Dance Movement Therapy
In Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) sessions for children, we explore various movement, imaginative plays, sounds, drawings and any creative expressions that child might engage in. DMP focuses on child’s imagination and play as it can unfold untold inner unconscious. Dance Therapist enter the world of the child and follows the child’s lead. Play is so essential for children as that is their language and DMP’s props such as parachute, balls, ribbons are their words (G. Laudreth). For example, child can project safely their feelings (e.g. anger and sadness) into soft toys like a parrot. Child can express thoughts, feelings, experiences and behaviours through play.
Movement in play can enable child to gain a sense of balance and control. The therapist will develop a safe space for child and build a relationship of trust. Movement and play allow children to re-enact frightening real life events if child experiences trauma or anxiety. The re-enactment is important because it provides a way for children to control in fantasy what is unmanageable in reality.
For young children, I might offer a structured session as sometime the child needs a guidance. There is a clear beginning and ending. The session may start with a hello movement and ends with breathing. In the middle, child may have choices of doing 'dance', 'play' or 'my own idea'. Initially, child is guided to the structured session, but once he/she gets used to being in the room and being with me, child may start choosing what he/she prefers to do. However, as a psychodynamic psychotherapist, I would follow the child’s lead in sessions and see what would be unfolded while bearing the goals of the therapy in mind. The NDIS goals will be in line with therapeutic goals that would be informed parents/carers after the assessment. Goals may be evolved with discussions with parents.