September 26, 2023

The way to Do Dance Remedy: 4 Strategies

Dance therapists use varied strategies to allow purchasers to raised perceive their very own and others’ emotions and participate extra absolutely in human relationships (Loman, 2005).


Mirroring is a well-liked software utilized by dance therapists to determine nonverbal relationships. The therapist joins the consumer as they transfer, mirroring them to provoke trusting and significant contact.


Intently linked to mirroring, attunement entails motion empathy. “Muscular tensions felt in a single particular person are felt within the different” (Loman, 2005, p. 72).

Therapists don’t have to duplicate the shapes and gestures of the consumer, however can as a substitute transfer towards a much less intense, soothing sample to calm an upset grownup or little one.

Built-in growth

Therapists observe and work by way of the consumer’s developmental phases utilizing the ability of motion.

The method may also help the consumer progress by way of psychological roadblocks, regressions, and delays of their growth and private relationships. “A developmental dance/motion orientation addresses a person’s intrapsychic, interpersonal, and non secular evolution” (Loman, 2005, p. 73).

Genuine motion

Genuine motion is used to succeed in again to a consumer’s earlier experiences. The person lies on or close to the bottom, attending to bodily sensations and recreating a scenario just like that of an toddler immersed in a sensory world.

The connection is between the mover (the consumer) and the witness (the therapist). “The guts of the apply is concerning the longing, in addition to the worry, to see ourselves clearly” (Loman, 2005, p. 73).

4 Workouts & Actions for Your Classes

Group dancingMany workout routines and actions obtainable to the dance therapist assist purchasers of all ages reconnect with their bodily, psychological, and non secular selves.

Usually, they’re carried out in both teams or pairs (Loman, 2005; Karkou et al., 2017; Lachetta, n.d.), and we share a collection of actions right here.

Embodying a personality

The therapist asks the consumer to decide on a personality from a e book, film, or play — maybe a superhero, cartoon character, villain, and even an animal.

Subsequent, they’re tasked with embodying that character by way of dance and motion.

The therapist guides them by way of the actions and helps them discover completely different feelings and experiences related to their character.

Group circle dance

The group types a circle and begins dancing collectively to a selected rhythm or beat in a chunk of music chosen by the therapist to encourage connection and collaboration.

They’re requested to concentrate to their very own and others’ actions as they dance.

After a couple of minutes, the therapist suggests they fight synchronizing their actions throughout the group to create a way of unity and togetherness, breaking down individuality and inspiring connection.

Tuned strolling in pairs

Purchasers type groups, strolling aspect by aspect whereas listening to music or sounds by way of headphones. Every pair could have a novel piece of music.

The therapist chooses the music or sounds primarily based on a selected theme or temper, akin to nature sounds or upbeat music.

As they stroll, the companions attempt to synchronize their steps with the rhythm of the music or sounds.

They’re requested to concentrate to the sensations of their physique as they stroll and attempt to keep in tune with their associate.

Motion mirroring

Companions face one another and take turns mirroring their actions.

The therapist guides the pair by way of completely different actions, akin to sluggish, fluid, quick, and energetic, presumably including music.

As they try to repeat one another’s actions, they’re requested to concentrate to how their physique feels and the bodily patterns made by their companions.

They need to attempt to create a way of move and connection between every of their very own actions and people of their associate.

Many of those workout routines are so useful in therapy as a result of they construct belief and connection between companions and throughout the group (Loman, 2005).

Turning into a Dance Therapist: Programs & Certifications

There are numerous choices for finding out dance remedy, from certification to bachelor’s to grasp’s levels (on-line and in-person). So, it’s vital to contemplate the syllabus, value, location, and whether or not the timings give you the results you want.

The next is a consultant pattern of what’s obtainable.

Introductory Research in Dance/Motion Remedy Certificates: College of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin, US

College students study concerning the expertise concerned in expressing and understanding emotion by way of motion, the background and concept of dance remedy, and learn how to use motion evaluation throughout therapy.

Novice dancers are launched to how therapists can use motion in violence prevention, habits administration, and social expertise growth.

Discover out extra on their website.

Grasp of Arts in Dance/Motion Remedy and Counseling: Drexel College, Pennsylvania, US

Drexel UniversityThis program integrates dance and motion right into a whole-person method to psychological well being.

It’s designed to satisfy an growing curiosity in thoughts–physique approaches to psychological and bodily well being which have emerged in well being career circles and most of the people.

Having graduated, college students work in varied settings, akin to colleges, early intervention packages, group psychological well being, inpatient psychiatric, medical, social service, and wellness settings.

Discover out extra on their website.

Grasp of Arts in Dance Motion Psychotherapy: Goldsmiths, College of London, UK

The course offers college students a broad understanding of the ideas and practices of dance motion remedy.

Via theoretical and motion commentary research, dance apply workshops, medical work, and experiential studying, the learner integrates cognitive understanding and sensible expertise with a growing consciousness of self and others.

Every scholar can also be inspired to develop their very own dance/motion apply.

Discover out extra on their website.

On-line Coaching: 3 Programs and Packages

There are only some on-line programs for dance remedy, most certainly due to the topic’s bodily nature. Nevertheless, now we have listed two of our favourite low-residency programs beneath.

Certificates in Dance/Motion Remedy: Antioch College–New England, New Hampshire, US

Antioch UniversityWhereas not solely on-line, this low-residency, three-year program provides the newest progressive data on the self-discipline of dance/motion remedy as a thoughts–physique method in therapy.

College students develop a stable theoretical framework by way of analysis papers and integrative studying tasks that observe every course and purchase all of the apply wanted for making use of to the American Dance Remedy Affiliation.

Discover out extra on their website.

Grasp of Arts in Medical Psychological Well being Counseling: Dance/Motion Remedy: Lesley College–Cambridge, Massachusetts, US

This MA is one other low-residency choice. Many of the work is on-line, with a three-week summer season residency at Lesley College’s Cambridge campus.

College students study to handle people’ emotional, cognitive, bodily, and non secular well being utilizing dance as a lens for commentary, analysis, and intervention.

Discover out extra on their website.

In case you are eager to pursue dance remedy as a profession, head on over to our publish The way to Grow to be a Therapist for extra steerage and perception.

3 Fascinating Dance Remedy Books

Dance remedy is a captivating discipline of examine. The next three books supply beneficial insights into this highly effective therapy combining thoughts and physique

1. The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing – Vicky Karkou, Sue Oliver, and Sophia Lycouris

The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing

The e book gives an in depth assortment of extremely beneficial chapters exploring the analysis and concept behind dance remedy and its many makes use of.

Maybe no different e book gives such a well-rounded view of the potential of dance to enhance psychological wellbeing. In doing so, it considers views from neuroscience, well being, group, training, psychology, and sociology.

Discover the e book on Amazon.

2. Expressive Therapies – Cathy A. Malchiodi

Expressive Therapies

This textual content is a crucial learn for anybody keen on dance remedy, regardless of being initially written in 2005 and having just one chapter targeted solely on the topic.

Susan Loman, who wrote the chapter on dance motion remedy, absolutely expresses her love for dance and the will to assist others, offering a short historical past of dance as a therapy and diving into the main theoretical interventions.

The rest of the e book provides equally fascinating discussions of different expressive therapies, akin to psychodrama remedy, expressive arts remedy, music remedy, and play remedy.

Discover the e book on Amazon.

3. Dance/Motion Remedy for Trauma Survivors: Theoretical, Medical, and Cultural Views – Rebekka Dieterich-Hartwell and Anne Margrethe Melsom

Dance Movement Therapy for Trauma Survivors

This intensive assortment explores the various components concerned in trauma, in troopers, victims of intercourse trafficking, refugees, and past, and the potential for dance remedy as therapy.

It gives important sources for clinicians and professionals wishing to know how such thoughts–physique interventions may also help restore on a regular basis functioning to survivors of traumatic occasions.

Discover the e book on Amazon.

Related Sources From

We now have many sources obtainable for therapists to discover the bodily and psychological features engaged in dancing, music, and motion.

Our free sources embody the next:

  • Deciphering Physique Language
    With a lot of our communication being nonverbal, it’s useful to raised perceive the alerts concerned in physique language. This worksheet encourages the reader to replicate on physique language shows matching particular feelings.
  • Being Current
    Consciousness and presence are very important for efficient communication and might be enhanced by way of deep engagement with others utilizing actions akin to dance. The Being Present worksheet can be utilized as a information for reflection throughout remedy.

Extra intensive variations of the next instruments can be found with a subscription to the Optimistic Psychology Toolkit©, however they’re described briefly beneath:

  • Utilizing Music to Specific Emotions
    Music is a robust software and expertise for expressing feelings.

This train encourages a wealthy and deep understanding between consumer and therapist and a greater consciousness within the consumer of how they really feel at completely different occasions.

    • The first step – Establish three songs which can be necessary to you.
    • Step two – Ask your self a sequence of questions for each, together with:
      While you hear this music, how does it make you’re feeling?
      Which a part of the music is most necessary to you?
    • Step three – Collectively, replicate on the solutions to type a deeper connection.
  • Aware Strolling
    How we transfer is usually neglected. With mindfulness, we will study to really feel extra current and grounded.
    • The first step – Stand nonetheless, turn into conscious of the bottom and the way the load might be transferred from one foot to a different.
    • Step two – Start strolling usually.
    • Step three – Discover the sensations round your ft: your sneakers and the way the heel and ball of the foot contact the bottom.
    • Step 4 – Slowly transfer your consideration up your leg and your physique to your arms and head.
    • Step 5 – Deal with every space, consciously stress-free every half.
    • Step six – While you cease strolling, discover the way it feels to not be in movement.

A Take-Residence Message

Dancing feels good. Once we reminisce about transferring to music, we most certainly keep in mind enjoyable, engagement, and forming deep bonds with these round us.

Analysis reveals us that it has a far-reaching and therapeutic impact on our our bodies and thoughts, serving to us by way of trauma, anxiousness, and stress.

It’s also a robust approach to join or reconnect with the self and others, dropping limitations and overcoming detrimental ideas which have blocked our development.

Dance is so releasing that it provides a robust software for escaping the pressures of each day life and leaves the dancer feeling engaged, energized, and motivated for what’s forward.

The advantages don’t finish there. As a part of remedy, dance may also help overcome emotional struggles and enhance shallowness and self-confidence whereas enhancing bodily, cognitive, social, emotional, non secular, and artistic processes (Karkou et al., 2017).

Dance remedy has the potential to assist people of all ages turn into conscious and join with their entire selves — thoughts, physique, and spirit. Transferring to music may also help folks regain a way of their physique’s capability for expressiveness and discover a possibility for pleasure of their lives.

It’s an action-oriented and spontaneous intervention for creativity, development, and therapeutic that psychological well being practitioners can mix with many different therapeutic approaches.

We hope you loved studying this text. Don’t overlook to obtain our three Optimistic Psychology Workouts free of charge.