Dance Movement Therapy
& Exercise and Health Psychology
Example 1. A Group Session for Adolescents with Eating Disorder
Create a holding environment
Explore body image
Understand body language
Explore body boundaries
Expand movement vocabulary
Explore ‘comfort zone’
Expand ‘window of tolerance’
Strengthen sensory awareness
Invite creativity and play
Understanding difference between doing and being
Ribbon Creek: Photo by P. Moran
WHAT AND HOW?
Feeling of Safety
- Group Guidelines Body Warm Up
- Getting connected to feet, hands, lower back Sensory Awareness
- Different surfaces and materials in the space Orientation in the Space
- Different ways to move Movement Circle
- Sharing movement ideas and mirroring Movement Themes with Props
- E.g. fabric as a hiding place and playful connector Mindful Relaxation
- Letting go, feeling comfortable in own body Drawing and Verbal Sharing
- Giving a form, shape and words for the experience Closure
- Respect and Confidentiality
Example 2. A Creative Movement Workshop with a Theme of "Path to my Landscape"
Barrier Lake, AB
The workshop explores the shapes, tones and colours of our personal paths by combining movement, music, writing and drawing. The workshop begins with sharing of poetic text and choosing art cards embodying these texts. A gentle warm-up ensures personal body boundaries and leads the participants to different movement qualities initiated during the poetry reading and selection of art cards. Individual paths and landscapes are discovered using large pieces of fabric to move with. Writing and drawing is used to process the experience. The workshop finishes with a movement meditation. Note. Previous experience in any of the expressive art forms is not needed. Just curiosity about how movement and creative art forms can be used together.
Example 3. Introduction to Authentic Movement with a theme of "Moving Metaphors - Authentic Movement and Dream Work"
Authentic Movement is a discipline originally conceived as "movement in depth" by Mary Starks Whitehouse in the 1950's. Her studies at the C.G. Jung Institute led her to integrate her vast experience as a dancer and choreographer with depth psychology. The resulting practice is a discipline which has evoved greatly over the last 50 years and is now practiced widely, providing a point of creative, aesthetic and spiritual
inspiration for those individuals interested in evoking their active imagination. The discipline is applied indepth by therapists and somatic practitioners throughout North America and Europe.
Participants will be introduced to the guidelines and principles of the discipline in its pure form. This will create a solid foundation for further practice and allow participants to move deeply with their dream symbols and metaphors in this moving form of active imagination. Authentic Movement is practiced from each person's own movement repertoire and previous experience or specific skills are not required for participation - only openness to both a verbal and non-verbal group experience.
"Witnessing the unknown unfold"
Feeding the soul
with forgotten shapes
Receiving the feelings
with new rhythm
Moving the unknown
with tender passion
Waiting for the answer
with a road map to heaven
Resting the bones
with the eternal call of the earth
February 20, 2010
Workshop at Calgary
C.G. Jung Society
Testimonials: In-service workshops
"Thanks so much for all of your support and for that lovely group a few months ago - my picture hangs in my office to remind me of the creative energy within myself and my colleagues." -K.M., Counselor and Drama Therapist
"I think these types of movement sessions would be very useful for our clients. No particular population, many of our clients are marginalized and have experienced a great deal of stigma on regular basis so the movement group environment could create a place to help build their confidence to move safely & more freely within and outside the group".
-D.D., Counselor and Expressive Arts Therapist
Testimonials: University Teaching
"I learned that my body is lot more sacred than I have been treating it... It felt familiar to take some time in pure movement, and find the areas where I needed to move the most. It also felt familiar to talk about the feelings I had while moving with the group. It was new to add the drawing aspect with the movement. It felt they complimented each other very nicely. It was new to be completely honest with myself, not to put on a face, but to truly be myself and present." -K.M., Dancer
Testimonials from trainings in Finland:
"Thank you for your handouts. Their contents and assessment examples were very useful and can be applied in my work. The last slides about evaluation were especially valuable for me. As a visual person I have wondered how to gather together all that happens with a client, and now you offered a tool to make it visible in one look. I am thankful that I do not invent the wheel again."
-M-L.P. Clinic Director, Dance Therapist (in training)
"Kiitos handoutistasi. Kaikkine sisältöineen, tehtäväselostuksineen se on tosi käyttökelpoinen sinällään ja suuresti avuksi työssä. Erityisen hurmaantunut olin loppupuolen arviointislideihin. Visuaalisena ihmisenä olen miettinyt miten saisin yhteen kokoon sen kaiken mitä kaikkea asiakkaan kanssa tapahtuu, ja siinä sen nyt tarjosit, tavan tehdä se yhdellä silmäyksellä nähtäväksi. Kiitos ettei tarvitse alkaa keksimään pyörää uudelleen."
-M-L.P. Klinikan johtaja, tanssiterapia koulutuksessa
Anonymous Testimonials from Dance Movement Therapy Groups
Things that I learned about myself and my body…
"Feels good to wonder and explore for no reason. Usually I have a purpose for every movement."
"I can have fun with my body. My body is not just a tool, transportation or a static exhibit; I can enjoy being in it, regardless of what it looks like or whether I’m performing a specific function."
"These sessions I think help foster an appreciation of what our bodies can do for us which would help us see our bodies in a new way and be less destructive towards them."
"The sessions show us how to have fun with our bodies and move in different ways. New way of thinking."
Crazy Creek, BC