Dance Movement Therapy
“Movement is one
of the most basic forms of self-expression. Through such
self-expression, particularly in the form of dance, a person strengthens
the sense of self” (Lowen, in Espenak, 1981, p.1x).
Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as “the
psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process which furthers the
emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual.” (www.adta.org).
“The basic view
underlying the concept of dance therapy is that the expressive aspects
of a personality, in its gestures, movements and postures, are a
function of the individual totality: the intellectual, emotional,
unconscious, and somatic totality. Given this totality, it is therefore
theoretically possible to provide effective therapeutic intervention at
any level of these behavioral modes, due to the phenomenon of their
interaction” (Espenak, 1981, p. 3).
reflects inner emotional states and changes in movement behavior can
lead to changes in the psyche, thus promoting health and growth” (Levy,
therapy operates on the belief that the body is the vehicle for
emotional healing. It is a therapeutic modality that accesses the
unconscious and the invisible directly through the body (Caldwell,
1996). Caldwell writes that “sensation, breath and movement are the
body’s form of speech, and that if we listen to this speech we can
complete and release stored trauma, relearn how to feel excitement and
pleasure and engage in activities that nourish” (Ibid. p.4).
Caldwell, C. (1996). Getting Our Bodies Back. Boston: Shambahala Publications, Inc.
Espenak, L. (1981). Dance Therapy: Theory and Application. Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
Levy, F.J. (Ed.D.) (1988). Dance Movement Therapy: A Healing Art. Reston, Virginia: The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.