Movement and Expressive Therapy
Movement is our first language. As infants we use our bodies to explore the world, communicate our needs and to relate to others. In therapy, I use movement to help my clients expand their understanding and relationship with themselves in order to heal and grow.
Many clients are hesitant about dance/movement therapy, because they don’t think they are good dancers. While some clients may choose to dance in the traditional sense in session, in my work I use simple movements, breathing, body scans and movement interventions.
I use movement as a language and to educate which starts with helping clients connect to the body. If a client is talking about her anxiety and a situation where she was very anxious, I may pause and ask that she notice what is happening in her body as she describes her anxiety. I would prompt her to take a deep breath and describe the feeling and where it is felt. This would begin to increase her body awareness and develop a starting place for us to work in helping manage her anxiety by allowing her to develop a feedback loop between her thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.
Each client’s needs and relationship to her body is different as is each person’s comfort level. I begin where the client is and offer interventions appropriate to the treatment. Some clients want to work primarily in movement to work through issues such as trauma, boundaries, and self-esteem. Some clients want help to manage anxiety, depression, and stress and find that being able to engage the body as well as the mind helps tremendously in healing.
In our therapy sessions I may use other expressive interventions such as writing and art making to help explore issues that may come up in treatment sessions.
If a client has a particular interest in one form of expression I am happy to help develop that as appropriate in our work together.