Dance/Movement Therapy in Social Work

So dance/movement therapy is the psycho-therapeutic use of movement to integrate the whole person. And when we talk about movement, we’re talking about functional movement, our gestures, our posture, the way we walk, as well as creative
movement. You don’t have to go into dance/movement therapy and be able to dance. Okay–you can walk around the room, there are all kinds of movements and things that we do that are just normal every-day movement that we than explore. Dance therapy is based on three premises. Premise number one is how we hold our body reflects our personality, reflects how we feel, and if you think about how you move and hold your body on a day when you are overwhelmed, anxious–what kinds of things happen with your body? Is your breathing nice and easy? Is it faster, is it more up in the chest? Are your gestures a little more agitated?
What about a day when you don’t feel well? Are you walking with a bounce in your walk, or are you more tended to be concaved, or kind of hanging over, a little bit droopy, heavy?
So the way that we hold ourself, the way that we move reflects how we feel. Through a relationship with a therapist we work on making changes in our range of movement. And changes on a body level will impact changes in personality, and in our feelings. In our way of interacting. So those are kind of the three premises. One thing that’s really important to understand is going into dance/movement therapy sessions does not have to do with learning to dance.
You’re not going in and learning a dance technique. You’re exploring your inner process through
your body expression. And how that happens is different for each person. So I thought I would show you a brief five minute DVD that will give you an introduction. And then you have–I did different colors–handouts, so I could refer to them. The white handout gives you
an introduction to dance therapy. I decided why ready this to you, why go over everything, when it is right on the sheet. It talks about the credentials you need, the populations
that we work with. And so that’s there for you to read. We’re generally in anywhere from six to eight schools a year. So right now we’re in four middle schools and two–I mean, two middle schools and four elemntary schools and probably will have another one or two
added in. Mmhmm, yea? (Audience Member: Is there a good way to get children that are hospitalized in like an inpatient psychiatric setting, connected with your services? Or for you to connect with the folks over at the child’s psychiatric unit?) While they’re in the hospital, to be seen? (Audience: I was thinking more outpatient procedure.) Yeah, to call Hancock center and ask. (Audience: Do you know, have you done any work with inpatient in psychiatric homes?) We have had some of our clients go into inpatient and then come out
and work with them. Yeah? (Audience: What is the age you start working with kids? Is there a minimum?) No, the child you saw in the very begining of the video was just turning two, and we have individuals that come to the center–we had somebody who was 90 come in. So kind of everywhere in between. Right now we have a…a community dance group for seniors going on. So it is not dance therapy, but it’s movement geared towards wellness. Yeah? (Audience: So you talked a lot about going into schools, but have you ever gone into like long-term care facilities? Or–I know that you said you have the senior dance group, but I was just wondering if that’s something you’ve done.) The center hasn’t really gone into long-term care facilities, but dance therapists do do that. We would just have to have a connection for that. We’re more an outpatient center. We go to group homes and work with clients who are developmentally delayed Dance therapists work with pretty much all populations So there are dance therapists working in hospitals, particularly pediatric oncology. But also other areas of the hospital. You also have to have the training, I forgot the name of the training you have to have to work in a hospital Question: Have you ever working in a hospice setting? Personally, I haven’t. But dance therapists have Dance therapists are very helpful working on imagery. An example. Not necessarily hospice But let’s say you have somebody in a hospital who can’t move very much And you would think “well how are you gonna move with them?” “How are you gonna do dance movement therapy?” But they might be lying in their bed and you are going to, as a therapist you are going to embody their pain And so they direct you. And it might even be just the movement of a finger, it might be the tapping of a drum that directs you to move more intensely, larger, smaller, you work that out with the person. And then, so you embody the pain and then together you work out a way that you resolve that pain. And it’s pretty amazing how much that helps. Um, Or you might move very gently with a scarf, with a client being able to hold onto the scarf, the patient being able to hold onto the scarf and you move together with them. So that would be hospital, thing. I’m gonna give you, um, kind of a scenario of the session that happened, a vignette of a session that happened with me It was our first session, just to give you more of a picture of what might happen in a dance therapy session. This was an in school group. Most of my work, at this- my personal work- there are eight dance therapists that work at Hancock Center so we work with lots of different populations, but most of my work is either with children or families or parent training So that’s just my personal work right now Um, this was our first session and it was four children, kindergarten children, all who had violence in the home And I can’t exactly remember how we started except that we started right away with movement. We were moving around the room in different ways kind of doing a body warm-up, giving me a chance cause it was our first session, giving me a chance to assess how they move, whether they could stop when I needed them to stop and things like that The kids enjoyed the warm-up and it was time to sit down and I had carpet squares for them to sit on One of the children in the group had tantrums, three-four times a day, that required three-four staff to carry him out of the classroom. And as I asked the children to sit down on their carpet squares, this boy, I could see, was getting ready to have a tantrum He started to get agitated, you could see tension in his shoulders, his face was getting mad- was tensing up and scrunching up I figured I had about ten seconds to make an intervention before he was a full blown temper tantrum and once a kid is in a full blown temper tantrum you can’t make, really an intervention until they’ve finished their tantrum. So I immediately got a little bit closer to him and said “Wow, you look like you did not want to stop that activity. You look like that made you really mad” “You know, is that true?” And he nodded his head I said “Well I’m so glad you could share that with me” And he looked at me liked I was crazy, no one in his entire life had ever said they were glad that he was angry But I truly was because our group was about sharing feelings. And here he had an authentic feeling and if I wasn’t ready to embrace that first expression of an authentic feeling, it would take me ages maybe to get the group to really get going on any kind of deeper level So we kind of got a little closer as a group into a circle and I said “You know, anger is a good feeling. It’s a feeling that tells us we don’t like something, that we’re upset about something” What we do with that anger is a different story, there are good ways or positive ways or safe ways to express anger and there are unsafe ways. Can anybody come up with a safe way to express your anger? So the kids came up with the idea of stamping their feet So we got up and we’re- we all- we were in an auditorium on a stage with the curtains drawn so it was kind of our little private space But it was a wooden stage and when- we made good echoing sounds as we stomped our feet. So we’re stomping around the stage, slashing our hands like this going “No! No! Stop!” And after awhile, a few times of doing this the kids started giggling because it was funny that they were getting to shout in the school and yell and stomp and really express themselves. And then, you know, after we did that for a little while we sat down and we talked about, you know how did they feel then? All of them felt like they had expressed strong feelings and they were now calm And I said “You know, what about in class? Do you think if you got mad in class it would be okay for you to stomp around in class and yell like that?” And they all giggled. And said “No.” I mean they all knew that it wasn’t an appropriate behavior. So we said “So this is a place, this is a group where all your feelings are okay and we can always explore and find safe ways that are active to express our feelings” But when we go in class we have to find a way when we get mad to get ourselves calm. So we talked about, you know, what’s the process of here you are, mad. You know, what happens when you’re mad? Shoulders tend to go up, you might have fists, you’re tense in your body. So I said, “what would happen if we started on one side of the room -I’m on a stage here we go- “One side of the room at a time, by the time we got to the other side, you would get calm” “What are some of the things you might have to do?” So they talked about changing their breathing. They talked about maybe shaking out some of the agitation that they felt So I asked each child, one at a time, to try starting mad and moving across the stage and by the time they got to the other side Being calm, ready to go to class. Now this is a hard thing for kindergartners to do and this was our first day. So I wasn’t sure what I was going to get So the first three kids started. They were all like this. So there was no real modulation, right? The kid that had the temper tantrums all the time That needed to be carried out of the classroom He started like this. So he actually changed his breathing, let go of fists, let his shoulders relax, he actually showed modulation as he walked across. What did that tell me? What did that tell me, do you think? He had some body awareness. He had a strength that allowed him to do some modulation. Didn’t mean he could control himself when he got into a tantrum. But with support, he actually had some ability to modulate. Dance movement therapy is strength based. We’re looking for what- what’re some things peoples have- our clients have that will enable them to work through issues. So as opposed to focusing on all the problems they have, we’re looking for what strengths do they have and what does that give them? Well from then on, every time that child saw me in the school. He’d run up to me, “Is this the day I get to be mad with you?” Because this was the first time somebody had acknowledged the feeling, allowed him to have a safe way to express it, have fun with it, and look at “How can I be in control in the classroom?” And then, you know, by about half way through the year, his tantrums really started to dissipate in the classroom. He didn’t need to be carried out of the room anymore, the frequency had decreased, the intensity had decreased, because he now had a place to express this safely. So that’s a vignette working with kids with trauma So, what’d I’d like to do right now is talk about -let’s see what color form this is-another program that we do in the schools, which is the violence prevention program. And that’s on your blue sheet This is an outline of the curriculum- I’m not gonna go over the whole outline- but this is a curriculum I developed It’s published into a book set, it has some research behind it, and DVDs, training DVDs, that go along with it called “Disarming the Playground” The curriculum I developed because one of the schools I was in had some classrooms where so many children were angry that the teachers didn’t know what to do with the class And so the gym teacher asks me “Would you mind coming in and working with this class? I can’t even get them to go cooperative games, I’m not sure what to do” So I go, I hadn’t worked with an entire classroom before, unless they were full special-ed class, cause I had worked at a center for autism And, um, said “Sure, I”ll come in and work with with them” And kind of through my work with the classroom, I started to work with other classes and I started to get a sense of “What are some skills we have to offer?”- well one of the things I worked on with this first classroom was, there were three or four kids in there who were very angry And when they got angry, when they started acting out the rest of the class kind of followed suit. So the whole class would lose control So one of my skills- one of my goals coming in- was to help the rest of the class to learn to ignore distractions and stay focused. So one class I worked with doing this had some kids with emotional issues in the class and when the group that was ignoring provocation as they were ignoring, some of the kids with emotional problems hit the kids that were ignoring. And that started me thinking, well you know, when is it safe to ignore and when isn’t it safe to ignore and how do we teach the kids to be aware of the difference between those two things And that started me thinking about how there are body skills that individuals can have that would help them prevent abuse or prevent bullying or prevent violence. So my curriculum started out as an abuse prevention curriculum that coordinated the SAVE curriculum Have any of you heard of the SAVE curriculum that’s used in the schools, Student Anti-victimization Education, And so I looked at the different concepts they were teaching and I thought about, “well, what are some of the body skills, such as self-assertion, the ability to look and appear strong even if you’re scared” The ability to redirect aggression or tense situations so you change the dynamic. The ability to be aware of space, when is somebody getting too close and when are you uncomfortable and how do you find your own space and how do you protect your own space Self-regulation. I would guess, how many of you are in clinical social work? So I’d imagine when you work with clients self-regulation is a pretty big issue. Empathy. The ability to empathize works as a stop-guard to violence. What stops parents from beating their kids? Anybody? What do you think stops them? Okay so a parent who’s more well put together is gonna think about “If I do this to my children, I’m gonna cause them pain, this might not be good for them” And it may stop them, it acts as a stop-guard There are parents who do it because they don’t want to get reported to child services. Okay, I consider that kind of a lower level, but as long -you know- if it stops them that’s okay. But really what you’re working on is you want parents to feel “What pain am I gonna cause if I respond this way?” Alright? So empathy is a very- with sex offenders- one of the things in treatment programs that they try to do is to get them to understand what pain they cause their victims. And what pain they themselves have had if they’ve experienced abuse So empathy is a really important skill to have and it goes along with, how do you think you work with empathy? How do you think people develop empathy? Anybody, take a guess? You have a little baby, so you have the baby, you’re putting yourself in the baby’s situation And how would you show that, do you think, on a body level? You’re looking at a baby and the baby goes “Ah dadadadada” What do you do? You do the same. You mirror them, okay? If you’re taking care of a baby and the baby’s crying a lot, intensely, do you pick up the baby and stroke the baby and go “Oh it’s okay, settle down.” Is that something you think you would do? Or would you bounce the baby? Which do you think? So you’re talking in a soothing way, but you right away took them, So why do you think you might bounce? Haha okay the baby stops crying. But one of the reasons the baby stops crying is if you bounce and match the baby’s rhythm. If the baby is screaming and you’re just rubbing the baby’s back going, “Oh shh, it’s okay” They don’t hear you. They don’t feel the light touch They’re not gonna feel you’re presence till you match them You have to go where they are, not screaming, but intensity level with your body. Then they’re gonna feel that in their body, you’re with them And when you’re with them, then the stroking and the soothing voice come in and start to come through to them. So this idea of empathy starts with attunement. And all good therapists, verbal therapists, non verbal therapists, art therapists, dance movement therapists, they all start with making a connection with their clients by attuning to them. They did frame by frame analysis of some very good verbal therapists and what they noticed was when their client leaned forward, a couple of frames later, the therapist leaned forward Client crossed one leg over the other, couple of frames later, therapist. They were doing it unconsciously . But that idea that the therapist matched some quality of what their client was doing. So attunement is a really important thing Of course, another major goal is anger management. So anger management I think goes a long way with self-regulation And part of that self-regulation is like when you have the baby screaming, how do you match, how did I up to match that child who was about to have an angry temper tantrum Was “Wow” I didn’t start with a dynamic, I didn’t start real quietly with “Oh, you know, are you mad? Oh I’m so sorry” in a low voice. I matched his building tension with “Wow! You know, you didn’t want to stop that activity, did you?” You know, “You look like you’re angry.” Now if I’d had more time, I wouldn’t have assigned the feeling, I would’ve asked the question. “Wow, what’s going on for you right now?” And I would’ve elicited it from him, but I didn’t feel like I had enough time to do the eliciting. I thought I would lose him. So I put out a feeling and checked in with him So I would like to show you, or teach you, one of the techniques for self-regulation. And before- that’s based on the neuro-physiology of the stress and relaxation response Marsha, I’m gonna put two fingers on your wrist and I’m gonna try to push your arm down. Okay? I want you to start out saying “I’m strong I’m strong I’m strong” out loud. And, are you ready? Marsha: “I’m strong I’m strong I’m strong I’m strong I’m strong -” Okay, alright, shake your arm out. Now you’re gonna put your arm out again and you’re gonna say “I’m weak I’m weak I’m weak But you still don’t want me to push your hand down, you’re still gonna resist. Okay? Go ahead Marsha: “I’m weak I’m weak I’m weak I’m weak-” Okay so thats what I want you to do with your partner How many of you found a difference? So most of you. Okay, what does that mean? What do you think that means? Okay, so what you say, what you think affects your body. You get the same results of the weak and strong if you say something to the effect of “Oh my god, I’m so frazzled, I have so much to do And this is the point in the semester where this starts for most students. “I just don’t have enough time, I’m never gonna get it done.” Your arm is weaker than if you say “You know I’ve got a lot to do, but I can organize myself, I’m gonna be able to take care of it.” And your arm stays up, it’s stronger Alright, so positive self-talk creates a stronger body. A strong body goes in a way with a strong brain, so that’s part of the philosophy of the four Bs But also part of the philosophy of a lot of ways of working with clients. Getting them to look at, um, when they get caught in the pattern of saying negative things to themselves. And how could they change that. Not change it by denying that they have those feelings Necessarily, not saying “Everything’s fine” when it isn’t “everything’s fine.” But, you know, I’m upset about this but I’m gonna be able to work it out Some kind of a positive thing. I had a child in a group one of the schools that I worked in solved- had a lot of the homeless kids in the city come- were bussed to that school And this child was having a lot of behavioral issues. And was very non-compliant in class and equally non-compliant in my class. And we did this activity one day, as I was introducing the calming technique that we’re gonna do, and he said “I have a strong brain.” I said, “Yes, you do. Your brain is really strong.” He said “Yeah, my brain is strong.” And as soon as he connected into that, he was able to be in control. And basically from then on, when he started to have a problem. I just remind him about how’s your brain today. You know, can you connect into your strong brain. And he’d again repeat, “I have a strong brain” And once he would say that, he was able to kind of connect to the ground, connect to himself, and be in control Now, not everybody that- that you know, was this child, that was his connection. This connection helped him feel in control Alright, another question. When you’re very agitated, let’s say you’ve been riding your bike or driving your car and somebody runs right in front of you and you’ve gotta slam on your brakes and you just barely miss them What happens in your body? Stress reaction. You get an adrenaline rush, you’re trembly, right? Your breathing changes. Do you think if you sat in the car or you stood with your bike or laid your bike down and took a couple of breaths that you would calm down? For most people that would not be the case. The adrenaline rush is such, you’re shaking so much. Most people need to do something physical first Right? Take a walk, jump up and down, shake out, they’re not just ready to do the calm breathing. Their body’s too agitated. So when your body physiologically aroused, not just emotionally, but also physiologically You need to do something physical first to help release some of the tension, some of that agitation in the body So this is called the Four Bs of Self Control. You have it, that’s in your orange sheet that you can look at later cause we’re just gonna do it right now And the first B is Brakes. When you’re agitated, anxious, a lot of the energy is going out here. Would you agree with me? When you’re thinking anxious thoughts it’s like things are racing and energy is outward So what we’re doing is we’re taking that energy and we’re bringing it in and taking our hands and pushing so the heels of our hands are pushing against each other So I want you to take your hands, not intertwining your fingers, so I don’t care if your hands are like this, like this, even like this as long as you’re not intertwining your fingers. And push hard with your elbows out The sides – without elbowing each other- without- not mentioning the hands, which is obvious, where else do you feel it? Shoulders, any place else? Hm? Back? Okay and any place else? Chest? Okay, let go. You don’t wanna stand holding that too long. So this is an isometric push. It’s taking the energy that’s out here and it’s this brings it into center, into core, where you can feel it in your chest So what I want is for- when individuals do this- you don’t have to hold it for a long time, it gets tiring. But I want them to squeeze hard and push hard enough that they feel it through the arms and into the chest Alright? And if you’re quite agitated, you might do that once, shake it out, and do it again. Most of the time I do it once with individuals but it depends on- with groups- but if I’m working with an individual who has a lot of stuff going on, we may add the second time So this- I call this Brakes. You’re taking all the energy that’s going on and you’re putting on the brakes, alright? The second B is Breathing. So you’re doing four-three-calm abdominal breaths. Depending on the clients I’m working with, I might have them work on what is an abdominal breath? Can they actually get their tummy to breath, to move out as they breath in and sink down when they breath out And you’d be surprised how many people, when they breath in their chest expands and their stomach contracts And then when they breath out it reverses. It’s easier to get abdominal breathing happening either standing or laying down than it is sitting. Cause your stomach’s a little more contracted when you’re sitting. Once you get it, you can do it any position, we could all do abdominal breathing sitting. But, um, with some kids or some environments I don’t have people lay down, but if they’re sitting I may have them lean back Here I’ll just sit for one sec, like this so their stomach is more open to doing that So I bring the arms up more to open the chest and allow a deeper breath to happen. Without a lesson I generally don’t ask them to bring their arms up because it makes them self conscious but let’s just take three calm breaths And one more The third B is Brains. And for brains we link our fingers, we rest them on top of our head so we’re not pushing down on our head, but the weight of our arms creates a gentle pressure on our head We take a deep breath in Close your eyes and as you breath all the way out say to yourself “I am calm.” And take one more deep breath in And again “I am calm.” So that’s our positive self talk, then take your hands, put them on your body and feel your body get calm and quiet This takes about sixty seconds to do, it takes about a minute When done correctly you do calm down. Physiologically you can get your body to calm down One interesting thing is hands on the head or behind the head is a gesture that’s used across cultures around the world And its frequently used when people are angry or upset, not consciously, I mean we’re using it consciously here. But unconsciously, this is just- this creates self-calming You have a lot of pressure points across the center of your head and just resting your hands here already starts a calming feeling. Kind of like holding the cork in, if it’s- you feel like you’re gonna pop. So that’s the four Bs of self control When I work with children, I’ve done this with children and adults. Children as young as three, when I work with three-year-olds I usually only do the first two Bs The Brakes and the Breathing But as soon as I get four-five, I can do all four Bs, but I may only start with two. And as soon as they get themselves stopped, and they do the breathing, you already have a change Now sometimes, you might be a little bit agitated or a little bit upset and you only need to do one thing. You might only need to do some self-talk Okay? Or you might only need to do some breathing. Maybe you need to do two of them. Oh I didn’t- did I do the last one? Body? Yeah So putting your hands on your body here, um, some kids are thinking “Oh I gotta look for my heartbeat” but we’re really not looking for the heartbeat This is a centering, we’re bringing somebody into center, this is centering, grounding gesture Alright, kind of like a peace bow or something like that. Um, So when I’m working with people what I want them to feel like is, here they have some tension and can they stop that tension, can they stop short so I’ll have kids- I’ll have them run across a room, top speed and stop about a foot before the wall with teens or older kids I might have hula hoops and they have to stop in the hoop And they like that. And then we look at what does it take to stop? So if you’re agitated, if you’re all excited one of the things is, in a way, you have to add tension to your body before you can calm down You’re literally using strength and adding tension before you can release everything and let go And so that running and stopping short, first of all, lets kids know they can stop an impulse I feel like going, going, going I can pull back, I can stop myself With young children I use the concept of- you grab that, grab that energy, grab that feeling, bring it in and kind of squeeze it Alright? Before we go into the rest of it I know this handout shows a child doing this, but, when I first made it up, I made it up with a class that I had only one month. I was only working with this class four times, it was the end of the year, it was the last month of the year And I- the school year- and I asked the teachers, “If there was one thing you could choose for me to work on with your class, what would it be?” And they said, “Please get them calm, be able to calm down.” And so, um, at the same time I was starting to write my book and somebody had said, “You know, you want to have some of those things in your book where you start with the same letter.” What’s that called? Yes. Um, to help people remember What the techniques are. So somehow I- with this class- we developed this technique Well, it was the end of the school year and over the summer what I did was to show this to many of my friends and adults that I knew or worked with And they all told me, “Wow, this gets me calm. This works.” There was one trick though, if they were really angry about something, a lot of the adults told me, “I get calm but as soon as I start thinking about what I was angry about, I’m agitated again.” And then, um, the other part was some people have trouble with the four step sequence Alright? Um, they just can’t handle doing all four of these things. So I wanted to develop a couple of things that required one step. One thing to do So I had gone to workshop about therapists that work with men who abuse their wives and they like doing one step techniques with these men. And one of the techniques they used was doing a guided imagery relaxation And then having the men come up with a calm image for themselves Drawing a picture of that calm image, shrinking it down to license size and having the men put it in their wallet or back pocket And when they’d start to get mad, they could touch their pocket and have that image come to them and as soon as they could bring up that image it would help them calm down So, I decided, um, that maybe a fifth B would be something that would be helpful to do that could be used in isolation and that’s on the other side of your page And the fifth B is called Break, except it’s not B-r-a-k-e, it’s B-r-e-a-k. And so the idea is you’re breaking through angry or anxious feelings because one of the things they found with anxiety is the more you think about what’s making you anxious, the more anxious you become. If you try to rationalize through the anxiety, it doesn’t work because you’re still processing circular thoughts about the anxiety And really if you want to get through the anxiety you need to force yourself to stop thinking about the anxiety- what’s making you anxious and force yourself to think about something else So one day, I had four children- I have four children- and they were children back then, they’re not now. And, it was just a bad morning Everybody was crabby , nobody was getting ready for school, by the time they left for school, I was mad at all of them And I got in the car, I drove to the University and I parked in the parking garage and I got out and I realized, I was madder now than when I was with my kids The kids had all gone off to school, everybody got off on time, um, and I said, “Rina, you tell the kids to do this all the time, stop it” So what am I using? Self talk Cut it out, think about something else So I changed my thoughts, I was on my way to teach a ballroom dance class and I started thinking about the music I was gonna use, what steps I was gonna teach that day And it took me, um, here I am, I got out of the car, told myself to cut it out, and I started walking down the parking garage and I took about four steps And I could already feel my feet more connected to the ground, my breathing had changed, my mood had shifted And it was like, “Wow, this idea of image really works, and it works fast” So, I went back to one of the schools that I’d worked in and I asked the kids- I told the kids about my experience and I said, “I’d like to do this with you Working with the idea of breaking through our mad or anxious feelings and then taking a break from them And I asked them, “You know, if you were gonna come up with movements to go along with that, what would you do?” So they all knew that, this is sign language for stop And they decided that what they were saying to themselves is stop thinking about that And that they- they we would do this kind of- in a staccato kind of way like we’re breaking through that mad or anxious feeling, when you do sign language for stop, you’re not doing it very hard You’re just going like this But they choose that they would do it in a really staccato, strong way and inside their head, they would yell, “Stop” And then they used yoga fingers for meditation Now I find with both children and adults, too. But specifically with children having some movements to do helps them remember it And helps it work better. With- sometimes with adults they don’t need that. I mean I certainly didn’t do gestures when I was in the parking garage But it’s the same kind of idea, as what I did in the garage It’s coming up with an image so with some classes of young children, I will do guided imagery, but sometimes I just don’t have long enough and I don’t have kids that are gonna lay down and be able to do guided imagery with me So, we’ll go around and do some calming things and then I’ll ask each child to think of one or two things that they enjoy doing that doesn’t involve a violent video games or video games period So it could be riding their bike, it could be snuggling with a parent, it could be having a friend over and doing something with them, it could be playing with Legos, it could be coloring it could be snuggling with a pet or stuffed animal If a child can’t think of something, I’ll let them pass until we go around the circle, but then I’ll ask them while we’re doing that, that I want each person to think of something Because when you’re in the middle of being mad or upset, it’s sometimes really hard to think of something positive to think of, to come up with One day my daughter called me, she was really upset about something, she was an adult at this point And I was trying to get her to calm down, and I said, “Well let’s take a break from what you’re upset about for a moment and think of something that’s going well in your life” “Nothing’s going well, I can’t come up with anything.” You know, and so what I do is try and get them to pre-think it And then I’ll send them back to class and ask the teachers if they can draw a picture of that for themselves I decided to do an experiment with some kids who are having aggression problems in the school And I asked each of them to come up with the calm image, I work with their class before so they had done the fifth B with me And then I asked them because not all kids, elementary school kids have pant with back pockets, they don’t carry wallets with them I asked them to come up with a gesture, so it could be touching the back of themselves, it could be squeezing their hands, it could be- whatever they wanted to do that would help them come up with that image And we practiced that gesture and pairing the gesture with the image For two of the children, it was very effective in helping them control their aggression And one of the children, it didn’t really have much impact So it’s just kind of something I was experimenting with, with anger management with kids who really had anger issues where there wasn’t an adult queuing them to do it So that’s the fifth B So there are the four Bs, there’s the fifth B, some kids like to do all five Bs, some kids need just a one-stop shop which is doing the fifth B by itself Um both when they’re- I’ve had kids with anxiety disorder really find this to be effective for them Where they might before be leaving their class from five or six times a day, being anxious and with this were primarily able to stay in their class, redirect their thoughts So the idea of taking a break from what’s upsetting you. Now that doesn’t mean if you’re mad that you don’t come back to positive- you know, how am I gonna work this out later on, but you really can’t think about how am I gonna work this out when you’re really mad cause you’re not thinking rationally then, that’s not the time for positive problem solving And that’s another unit we do I wanna show you something else I do lots of different calming techniques with kids I don’t know if you can see these, these are ooze-tubes, they’re called Or ooze-tube timers When you turn them over the ooze slowly goes down a hole in the middle I put them one on top of the other on the floor, as we’re making a circle around the floor, and we look at this, we feel our bodies connected to the ground We focus on our breathing and the kids are kind of fascinated with the ooze going down, the air bubbles going up so they are able to focus both externally and what I’m also training them to do is to focus internally Can they look at the ooze-tube, can they sit still and still feel their bottoms on the floor? So the breath, the breath itself is helping them connect When you work with children with- one of the things I found working with individuals with ADHD. I’ve had many of them report to me that when they have to be still They can’t feel their body, they feel like they’re dead So that have to keep a movement going to feel alive So what we try to do with the ooze-tube, besides kind of a mindfulness breathing exercise, is for them to feel that their breath is a movement And that their breath helps them feel connected to the ground so we practice breathing and as we breath out, each time we breath out, feeling how our bottom and our legs are connected to the floor And then we add the ooze-tube with that and can they continue feeling that connection to the floor and get their body still and quiet I did have a child who was in a completely mainstream school who was taken out of the class about 90% of the time because he was just so hyper And out of control. And by the end of the year, he particularly found the four Bs With the four Bs he actually connected to what does calm feel like in my body And then once he connected to what that feeling was, he could get to that using the ooze-tube, doing other techniques Alright? I found- I found one ooze-tube at a thrift store and really enjoyed using it, the kids loved it and once I discovered this I just went online with different names, trying to find it. So office playground is the place you can buy it, it’s in other stores too So I’ll have schools order them and have one for each classroom. Adults like them too I had my daughter use it when she was in labor to look at, focus She never wants to see one again though, however now. It helped her then, but she doesn’t want to see it anymore Okay, there’s one other relaxation technique that I want to show you that you don’t have a handout for So I’m kind of leaving you with four techniques. One I use specifically for anger, but lots of kids also use it for calming down. The fifth B The four Bs is calming, the fifth B is calming and anger The ooze-tubes, kids when I ask them what are techniques you use for calming, a lot of them say looking at the ooze-tubes gets me calm. So this last technique is called rectangular breathing And you take your index finger, you put it in front of you As you breath in, you inhale, as you go across you hold your breath, as you breath out, you exhale As you go across you hold your breath out. So you’re breathing in, that’s the long part of the rectangle Going across is the short part, breathing out, long part, holding it, short part So why do you think that works? What are some of the pieces of it? Yeah? Okay, so it slows down your breathing, regulates your breathing It’s visual, it gives you something to focus on Other than whatever’s making you agitated, you’re thinking about your breathing and you’re thinking about your finger Okay? With adults and with teens, sometimes I just do not the whole arm, moving, cause again teens particularly are self-conscious But, um, one finger can move slowly And they can do it low down So it’s kind of a smaller thing that they’re doing Most younger people like, they- I tried to do the small thing that they can do inconspicuously in class, but they seem to really need the fuller movement Okay? So I wanted to leave by giving you some relaxation techniques Okay, um What I’d also like to touch on is some spatial awareness. So I’m gonna ask you all to find a spot either on the stage, in this front corridor or on the side corridor and be with a partner What you’re gonna do. Stop Is you wanna be a little bit away from your partner I’m gonna move up to Marsha, I’m just gonna walk. I’m gonna be friendly And Marsha, when I’m at the point where you feel like if I got any closer, you wouldn’t be comfortable. You’re just gonna tell me quietly to stop and I am gonna stop Okay? Alright so I’m gonna walk up to you And that’s what you’re gonna do Okay? So you need to give yourselves a distance to be a part from your partner, so you can move towards them Once you’re at that stopped place, just stay there Stay there for a minute Sorry, I didn’t tell you that ahead of time Alright so Marsha you stopped me, I guess about this far? Would you say? Okay, so I do a whole variety of things with this particular technique So we might look and say, “I’m gonna move a little bit in and a little bit back and you tell me- you find the spot” Cause sometimes an individual will stop somebody further away because they’re too worried that they’ll get too close So I’m gonna experiment and you tell me, you’re- the person who said stop, you’re in charge and you’re gonna tell me to move a little bit closer, move a little bit back And then you’re gonna find, is this really the ideal spot or is it a little bit different? So you’re just gonna take a moment to explore a little bit *People talking* Alright so- Shhh Let’s look, I’m gonna ask you to basically kind of measure your distance By putting your arm out And seeing about how far away are you So we’re about one arm away, anyone else closer than an arm away? Kay, any further than an arm away? Is that a yes? You are further? Okay So, there- it does vary. And distances vary by culture sometimes they vary by the person who’s approaching you, if you know them or don’t know them Sometimes they vary if it’s a different racial mix or sex. You know, a man and a woman, somebody from a different country Or different culture So, now what I’m gonna have you do is spread apart again and this time your partner is gonna come and approach you and you are gonna stay stop Now stop- Shhhh For a sec, one other thing that changes distance is whether you have somebody who’s significantly taller or shorter than you are Because we’re about the same height so we’re looking eye to eye, but if you have someone a lot taller like the two of you are One person might be looking- having to look up and they might want to be a little bit further away Because getting too close and then having to look up might feel uncomfortable Alright? So that also can create a difference Was there a difference between the distance that your partner stopped you and where you stopped them? So some people are saying yes, you say a little bit What I’d like now- so different people have different spatial needs and sometimes those differences are significant I’ve had one person who likes to be this close Half- three-quarters of an arms away And people who like to be two full arms away And really across cultures, that’s about the range, from about half an arm to two and a half arms away is a range for face to face conversation Okay? So you could have that full range and what happens if you have a kid that really likes large distance. And person- I shouldn’t say kid- I should say person Who has somebody trying to talk to them who likes being close up to them Okay? That can create tension right there Without there being any hostility meant So now what I’m going to ask you to do is to get a little bit closer than what’s comfortable For a moment, just for a moment Feel what that feels like in your body. Where do you feel that? Does your chest start feeling something, does your tummy, does anybody start leaning back a little bit? Your face? Right Alright, now what else I’m gonna ask you to do is just for one of you, to turn at about a 45 degree angle What does that do? It changes the dynamic Okay? Alright, come sit down. Thanks Okay now, this is a very simple thing that you can do even if you see somebody in an office You can go out in the corridor and do it, you can be on the diagonal of the office and do it And they can- if you have an individual client you can do it with yourself If you have a family it’s really interesting to do this I saw a family where two of the three children had been sexually abused by the paternal grandfather And they came in, not with the grandfather, but with the their two parents and the three children And I asked them to do this approach and stop. I wanted to see boundaries in the family, no one would say stop to each other So they would let each other literally come that close or just turn to the side and let them pass them but no one in the family would say stop Well does that raise a red flag for the family functioning? Yes, definitely. I have a lot of social workers that I’ve worked with in different settings And they love this approach and stop. It gives them lots of information and it helps people to become more aware and one of the really profound things In Madison, I can’t remember how many years ago, we really did start to get- we moved from a very lily-white city When I first moved here it ’83 in fact, I’d walk into a classroom- I wasn’t working in the classrooms then, I had kids that were going to schools It was hard to find anybody that wasn’t blonde Not just not Caucasian, but not blonde. I mean maybe there’d be one or two people with brown hair in a classroom So one dynamic is that we’ve had lots of people moving from Mexico that have come up. So lots of Latino kids And in Mexico Spatial- use of space is quite different. At least that’s what kids and parents- parent train- when I’ve done parent training that’s what they tell me Much closer personal space, so I’m not making this up, this is what I’ve gotten reported back to me So kids would tend to get much closer to other people And to their teachers too And everybody’s always saying, “Well back up” For kids, one of the things they would tell me is, “Gee, schools in the US, they’re cold places, nobody likes you” Because for them, having to have this bigger space meant, “You didn’t care for me” Okay? So we started looking at- I started exploring with teachers and other adults working with with people with smaller space bubbles Not necessarily just kids from Mexico, I don’t mean to make that the one place, in fact, I went to Korea this summer And I was very anxious about going there because they told me they have no concept of a personal space bubble What was really interesting though, was when I did the moving- the approach and stop is what I call this- with people They fit right within the range, maybe a little bit closer than I would want them to stop, but they fit right within that range that goes across cultures for face to face. It was more walking past people, being in a group situation Where they stood a lot closer, but we started looking at changing that angle from face to face to just the slight 45 degrees, not a full 90 degrees, but just a 45 degrees So you’re still connected to the other person but it gives you more space in front of your body, allows you to be more comfortable but still allow the closeness But what I do when I start my curriculum, I didn’t have everything I have worked out now. The fifth B for example isn’t in the book As I work with different people, as I work with different classrooms, as I work in different situations, some things work some things don’t work. If it doesn’t work I have to come up with something new to make it work. Because I want to meet the needs of whoever I’m working with So I make up something new So the fifth B happened after I did the book when I had kids or adults telling me it really gets me calm and if I’m nervous about something, it really helps, but if I’m agitated or I’m angry I get agitated or I get angry again as soon as I start thinking about that, I need something that’s gonna help me stay calm longer So I came up with two other techniques and the fifth B is one of them that I showed you So if I work with a different culture where the approach and stop things- it’s an exploration, for me it’s always an exploration. I had one child who, instead of the person being approach saying stop, I had the approacher stop themself And he just didn’t- just like that family I told you about- he didn’t stop He had no sense of when to stop And this wasn’t a therapy group so I couldn’t get into this a whole lot, but basically I taught him to visualize about an arms distance away And whether he felt that feeling that I’m close enough or not, to stop at that point And then- I can’t remember if he ended up getting referred to one of my therapy groups or not But for me it’s always some kind of warning sign if there’s nothing on a face to face approach where somebody does not stop at all And there’s no sense in me- he wasn’t being silly You know, there are kids who are silly, there are kids who will stop somebody when they take one step and they’re all the way on the other side of the room You know, or who will let somebody come really close up and then they’ll be leaning back like this, but they’re doing it for fun. This kid wasn’t being silly So I use the spatial approach, we’ll do it with different feelings too. What changes when somebody’s approaching you When they look upset What changes when they- somebody approaches you when they’re mad Alright? Hopefully when they’re mad, you give them a bigger space You know, you either take more space or you say stop to them, stronger and louder when they’re further away And it needs to be stronger and louder, they might not see I worked with a mother who had adopted an eleven year old child This child had been in eleven placements In eleven years So you know she had a lot of attachment issues And all kinds of trauma This mother was a single parent And she very clearly had needs of having space around her And this child was fairly spatially intrusive She would come up, she would always want to be right on top of the mom And the mom was always kind of pushing her away Three of my children were adopted as older children and one of them, one of my daughters, would approach that way Always wanting to be very close but would approach as if she was gonna collide into you And everybody that played with her or worked with her ended up putting their hands up like that when she got about an arms width away because it felt aggressive. She was coming up for affection but it felt aggressive And so in exploring that you don’t- you know, this kid needs to make attachment, these kids have attachment issues How are you going to accept their approach But also feel safe yourself? So with this mother and daughter I had them do the approach and stop and it was really funny because the daughter stopped- she actually stopped about Just a tiny bit short of an arms width, an arms distance away Which I thought was- that was a decent space, she wasn’t coming right up into the mother’s face The mother stopped her full two arms away and she just couldn’t- you know, her eyes got big it was like, “How could you want that much space?” “I just- that’s impossible” That’s what her face kind of said. I had them explore, one at a time, standing and sitting while the other person moved around them in different ways And they were each supposed to come up with positions that they disliked the most and positions that felt the most comfortable for them And the one position that they both felt good about, the one position that they liked that coincided, that they both had the same, was side to side If they were side to side, or at a right angle from each other, they could be right up against each other So what I taught the mom was, if the child started coming up too close this way The mom could step to the side or even, and bring her arm out and bring the child into her side for snuggle Without feeling like she was threatened from the front That they could sit side by side on the couch, they could watch a show and she could snuggle with that child from a side to side position And this is a way of taking- you can’t expect the kid to make the adaption, the parent has to make the adaption Okay? So, she might be facing here, the kid’s coming up, she’s feeling that tension develop in her body and she turns to the side and encompasses them I worked with another- I worked with a mother with a four year old son- the husband had been violent towards her. And the son would come running up to her and she would feel- identify this son running up with her fear of her husband who beat her And so she would protect herself by making him stop, yelling at him, pushing him away And what we played with was allowing the son to run up, turning slightly to the side, scooping him in her arms and spinning with him. So taking his energy and instead of making a confrontational energy, going with the movement And turning Right? And that’s kind of, using the movement observation, had I done that before with anybody? No But I watched them, I watched how this approach continually was rejected by the mom And then we just explored, how can we accept this approach And still have you feel safe? Because you have to respect both people And it really changed the dynamic between this mother and child The mom started to realize, oh there were things she could do that could accept him. It didn’t have to be afraid of him, she didn’t have to make him become the father So to me that was very interesting One of the other things that I work on that I’d like to play with you on is trust or empathy And I use some props with this so I’m gonna move the chair out of the way And, one of them is the big stretch cloth. It’s called stretch cloth that you saw on the video that the kids were in I don’t know if this stage is large enough, but what I’d like is some people to come up and try it with me Anybody willing to come up? Come on up, you don’t need to raise your hand just come on up Yep, take that end so we have the bright side showing up So grab hold of the dark blue end. just watch behind you there You can step off of it if you want to So this is a nice circular cloth, let’s just make some waves Can we get ourselves so we’re doing it together? Visually this is very appealing, with the floating down, what does it look like What’s an image that might come to you? Water, jellyfish, anything else? Other squid animals. Alright, I also get from kids, okay stop, rocking for- waving for a minute- volcanoes erupting All kinds of images. What we’re going to do right now briefly is each person’s gonna take a turn to make a wave so you’re gonna go up and down or side to side and we’re all gonna do that with you Okay? So I’ll start, here’s my wave Now do you just want to shift that? And then you shift it And you shift it Good sound effects Alright so what does this do? Each person’s taking a turn to initiate something and the entire group is doing it with them so that person’s actions are being seen and accepted by the group Again that’s the beginning of atunement. Seeing, witness, and accepted, okay? So what we’re gonna also do right now is we’re gonna take this cloth and we’re gonna bring it up over our heads down our backs You don’t wanna step on it, but you want it kind of by your calves and again, you’re probably gonna need to step off the stage And go back So what I want is for you to stand with your feet slightly apart and your knees bent And can you let your weight go into the cloth When you do that, make it so your back- where the weight is going is kind of from your hips so you’re back is straight, you’re not gonna lean like this which would enable you to fall backwards Okay so it’s the hips, can we get a little rock going But just as you need to, we’re not on an even surface. Can you let your knees and hips bent like you’re just about to sit in a chair Now, it an take a long time in some groups to get this nice rock cause we’re all supporting each other. If one person would suddenly stop leaning and would move it would affect the entire group Alright? So we’re working on group cohesion, we’re working on trust We’re working on- this is self-soothing. Now everything we do is not self-soothing but in this space I’m not gonna do wilder things But sometimes we take individuals and we let them, here, we’re going to take this cloth off now. Thank you very much Come in, just let it come on down This is one of the stretch cloth is one of my favorite props, basically I bought spandex, used a stretch stitch And sewed a triple seam to make it a circle. It’s 60 inch spandex And if you want to make yourself one If you want to make yourself one, you have to make sure that the stretch is along, not along the 60 inch part but along the length of the cloth that you’re gonna sew Because that’s where you want the stretch, where people are leaning in You can sit down, thanks For a minute I’m gonna have people get up I’m gonna tell you a quick vignette and then I have one more prop I had a group of boys, again they had- these were second graders, they’d all experienced a lot of anger And one day, we saw them first thing Monday morning, and I went to pick them up and one of the boys started telling me about how over the weekend there’d been a lot of fighting The police had come to their apartment several times, his father had ended up needing to go to the hospital, had a broken arm And he was really agitated, understandably so And of course, as soon as he was agitated by this, the other boys in the group got agitated So we started out moving with music with the strong beat, doing some slashing, stomping, just releasing some of the agitation Then the boys asked- one of the things they really enjoyed doing was having one boy at a time lie on a cloth while the other boys pulled him around in the space And that provides for the boy getting pulled- cause he would lay- that boy would lay down- all this body contact against the ground as he was being pulled Plus the nurturance, the boys who were pulling were connecting to the ground and to their strength in order to pull So when we were done we sat down and we start talking about who supports you like they had just supported each other So who supports you when you’re angry? The boys looked at us like we were crazy, “Someone supports us?” “In my house” one boy said, “In my home, everybody’s so angry that they don’t even notice when I’m angry” Another boy said, “Well I just get sent to my bedroom” “And I’m not allowed out until I’m not angry anymore, nobody cares why I’m angry or what I’m angry about” So those were the kind of responses we got Well where do you feel that anger in your body? So they talked about this for a little while and they came up with one image that they all really liked, and that was the image of -that the anger was like a ping pong ball bouncing wildly around inside their body that they had no control over, it was just going boing-boing-boing-boing-boing So I had a smaller stretch cloth for a small group cause this cloth can fit twenty people And we decided that the cloth would be the metaphor for the skin Oh, the other thing the boys said was really the only place they felt support was from the other members in the group Um, sometimes one of the members in the group would see one of them angry and remind them that they could do the four Bs and even if they couldn’t do it right then They’d remember it later, that that child had supported them So we all got inside the cloth, which was not as wide, it was a narrower, it was a 45 inch cloth So the cloth was the metaphor for the skin Four people at a time, cause there were three kids and two therapists, so four people at a time were the anchors they were the support And one person at a time was the ping pong ball And the ping pong ball was allowed to bounce against the cloth In between people as wildly as they wanted And we would be there to catch them and support them I had never done this with a group before, I kind of made it up on the spot and I was a little bit nervous because if one of those anchors decided that they were also gonna start bouncing off the wall It could become dangerous But the group had just talked about how they supported each other, that this was the only place they got support So I felt like I wanted to take a chance with it and it worked. They each took a turn to be the ping pong ball Everybody who was the anchor stayed an anchor And it was really powerful, when they finished they were really calm And basically, what had we done? We had provided them a chance to embody this uncomfortable feeling And literally, concretely be supported by the group So it was just a very powerful experience for the kids So that’s one way I’ve used the cloth I also use the cloth, we come in together and back out again And in together and back out As a way to rhythmically be together and then come back out and be supported by the cloth There’s actually endless numbers of things we end up making up. So the stretch cloth is very versatile, most people really enjoy it Not everybody feels comfortable leaning, but not everybody has to lean in a group If one person doesn’t want to lean, that’s okay They can just have the cloth touch their back and not give their weight into it Cause not everybody is gonna be ready to do that And you wanna make that, that be alright So one thing we work with in violence prevention is the idea that, in order really to stop violence or to stop bullying We have to support each other So if I see something happening and I just walk away I’m not supporting them, there are all kinds of things that I could do that would help I could get an adult to come over if I’m afraid to do something, I could just come over to the person being bullied and say, “Hey, do you wanna come over and play with me?” And help draw them away from the bully confrontation So kids learn a whole slew of different things they could do But the stretch cloth is a way that we’re all supporting each other In addition to that, what I have are these small stretch bands And I’d like, I don’t know if I have enough for everybody but I have quite a few, if two people at a time wanna take one of these, people wanna come up? Grab one? Purple ones are a little bigger So you can even make a threesome I’ve got enough I think for just about everybody So you need somebody to work with, you’re gonna work with these with partners So I’ve got more, got a bag full of them And what I want you to do with your partner is to explore ways that you can support each other So that could be just holding on and leaning back So we can support each other like this We could support each other by one person having it Their leg in, if I can ever get my leg to go in And I’m leaning out and he’s holding me up. We could both have it around our waist So just play with, what are some of the different ways to support each other You wanna- when you put it around your waist, if you do you want to open it up. It’s not wide like the stretch cloth, but still These didn’t come in a circle, they’re sewn You will not break the seam I promise We do triple seams to be on the safe side, I’ve never had one break. I’ve gotten holes in them So it can be arms, it can be legs, it can be an arm and a leg, it can be around one person’s body and the other person can be outside of it There’re infinite different ways The one thing I don’t allow is for it to be around the neck Alright so just take another minute and then I’m gonna collect them and put them back in this bag And the bands, they’re just nice There are so many different things you can do with supporting each other, you don’t have to do it as part of violence prevention You can just do it as a trust thing, as a fun activity to get somebody mobilized and going I’ve had kids where we put two bands together and they weave the two bands together and then they’re foursome and what are some of the different ways they can do stuff So I just thought it would be enjoyable for you to see- that’s a much smaller prop, you don’t need as much room to use that as you do stretch cloth Even though I have smaller stretch cloths These are smaller than the smaller stretch cloths But they can be used sometimes in a similar way In terms of the idea of trust and support They’re very strong, a triple seam with a stretch stitch or a serger is what you need to do if you’re gonna make your own, you have to have a stretch stitch or a serger to sew spandex or you’ll go a little crazy So just things that you can do in a session would be to have pillows Bean bag cushions, stuffed animals, scarves, around Just have some of the things that allow creative expression In where you work or your own little pack that you bring with you. You know, maybe you’re not gonna carry cushions and bean bag pillows with you But scarves and rug squares and stuffed animals, things that can be used in a session You can explore allowing your client to place with where do they want to be in the room in relationship to you Where would they like to sit and where would they like you to sit. And to try different spots and see what they feel like Some people really like to have a wall behind them For safety, you know, so they can see the rest of the room Have the client or clients draw or build. What would be a safe space for themselves It’s amazing, the different- the range of different things you get and how big that space would be, what would be in that safe space to make them feel safe If your client could change the therapy room in a way that would make them- the therapy room feel safer, what would they do, would they move chairs around Would they move any of the props that you had with you, would they change anything in the environment With groups, could they build a group space What would be a situation that would allow them to make a space for the whole group. So these are things you don’t have- they’re more concrete You don’t have to be a dance therapist to do them When I say I make things up, I mean hopefully good therapists are intuitive and they do use things but Having a background in movement helps me to make things up, I have to think on my feet so I have to take the issue I have to be able to visualize the issue and I have to be able to use that to come up with something that’s within my kinesthetic imagingings So training in dance therapy helps me be able to do that, but there are concrete things that you can do, like the things on this sheet Another thing that I was gonna do with you and didn’t was to do a tracking thing Just a non judgmental, you know, you’re with a client, they’re starting to be anxious and you just say, “You know, let’s take a moment to notice our breathing” You’re not gonna ask them to change their breathing, just notice, what’s happening with your breathing right now Is it fast or is it slow? You know, is it mainly going into your chest, do you feel it in your stomach, what’s your breathing like? Do you feel your body, do you feel your back against the chair back? You know, what about your bottom. So you’re asking them to just focus on their body for a moment and To pay attention to where their body is and very frequently that helps people get calm So tracking Grounding, you know, we talked about the pushing, like this I had classes last year for the first time and I’ve been in the schools for about 20 years now Where they actually put the OT- the OT’s put some footprints on the floor for the kids, kind of in a tae kwan do stance with feet apart sideways and front and back and then- I’m gonna come down here, but they would’ve had hands up for the kids And to push against the wall Cause when you push against the wall, you’re pushing yourself into the ground, you can press- your doing joint compression, it helps to calm So that’s something, you know, you don’t have to be a movement therapist to use some of these concrete skills You just need to be careful in a way that you’re not gonna open up pandora’s box, that you move slowly It should be something you’re comfortable doing with your body Before you ask a client to do it And then what I’ve tried to do is to give you some concrete body skills And I guess the tracking would be another one, so that’s on the yellow sheet. Tracking and grounding, having them explore shifting their weight So I gave you the yellow and the tangerine orangey sheet To give you some concrete things to cultivate safe spaces, to establish boundaries That you could kind of take with you So I don’t know if that answers your question enough, but And then the more you explore, what feels good in your body from maybe some of the things that are on these sheets That’s a good question You have to have at least a master’s degree to practice and I think clinical social work, you have to have a masters degree before you’re gonna practice In dance/movement therapy or have a masters degree in a related field like social work and then take all these extra classes There are some programs, some masters programs, like the one at Columbia, which is in Chicago Columbia College, that you get a joint degree of counseling and dance/movement therapy And they look for people that have some dance background You don’t have to be a dancer, but without a good movement background You’re not gonna be able to visualize how you think on your feet and movement and connect and make up things Music therapy, you do not have to have a masters degree to practice, but art therapy you do and I’m not sure about drama therapy To tell you the truth And on that white sheet it tells you what the criteria are So I offer four classes on dance/movement therapy Through the dance department which give you a good introduction to the field, experiential things, ways to use both observational skills to learn things about your clients as well as body skills that you can incorporate into your own work So it’s an introductory- it’s an introduction to the field basically If you take these courses you basically have an idea- Do I really wanna become a dance therapist, even if you don’t I have OTs take the course, PTs, social work students, counseling psych rehab psych, kinesiology students I’ve even had business students who wanna learn more about non verbal communication I had a doctor take it so he could make better connections to his clients So that’s offered at the University here Well somebody whose had significant trauma could have one or two- one of two things happen- either they’re very defensive and they don’t let people get close Or they numb themselves And they disassociate from those signs in their body that tell them when they’re safe and when they’re not safe Now this wasn’t the parents stopping me when I was approaching, it was within their own family So it could be within their own family, maybe the parents felt guilty about what happened to the kids and want to allow the kids to get close I don’t know, but I do know that sometimes trauma victims will disassociate from body sensations because they’re too scary And when they do they can put themselves in dangerous situations I worked with a child who had been abducted at the age of three from her backyard and had been raped And I saw her in a therapy group and she showed no protective behaviors and I kept telling this school, “This kid’s gonna be abused again” And we did an exercise in her classroom, cause I also saw her class Where half the kids sat criss-cross on the floor with their palms up on their knees And the other half of the kids crept- tried to sneak up on them and any time they thought somebody was sneaking up, they would open their eyes and look and check Kay, were they actually sneaking up or not? And then they close- and then that person had to move away and they’d close their eyes again This child never opened her eyes Never checked Not once, even when people were, you know- if you close your eyes and you wave your hands in front you do see shadows, you feel breezes You feel something, especially when it’s a front approach- she never opened her eyes and I was able to demonstrate to the teacher how this was of concern By the end of the year she finally started to show some protective behaviors and then I saw her whole family over the summer and we worked on The fact that they- these kids lived on Johnson Street and she’d let the two-year old go open the door when somebody knocked on on the door and not have- not check to see who it was You know, so we started looking at, how do you as a family set up some safety parameters so your daughter can learn what they are and follow through If you take these courses you basically have an idea, “Do I really want to become a dance therapist, even if you don’t I have OTs take the course, PTs, social work students, counseling ed psych, rehab psych, kinesiology students, I’ve even had business students who wanna learn more about non verbal commucation I had a doctor take it so he could make better connections to his clients So that’s offered at the University here Well it’s always strength-based We’re working on empowering people So allowing them to have choices to be seen and heard But we also might work on building skills like using some yoga or using some What ever I was just gonna say left my mind- um, perceptual motor development kinds of things Might be incorporated in the way that we work So the philosophy is the same, its strength based But where we start is where the client is Have a lot of difficult with what? Yes, yes I can believe that. Um, we might do drum dialogues, for example. And start out with a lot of energy in the drum and slowly bring it down Drum dialogues can be- your client starts, you have a drum or you have a large drum that you share and one person plays the drum, the other person kind of responds And you go back and forth and back and forth and slowly you can bring down your response and if you match your client, where they are to begin with Lots of times they will settle down as they do the drumming You could end up trying to play together If they want, you know, it just depends on how you develop it, but a conversation is back and forth So it might be a drum conversation, it might be a gestural kind of conversation where you’re apart from each other and you have music that has different energy levels You might play with some yoga positions to help calm And you might do one or two of the Bs, the four Bs You know, depends how low-functioning they are

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published