Sep 10, 2016

Development Of Dance And Movement Therapy

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By Karen Carter


The therapeutic utilization of movement and dance for the support of various functions of the body such as motor emotional, and, intellectual is what is referred to as movement/dance therapy. DMT is an abbreviation that is in common use. Australia and the United States are some of the countries where the term DMT is used. The UK and other nations use dance movement psychotherapy. The abbreviation DMP is used for this term.

DMT is categorized under expressive therapy. It aims to find the correlation between emotion and movement. Movement therapy has been in existence for a very long time. Since early human history, it has been used in healing rituals for issues such as death, sickness, birth, and fertility. The idea that dance was not simply an expressive art began to exist in the US and Europe between the years of 1840 and 1930.

Although dance was used for healing purposes since a long time ago, its actual establishment as a therapy and a profession occurred in the 1950s. The founder of American Dance Therapy Association, Marian Chance was among the individuals that established dance as such. The development of DMT assumes two waves through history. The first wave was spearheaded by Chance, while the second one attracted a lot of interest from American therapists.

The main belief that makes the basis of the theory of DMT is that the mind and body interact. People make conscious and unconscious movement basing on the dualist premise of mind body to affect their total functioning and to reflect their personality. Thus, the relationship between the therapist and client is in part based on non-verbal cues like body language. DMT explores the unity of mind, body, and spirit to offer a sense of wholeness to every individual.

There are four main stages involved in this therapy that need to be completed. Each stage is composed of smaller goals that the client needs to accomplish, which contribute to the larger purpose of DMT. There is a huge variance in the stages and goals depending on the individual. The stages generally progress from one to the next. However, the stages may also be revisited over and over through the entire process.

The four stages of DMT are, preparation, incubation, illumination, and evaluation. The preparation stage can also be called the warm-up stage. It involves preparation of safe and sufficient space that does not have any obstacles or distractions. The client also creates a supportive relationship with a witness. Participants need to be comfort to be able to move while their eyes are shut.

The leader prompts participants to venture into the subconscious during the incubation stage. Verbal contact is used to make the prompt. The subconscious offers a good environment to allow for the exploitation of emotions. The stage of illumination follows after incubation. Illumination stage is introduced in dialogue. The witness offers dialogue to conscious awareness to let self-reflection to begin.

As the participant self-reflects, they are able to uncover and resolve motivations in their subconscious. Too much self-awareness has both negative and positive effects. The evaluation process concludes the session with discussions about the insights revealed and their significance.




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