Dance Therapy as a healing intervention
19th March, 20080 Comments
Creativty is at the core of all human beings, and everyday we create meaning and expression in various ways...even if we don't realise it.
Sometimes our emotions become supressed as they are too painful to access, or maybe because of fear from a past reaction we have had from a significant person..eg Mother or Father.
Some things can be so painful or arouse such fear that they are pushed into the unconcious. However, we may find ourselves reacting or behaving in ways that are not congruent with our true self.
Sometimes we are even unable to speak about the conflict within us, or the sense that something is wrong. We may have no idea why we are at dis-ease with ourselves, and consequently we sometimes develop literal 'diseases' because of this. Or maybe we develop tension in our bodies. Or we express ourselves in some other way...for example by an eating disorder or disordered eating.Or an addiction...and so on.
Many emotional and psychological conditions arise from ' bottling things up ', and not being able to give expression to those angers and griefs, doubts and fears etc, that we all suffer from time to time. Among the undesirable consequences of ' bottling thins up ', we can include aggression, frustration, shyness, fear, introversion, to name but a few.
Dance has been common to man throughout the ages. Our western society has lost much of the element of dance as a social interaction or spiritual expression.
A child naturally 'dances' in many ways. But then comes an age when we feel it no longer acceptable to skip along or run and leap.
Dance involves much more than the body..it involves the soul, the spirit.
On a very basic level, dance therapy can allow a simple release...a release of the body after years of not 'dancing', of not expressing through our bodies...as well as a release of endorphins.
On a deeper, more complex level, dance and dance therapy can work to express emotions and responses that are beyond words.It can also put us in touch wirth emotions that we have long supressed, and which have manifest in our bodies and behaviours much unawares to us.
In group dance therapy, we can also explore our reactions to others, that may relate to an object relation in our lives, such as a Mother or Father.
In individual dance therapy we can explore deeply those long supressed emotions, as well as the ones that are more in the concious and preconcious.A way forward can then be explored and adopted. This may be worked out in the dance therapy sseeions, or it may merit meeting with a Pyschotherapist or other professional.
Dance therapy is not only for the able - bodied. Dance therapy works with whatever movement is available. It can also work on a level of exploring issues around limited movement.
Dance Movement therapy is also complimentary to the other arts therapies, and often art, poetry, music, dramatic script etc can be used as stimuli in dance therapy.
Related articles from our experts
Paul HenryAugust 17th, 2017
Sian Maman BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy MBACPAugust 16th, 2017
Joan Doherty Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist, UKCPAugust 15th, 2017
Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
Keeley Townsend BA (Hons), Ad.Dip.CP with Distinction, MNCS (Acc)December 14th, 2009
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.