Dance Therapy Activities
Because of the well-known 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?
Defined, dance/movement therapy (DMT) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance as a part of treatment and recovery programs. A licensed DMT practitioner leads sessions within a therapeutic setting, using movement to help you achieve emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration.
Dance Therapy Activities and Benefits
Dance therapists may utilize a number of different dance and movement activities and techniques in addressing your needs. Licensed and experienced practitioners may incorporate many and diverse elements. Some examples include—
Travel – Participants are encouraged to move across a room in any manner they choose in relation to a prompt the leader provides. The leader might say, “Move across the room as you would if you felt good about yourself internally.” The next round the leader might amend the instruction: “Move across the room as you would if you felt good about yourself physically.” Another round might explore moving “as if you are happy” or “as if you’ve just received bad news” or “as if you feel like you’ve done something wrong” or “as if you’ve just received an award.”
Mirror – Similar to travel, this activity allows participants the opportunity to observe their movements in full length mirrors. As the leader provides movement prompts, you’re able to watch your body’s response.
Mirroring – Matching and echoing movements can show empathy and validate feelings. A therapist may mirror your movements, or have participants mirror for one another, allowing each person to see a reflection of themselves.
Life’s Journey – A leader may ask you to depict your life’s journey, from birth to where you want to be in the future in a series of movements. You’ll be asked to physically demonstrate your development through life’s stages. Your childhood—what did it look like? Adolescence? Young adult life? Today? Tomorrow?
Simon Says – Likely a movement-based activity you played many times as a child, Simon Says allows a client to concentrate on and follow simple instructions—even mimic the leader’s movements—as instructed with the words “Simon says” or refrain from moving when those words of invite are omitted.
Movement Metaphors – Using a movement metaphor or prop can help you physically and expressively demonstrate a therapeutic challenge or achievement. Your therapist may present you with metaphors or props to incorporate into movement.
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 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.