What is Movement Therapy?
Movement is life, life is movement. If you don’t believe it, just try holding completely still for a minute. Impossible. Movement is a human need. Breath is movement. Our bodies express our interstate all the time. We know intuitively if someone is sad or angry. How? We are picking up the person’s body language and movement. Natalie Rogers
Perhaps the easiest way to explain movement therapy is a moving mindfulness in a therapeutic setting. Dance and movement therapy (DMT) is not a new modality. It has been around since 1940’s.
The fact that dance/movement therapists are immersed in the language of the body, rather than focusing solely on the verbal, lends characteristics to their work that set it apart from other types of therapy. The bias of Western culture for cognitive, verbal processing and the proliferation of body-oriented therapies of recent years might cause some to think of DMT as an “alternative” therapy. But the origins and practice of DMT have more in common with psychodynamic psychotherapies than with alternative therapies and although frequently classified as adjunct therapy, DMT was argued to be appropriate primary therapy some years ago. Robyn Flaum Cruz. Ph.D ADTR
At Maria Hull Noosa Counselling the Movement Therapy class is structured and has some unstructured elements. The class size is small and limited to 5 participants at a time. Each class runs for 1 hour. There are 4 parts to the class which include,
Participants are guided through the 4 parts of the session. Movement and breath are incorporated throughout the class. There is no need to have any formal dance, yoga or meditation knowledge. The class is developed to be suitable for anyone.
Movement Therapy class is for anyone wanting to heal emotional wounds, anyone wanting to gain understanding of feelings or not feeling, anyone wanting a greater insight to themselves, anyone who wants to try something different.
While psychodynamic psychotherapy has been around for some time another term has come to the forefront through neuropsychotherapy and interpersonal neurobiology called a ‘bottom up’ approach. Movement Therapy utilises this approach. The familiar mental health model has closely followed the medical model. This has led mental health therapies from talking and relational therapies (a bottom up approach) to a top down approach including electro, genetic, cognitive to chemical interventions. Dr Dan Siegel and Dr Stephen Porges are part of the new wave of researches leading the way to supporting mental health. A bottom-up approach includes the relational, emotional and nervous system incorporating the body aspect.
Sensation may be as bottom-up as we get. Since we live in a body, our within-mind experience is shaped by the physical apparatus that lets us take in energy flow from the outside world.
In some ways, bottom-up, within-mind experiences can be considered as being as close to the present as physically possible, in the literal meaning of it being ‘pre-sensed.” Daniel J Siegel, MD
The experience will be distinctive for everyone. We all have a unique set of experiences and even if we shared a similar experience the internal meaning and memory may be different.
The future of interpersonal neurobiology is in understanding that our nervous system expands throughout our entire body and is functionally responding to the interactions with other human beings as well. I see the future of interpersonal neurobiology as leading to a greater understanding of how social interaction and social support, through a therapist, a family member, or a friend, can facilitate physical and mental health. Stephen W. Porges
Maria Hull has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts – Dance, Masters in Counselling and Graduate Diploma in Education. Her experience as a counsellor and recent studies into neuropsychotherapy has helped her realise how beneficial movement therapy could be for clients suffering depression, anxiety, panic attacks and who have experienced trauma in their lives.
At best Movement Therapy is an internal journey of exploration via movement. Self discovery is what helps us gain meaning and insight. When we are given the support to make internal connections with our own mind it also supports the integrity of the person. This is the pathway for holistic mental health and the health of the family, community and hopefully beyond!
The expressive arts – including movement, art, writing, sound, music, meditation, and imagery – lead us into the unconscious. This often allows us to express previously unknown facets of ourselves, thus bringing to light new information and awareness. Natalie Rogers
Classes are now available in Noosa every Friday and Thursday.
Bookings are essential – Movement Therapy Classes Book here
2 thoughts on “What is Movement Therapy?”
I love DMT! I wish I lived in Noosa as your classes sound great!
Thanks @thetruthaboutmentalhealth – I wish you lived here too to join us!
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