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Dance Movement Psychotherapy

Dance Movement Psychotherapy

initial assessment session, individual & group therapy


All photography provided by Man Yi Tsang & WAM

What is Dance Movement Psychotherapy / Dance Therapy (DMP)?

DMP is an alternative health care treatment. It focuses on the use of dance and body movement to support clients to integrate emotional, cognitive, physical, social and spiritual aspects of themselves. During the therapeutic process, therapist and clients will develop trust-relationship and confidentiality agreement. That will help creating a safe and comfortable environment for the therapy. The basic goals for DMP is to support client to explore, recognise and express ‘who I am’. In the meantime, interpersonal skills will be improved through learning about the experience of interacting with therapist or other group members.

By means of dance and simple movement, DMP can help individual to reflect how he/she feels, thinks and relates to others. Sometimes words may not be able to fully express one’s emotions and experience. Therapist often makes use of symbolic movement and images to support a client to explore feelings and thoughts. In particular, the use of symbolism and non-directive play allows a client to get in touch with unconscious feelings and thoughts. The process of non-directive exploration provides a safe environment for a client to connect with body and mind. 

According to the needs of every client, different kinds of props, imageries, music, and art materials will be used to support a client to tell a story about her/himself. The use of different elements can help to stimulate the exploration in movement, and to enhance interaction between group members.

Therapist may provide simple movement intervention as to help clients to feel secure, comfortable and create a relaxing atmosphere. Although movement intervention will be applied during the therapy process, it does not request client to learn any dance technique.

Individual / Group Therapy

Participating in individual therapy and group therapy will have different experience and outcome. Every individual can explore his/her own needs with therapist to see whether individual or group therapy would be more helpful. Before starting an Individual or group session, an Initial Assessment Session is required. 

Initial Assessment Session

This is a session for an individual to discover if he/she feels safe and comfortable with the therapist. He / She can share concerns and ask questions. The therapist and the potential client will clarify confidentiality together and assess if the approach of the therapist can support the individual to look for alternative ways to cope with own issues.

Individual Therapy

In individual session, client will establish and develop a trust-relationship with therapist. Client can deeply explore issues that draw attention to her/himself. I offer individual session for 1 hour or 1.5 hours depending on client’s needs.

Group Therapy

In DMP group therapy, participants will establish and develop trust-relationship with therapist, as well as with other group members. Every participants share responsibilities and leadership within the group. This helps to enhance a sense of belonging, self-confident and leadership skill. A collective theme will be developed in each session. Depending on each participant’s personal needs, they can explore the collective theme with their own pace and means. Every participant share the learning process with each other and learn from each other. Minimum of 4 people and maximum of 10 people can form a group. The number of participants is depending on the needs of the group

DMP sessions for different people

I provide Dance Movement Psychotherapy to child and adolescent (with)

  • emotional issues

  • anger issues

  • low self-esteem

  • autism and autistic spectrum disorders

  • learning difficulties

  • developmental delay

  • conversion disorder

  • who seems to lack of motivation/energy in class

  • who isolates him/herself from peers

Dance Therapy can support child and adolescent to find ways to cope with their emotions and challenging behaviours. The emphasis on non-verbal interaction in Dance Therapy can support them to express their emotions in a safe ways, enhance their embodied-awareness and create contact with others. It is a journey of exploring own identity. The exploration can help them to enhance their self-esteem. It stimulates their curiosity and increases the ability to learn, to concentrate and to interact with peer groups.

I provide Dance Movement Psychotherapy to adult and elderly person who

  • is under a lot of stress

  • notices tension and pain in the body

  • feels lack of motivation/enthusiasm in life

  • experiences a burn-out in life

  • experiences anxieties

  • experiences psycho-somatic symptoms

  • experiences Parkinson’s diseases,

  • experiences dementia

  • experiences Acquired Brain Injury

  • experiences physical limitation and would like to look for ways to maintain or improve wellbeing

  • would like to increase the body & mind awareness

  • would like to discover more about inner-self

  • would like to express emotions through dance & movement

During the therapy, clients will be guided to enhance the awareness of the tension and pain in the body. The process helps clients to make connection with their own body and mind. Together with the therapist, clients can explore their needs and ways to improve their physical and psychological health in a playful way through the use of props, dance and creative movement.