Dance Therapy Essay

1852 WordsApr 21, 20058 Pages
Dance therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses movement to further the social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development of the individual. Dance therapists work with people who have many kinds of emotional problems, intellectual deficits, and life-threatening illnesses. They are employed in psychiatric hospitals, day care centers, mental health centers, prisons, special schools, and private practice. They work with people of all ages in both group and individual therapy. Some also engage in research. Dance therapists try to help people develop communication skills, a positive self-image, and emotional stability. Origins Dance therapy began as a profession in the 1940s with the work of Marian Chace. A modern dancer, she…show more content…
Dance therapy is suitable even for people who are not accomplished dancers, and may even be good for those who are clumsy on the dance floor. The emphasis in dance therapy is on free movement, not restrictive steps, and expressing one's true emotions. Children who cannot master difficult dances or can't sit still for traditional psychotherapy often benefit from free-flowing dance therapy. Even older people who cannot move well or are confined to wheelchairs can participate in dance therapy. All they need to do is move in some way to the rhythm of the music. Dance therapy can be useful in a one-on-one situation, where the therapist works with only one patient to provide a safe place to express emotions. Group classes can help provide emotional support, enhanced communication skills, and appropriate physical boundaries (a skill that is vital for sexual abuse victims). Description There are currently more than 1,200 dance therapists in 46 states in the United Sates and in 29 foreign countries. Like other mental health professionals, they use a wide range of techniques to help their patients. Some of the major "schools of thought" in dance therapy include the Freudian approach, Jungian technique, and object relations orientation. Many therapists, however, do not ascribe to just one school, but use techniques from various types of dance therapy. The authentic movement technique is derived from the Jungian method of analysis in which people
Open Document