Movement Psychotherapy in nature

In this article I am going to give you a quick overview of Movement Psychotherapy, including:

  • The beliefs that Movement Psychotherapy is founded upon, 
  • Who it is for,
  • The benefits of a Movement Psychotherapy session,
  • What a Movement Psychotherapy session might look like,
  • Whether you need any dance training to participate,
  • And what to do, if you would like to give Movement Psychotherapy a go

The foundations

As a movement psychotherapist, I believe that how we move has a direct impact on how we feel and operate in life and therefore, by changing the way we move, we can adjust and change the way we feel, think and function. 

I also believe that our movements are expressive and an instrument for communication that can be fine tuned. 

In my experience our body has lots to say if we give it some space to do so and what it has to say might be surprising, as it does not always align with what our mind has to say.

Who is it for?

Movement Psychotherapy provides an opportunity for you if you wish to develop your fullest productive and creative potential. 

I see many clients that use Movement Therapy to support their personal development by enhancing personal communication skills, self-exploration, and self-understanding.

Clients I work with come from various backgrounds and at times bring a range of struggles with them that they untangle and work through, including the impact of trauma or having to deal with loss, transition or change in their lives.

Some feelings, memories, and experiences are difficult to put into words –

but the body can be expressive without the need to articulate them verbally.

Benefits of Movement Psychotherapy

The Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy states that ‘The focus on the moving body and non-verbal phenomena means that Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) can support

  • an increase in self-awareness, self-esteem, self-confidence, personal autonomy, and self-expression through the integration of emotional, cognitive, physical, and social aspects of self
  • discovery of inner resources through contained creative movement play
  • the development of tools with which to express or manage overwhelming feelings or thoughts
  • expansion of resources and skills in communication and social interaction
  • trust within relationships through the opportunity to test the impact of self on others in a safe and contained environment
  • space to test the relationship between inner and outer reality and opportunity to increase and rehearse adaptive coping behaviours
  • the potential for physical, emotional, and cognitive shifts as DMP promotes experiencing links between actions, feelings, and thoughts
  • exploration of relational and developmental issues arising from early infancy through to older age

What does a Movement Psychotherapy session look like

Working as Movement Psychotherapist, I use the body movements and the clients reflections as a first port of call to ascertain what is actually going on for a client. Sometimes our mind thinks it is one thing – but the body might tell us it is quite another.

No two sessions are alike, however there are certain elements that may take place. 

  • A verbal check-in, 
  • Exercise to connect with the body, 
  • Movement meditation (not always) – either guided, or not depending on the client and their preferences
  • Movement and thought experimentation
  • Reflection (this can take on various forms, verbal, movement based, creative, art based, writing)

I am a pragmatist and work intuitively to select the tools from my extensive toolbox that are needed to help a client in the moment. 

Do I need dance skills or dance training?

My clients do not require dance skills or training (and rarely do have these or have had these). The focus is on the therapeutic process.

Want to give it a go?

Finally, if you are interested in working with me please book an appointment here to chat further about how I might be able to help you and what our sessions together might look like or if you would like to attend a free Ground Yourself Workshop click here.

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