements within a group, on the basis that their minds and bodies are interrelated. Through movement, clients can reflect their thoughts and emotions and by understanding and supporting their clients, therapists can encourage the development of more positive feelings, in turn, promoting a solution to their psychological problem.

The following five part video lead by Leif Tellmann will give you an overall more in-depth understanding of DMT with some examples of what may take place in a Dance Movement Therapy session:

Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMJeoJQCOug

Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2aUjDdDNJE&feature=related

Part Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmcEeOKEKgQ&feature=related

Part Four:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij3sO33Ch0s&feature=related

Part Five: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNeKJ3OqYXA&feature=related

Dance Movement Therapy seems to be effective for a wide range of clients from those with psychological disorders to cancer patients and even those suffering from psychological trauma. 

So, do you think Creative Arts Treatments such as DMT are more beneficial for clients compared to the more conventional treatments available?

In next weeks’ blog I will aim to evaluate the effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy in order to find out whether alternative psychological treatments, such as Creative Arts Treatments are more effective compared to physiological treatments.

 

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About Nathalie Lauren Joyce

19. First year @ Bangor University. Psychology Blogger.

6 responses to “Dance Movement Therapy

  1. Dance from time immemoral has been used as therapy , our ancient ancestors used it all the time to communicate their feelings..their fears, their joy their desires, their sadness and when you watch dance today being performed you can see such emotions bening expressed. That is why it so therapeutic to not only watch but to participate in.. I have taught expressive dance to young people for many years having trained at the Laban in the 70s and it has been a great joy. I had to take a rest from my more vigorous dance recently due to a very serious illness and took to writing poetry about it . Here are some words from a book I am about to produce…
    ‘When I dance I tell my personal story to the world, I speak with every fibre of my body so that you will know my innermost feelings, the love, the fear, the pain the joy and I connect with the tales of my ancient ancestors’… We connect through the movement deep within our souls and in that sacred space, time is momentarily suspended….

    I love the graphc you have used for this can you please tell me if I could possibly have permission for this to be included in my self published little book, it will not go on general release but will be sold to friends and family to raise money for a UK charity..as have all my other poetry books…. Thank you

  2. Pingback: Self Transformation and Bodywork, Part IV « Ann Stanley

  3. PsychThoughts

    I find the concept of dance movement therapy very interesting. And I do believe there could be beneficial effects. It could help individuals take control of their body’s emotions and sensations which can induce a more internal locus of control type personality. Meaning that they believe they are in control of their feelings and what ever happens to them. This could help because it has been found that people with an internal locus of control are less likely to suffer from depression and many other disorders (Johnson & Sarason, 1977). However, i do not agree that dance movement therapy is more effective than other treatments as it was only introduced in the nineteenth century so there wouldn’t be sufficient amount of evidence to provide such a conclusion and it is not as popular as other treatments (Meekums, 2002).

    Meekums, B. (2002). Dance Movement Therapy. UK: Sage Publications Ltd.

    Johnson, J.H. & Sarason, I.G. (1977). Life stress, depression and anxiety a moderator variable. Journal of psychosomatic research, 22,205-208

  4. Well this is very interesting, i would have never of thought as dance as being something to be beneficial to mental health, obviously we associate dance as exercise and exercise as good for the body this research is really interesting. When reading up on dance movement therapy i also came across lots of studies showing its benefits and I too believe it is very effective. Foe example Goodill S. (2005) found it to be effective on cystic fibrosis.

    However there are arguments against dance movement therapy that need to be considered, does it work? evidence would suggest yes, but i guess more research has to be conducted.

    Really interesting post.

    References:
    http://www.dancepsych.com/dancearticles.htm

    • Dance from time immemoral has been used as therapy , our ancient ancestors used it all the time to communicate their feelings..their fears, their joy their desires, their sadness and when you watch dance today being performed you can see such emotions bening expressed. That is why it so therapeutic to not only watch but to participate in.. I have taught expressive dance to young people for many years having trained at the Laban in the 70s and it has been a great joy. I had to take a rest from my more vigorous dance recently due to a very serious illness and took to writing poetry about it . Here are some words from a book I am about to produce…
      ‘When I dance I tell my personal story to the world, I speak with every fibre of my body so that you will know my innermost feelings, the love, the fear, the pain the joy and I connect with the tales of my ancient ancestors’… We connect through the movement deep within our souls and in that sacred space, time is momentarily suspended

  5. Certainly some of the movement therapies such as dance therapy have shown to have a beneficial effect through increasing levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters (as found by Hong et al 2005) and there is a great deal of evidence that regular exercise can befit mild depression, and this is now routinely suggested by doctors and counsellors in addition to other treatments.

    Having said this I would disagree with the suggestion that creative arts treatments are more beneficial than other treatments, no treatment is ‘better’ than any other, there are simply treatments which are more or less effective and much of that is dependent on the individual person and the condition they are struggling with. What works for one person may well be totally ineffective in another.

    Ref: Jeong,Y Hong, SC Lee MS, Park MC, Kim YK, and Suh (2005) Dance movement therapy improves emotional responses and modulates neurohormones in adolescents with mild depression, International Journal of Neuroscience 115 : 12, 1711-1720 (doi: 10.1080/00207450590958574)

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