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What is Dance Movement Therapy?

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

Moving is good for body, mind, and spirit. The benefits of movement are many—and obvious: you feel the benefits. The endorphins that make you feel better when you’re moving also help you concentrate and sleep better, and have more energy.

Because of the well-rounded benefits of physical movement in strengthening and supporting intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body, Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) has become a popular and successful therapeutic approach.

At Honey Lake Clinic, dance movement therapy is used in correlation with other forms of treatment and education, offering you a deeper awareness of yourself and a perfect environment in which to explore your feelings, behaviors and interactions with others.

What Is Dance Movement Therapy and How is it Different from Regular Dancing?

Defined, dance/movement therapy (DMT) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance as a part of treatment and recovery programs.

Also called movement psychotherapy, programs can range from traditional dancing like ballroom to more subtle forms of movement like yoga and stretching. A licensed DMT practitioner leads sessions within a therapeutic setting, using movement to help you achieve emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration.

Movement in a dance therapy setting is more than just exercise. The actions, fluidity, and movement are interpreted more like a language. Therapist respond to the movements, assessing body language, nonverbal behaviors and emotional expressions to address each client’s specific needs. Movement is the primary way dance therapists observe, evaluate, and implement therapeutic intervention.

Dance Therapy Techniques and Benefits

Dance therapists may utilize a number of different dance and movement activities and techniques in addressing your needs. A couple of examples include—

Mirroring. Matching and echoing movements can show empathy and validate what you are feeling. A therapist may mirror your movements, or have participants mirror for one another, allowing each person to see a reflection of themselves.

Movement Metaphors. Using a movement metaphor or prop can help you physically and expressively demonstrate a therapeutic challenge or achievement. For example: a therapist may give a participant a white flag to celebrate emotional surrender.

Important skills can be acquired during the dance movement therapy process. Here is a short list of some of those skills—

  • Learning how to develop and trust your ability to be present empathetically.
  • Being able to respond authentically and truthfully.
  • Learning how to translate nonverbal movements into insights that can be used in recovery.

Feelings and life experiences live inside your body and can get trapped there. The body can be the key to unlocking profound levels of healing. DMT is not a dance class. It is a therapeutic exposure that can be used in conjunction with other therapies to help access genuine, long lasting change.

Dance movement therapy is another example of the unique treatment options available at Honey Lake Clinic which enable us to help you address their health across all three spheres—spirit, mind and body—offering you the greatest potential for wholeness and transformative growth.

At Honey Lake, we’re committed to providing you with compassionate care and the practical equipping necessary to significantly improve the condition which brought you to our program. A faith-informed model, experienced staff, licensed professional caregivers, individualized treatment—all in a beautiful and tranquil 1300-acre lakeside setting—we’re here for you.

Give us a call today. Honey Lake Clinic (888) 837-6577 email or visit