Dance-Movement Therapy offers expressive movement experiences that engage body, mind and emotion. Drawing on the therapeutic elements inherent in dance, therapists aim at restoring balance and integration in the areas of physical function, sensory development, emotional expression and mental functioning.
Dance therapy emerged as a profession in the 1960s in USA, and gradually became internationally established, beginning in Australia in the 1970s. It is an allied health profession that combines the creative process and the study of human movement into a holistic approach that draws upon the elements inherent in dance. Programs are designed to meet specific goals and bring about therapeutic change.
Australia’s practitioners come from backgrounds in dance, social work or the health sciences that include, for example, teaching, physiotherapy, psychology, and nursing. They are required to undergo extensive dance-movement therapy training together with supervised clinical practice. They may be employed solely as dance-movement therapists, or integrate dance-movement therapy within the broader context of their work.
The work of Dance-Movement Therapists is applicable to children and adults in diverse settings and can be adapted to the needs of clients with a wide range of specific and non-specific disorders and disabilities.