What does dance movement therapy for healthy aging look like? This lovely article by dance movement therapist Wendy Elliott will give you a picture ~ Moving Our Spirits: Healthy Aging Through Dance-Movement Therapy, Group class gives senior women an outlet for expression, interaction and connection.
"Dance-movement therapy creates a container for elders to experience pleasure, joy, depth and play through the body. It is in this very ancient form of human interaction that we come to reconnect with ourselves and others."
"Sometimes grief is in the air. How could it not be? Given the full lives each of these women has gone through, moments of sadness, longing and loss are likely to come up. When this happens we respond by reaching out, holding hands and supporting one another, creating a space to verbalize this loss and to look around and know that connection and care are available."
Dance/Movement Therapy is provided by graduate level trained therapists who have learned, and continue to learn, to see and hear their clients ~ not just their words, but what they are saying through their bodies and their movement. The therapist uses her body and movement, what we call kinesthetic empathy, to receive the clients' messages. We relate on a body to body, heart to heart, mind to mind, and spirit to spirit level.
Is There An Evidence-Base For Embodied Training? The article, "The Science of Embodiment: Is There An Evidence-Base For Embodied Training?" seems to think so.
"In the British National Health Service Professor Helen Payne has done work showing how dance movement therapy (DMT) – a form of embodied practice – can help alleviate MUS. It’s my sense that dance movement and body psychotherapy are now establishing the validity of their work as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has done."
Yesterday I was blessed to have the opportunity to learn from veteran dance movement therapist Susan Kleinman about DMT with people with Eating Disorders. She made it look easy, but let me tell you, it is not. She was masterful. She didn't dig for depth; she let stuff surface. I learned many lessons in the 2.5 hours that she led us, and on many levels - personally, professionally, as a teacher, a workshop leader.
Tomorrow I'm off to the New England American Dance Therapy Association conference in Keene NH. I am excited that some of my former students and supervisees will be leading workshops, sharing some of their hard won knowledge. I know that I will learn much.
I guess this is what is meant by an embarrassment of riches. I'm happy to share them. Interested in becoming a dance/movement therapist? The world needs you. Find out more at www.adta.org.