Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dance Therapy

The American Dance Therapy Association is one of many contributors to the field of dance therapy. The ADTA is one of the leading pioneers in the use of dance to heal not only physically, but mentally and psychologically as well. Separate from any other medical healing theories, dance therapy is based on the ideal that the mind, body, and spirit is interconnected in every way. "Healing Through Movement" has been used in rehabilitation, day cares, nursing homes, medical hospitals, and disease prevention settings. Dance Therapy focuses on the therapeutic core movements used in these various settings either individually, in couples, or in families.

To the sceptic, dance therapy may seem an unreliable source of healing any real medical issues, the ADTA in particular has been recognized by the Department of Heath and Human Services and has been especially helpful in the improvement of abilities in certain neurologically damaged patients. The ADTA has been certified by several Federal Civil Service Certifications and has also been rewarded with several Federal Medical Research grants.

The process to become a R-DMT (Registered Dance Movement Therapist) requires a level of competency in several areas of dance but also undergraduate coursework in dance and psychology areas of study as well as a degree at the Master's level. There are several institutions of higher education that can help one interested in pursuing this type of training. Working with children also has specific training requirements.

As a dancer for 16+ years, I can provide personal testimony to the healing powers of dance not only physically but psychologically. Dance therapy can be helpful to the skilled dancer as well as those who have never danced a minute in their life. Using dance as a psychotherapeutic power to integrate members of therapy emotionally, physically, socially, and cognitively. The use of dance as a universal way to unite members of a community is also an important aspect of the dance/movement therapy philosophy.


1 comment:

  1. I love this idea of treating a person in all aspects- physically and mentally. Studies have proven that people who have a more positive mindset have faster healing/better outcomes. I feel like that is exactly what dance provides- a combination of physical fitness and a positive outlet to get away from a somewhat depressing situation that "feeling under the weather" can bring about.

    I had heard about music therapy before; it is a field that my best friend is studying to go into. I think it is great that music has been taken a step further to better treat the physical aspect of the patient. Sick or not, a little physical fitness is beneficial to everyone's health; and what a fun way this program provides.


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