Dance / Movement Therapy

Dance / movement therapy (DMT), sometimes called "movement psychotherapy," is the therapeutic use of movement and/or dance to better integrate the intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of the body for improved health and well-being. This therapeutic practice dates back to the 1940s and is grounded in the idea that changes in the body are closely tied to changes in the mind. DMT includes everything from yoga, to traditional dance, to simple stretching. It is often used to help support eating disorder recovery, improve body image, self-esteem, and develop communication skills. DMT is not just dancing, or just another form of exercise. A therapist specializing in DMT will be trained to read your movements, body language, and other nonverbal cues to address your specific needs. Think this approach might work for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s DMT specialists today. 

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As a dance teacher, I believe deeply in the profound connection between the mind and the body. In Western culture, we are often out of touch with our bodies. Athletes are taught to push through pain, and our culture is often so fast-paced, we don't take time to check in, to breathe deeply, and to locate where we hold our tension. We only get one, so how can we learn to listen, to cherish, and to nurture our own unique body?

— Rayna Milner, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Edmond, OK

Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, since 2016

— Erika Barrington, Licensed Professional Counselor

Throughout my life, I have held countless positions in the field of dance and movement. I have been a conscious dance facilitator for over a decade. Before I attended graduate school, I had a private somatic practice in which I engaged clients in embodiment sessions in a dance studio setting, often accompanied by music. I love incorporating movement into my somatic sessions with therapy clients.

— Liberty Flidais, Psychotherapist in SANTA CRUZ, CA

This is a creative and somatic method that invites in body awareness as well as expressive movement. Movement signifies vitality, change, adaptability, and is the opposite of stuckness and stagnation. When we mindfully allow thoughts and emotions to move, we can ride the waves of life with grace.

— Lauren Pass Erickson, Psychotherapist in Boulder, CO

We experience life with our bodies & eating disorders, while definitely mental disorders are also a fight between the body, mind, and soul. To only focus on the mind leaves much out of the recovery equation. Don’t get me wrong, I love talk therapy (I better since I'm a therapist), but I also believe there are times talking can only go so far. Yoga is a unique healing modality, offering individuals safe, supported, healing practices & tools to navigate the challenges of recovery.

— Tessa Gordon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

DMT is the therapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual, based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected. Movement is used as a catalyst, and a means into the person's inner feelings and a way to express, cope, interact with others, and integrate their experiences. Is it fancy? No! Movement&dance can be anything from breathing, posture, communicating, the way we hold ourselves.

— Kim Stevens, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

I trained as a Dance/Movement Therapist at Lesley University. Additionally, I completed an intensive 2 year training in the practice of Authentic Movement. I always offer my clients the option of movement during sessions. My approach to therapy is heavily inspired by the theoretical foundations of DMT: I recognize and celebrate strengths, meet each client in the present moment, and inherently trust in the wisdom of the body.

— Rachel Fernbach, Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

The tension, stress, and negative memories are often held physically in our bodies. Have you ever noticed when you are stressed you might have shoulder pain, a clenched jaw, or a headache? Yoga-informed therapy sessions may consist of talk therapy, mindfulness techniques, breath work, and yoga. Through this combination of techniques, you will gain the tools to regulate your nervous system, integrate your experiences in mind/body/spirit, and overcome the obstacles that are holding you back.

— Kristie Powell, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Seminole, FL

Dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement in therapy. Our bodies hold experiences we have had in life, and learning ways to become more aware of our felt experiences and increase our body awareness is important work. A session with a DMT might include noticing tension in the body as a “check-in” then exploring where this tension is from and how the body can release. This could be a skill you take into life to notice and cope with feelings throughout the day.

— Katie Wild, Mental Health Counselor in Tacoma, WA