What is it?

During dance movement therapy (or dance therapy), you work closely and creatively with a therapist and use body movement and dance to help express yourself, and explore past experiences and problems.

This therapy can help put you in touch with emotions that you find to talk about in words and help make you feel more at ease with your body. As movement reflects your ways of thinking and feeling, if you change the way you move, you can also change the way you feel.

It’s especially useful if you have negative feelings about your body or the way you hold yourself, find physical contact with others a problem or feel detached from your surroundings. It can be used with children and adults of all ages and abilities – and you don’t even have to be a good dancer.

It can help if…

Dance movement therapy increases self-confidence, self-esteem and self-expression. It’s often used with people who have low self-esteem, body image issues, victims of violence and abuse, the bereaved, people with eating disorders and addictions, as well as those with severe emotional problems and depression. It can be useful for people with autism, learning difficulties and physical disabilities. It can also be used to unlock and develop creative potential and for personal growth.

What happens?

You can join a group or have one-to-one sessions. Your therapist will watch the way you move and help you express your thoughts and feelings through dance. He or she may move with you, follow your movement, and show you how to change the way you move in order to help make you feel better.

For more information, see the Association for Dance Movement Therapy.