EADMT Documentary (2017) Resilient Lives: Building Strength Through Dance Movement Therapy (HD)

TITLE: Finding the Right Words “What this Dance therapy?” is a question that whenever I receive this question, I receive it a lot, it depends who I’m talking to. If I’m talking to a client
I might first find out what connections they
have in their life between their body and
feeling better. Once I’ve got a link that
they’re realising that something to do with your body has an effect on feeling, you know, some connection whether that’s
emotional or a memory, then I can start to say – ah, yes,
this is Dance therapy. And then I build the definition
in relation to what they understand. When people ask
what is Dance Movement therapy and Dance/movement therapy or
Dance – Movement therapy I talk about non-verbal communication, I talk about embodiment, I talk about body language, I talk about play, I talk about the creative expressive body I don’t really talk about dance and I don’t really talk about therapy,
actually, too much now it’s difficult some people are quite frightened
of that word, actually The words Dance and Therapy are two
complex words. Both hold a deeper meaning. When these two words are put
together, they are complex words. This happens because most people
focus on one of these two words. The question people ask is:
“What kind of dance do you use in Dance Therapy?” On the other hand the focus
may be on the term Therapy which is considered as a treatment. With the young offenders I used to use
just the word ‘sessions’, ‘your sessions’. When they were asked what they thought
the sessions were about they just said: “It’s moving about, moving about,
moving about and talking”. So, yes, they got the fact that it was moving and a bit of talking as well. And that’s all that matters, really, that they were able to access it, engage with it play in the movement and
reflect on that experience. Whoever has difficulties expressing
themselves and where verbal therapy might not be a good approach – this person
can enter into dance movement therapy. We start with very early infants, from,
perhaps, pre-verbal language, mothers with post-depression post-psychosis, you
perhaps work with the dyads already. We have a very strong tool with
behavioural disturbances, emotional, cognitive problems, physical problems,
neurological… everything you can think of and also with the elderly. Then you also have the whole group of people who self-select for stress reduction,
for improvement of quality of life. I think that’s where Dance Movement
therapy end us more and more. Often the patients who are
the most complex – nobody else can do anything
if they can’t speak. They might send them to music therapy
but they can’t hold a brush or do this the whole time with it. But we can use that movement and we can actually engage with them and make a
relationship through that movement. Strategies agree between Dance Movement
therapy professions across Europe to see what’s the best way of
explaining what it is we do without putting anyone off. To deal with resilience often people
might have experienced trauma in one or the other way and might have lost trust in themselves,
in their own capacities, they don’t have the tools, the support
they need right now so in order to strengthen these competences, I think
this is a first-choice therapy because that’s what we do anyway all the time. We strengthen the resources that there are. TITLE: The Mindful Movement The neuroscience has shown that we
are bio-psycho-social beings, that we have a body and we
communicate through our body. Everything about us is shown in our body, all our nonverbal communication
comes out of this place – the unconscious is embodied. And we have the capacity to really tap in linking the body and the mind, and the spirit to
promote an integration of the whole self and to go further and learn
more about the self and raise more of the unconscious
to consciousness. And it’s never ending, it’s just infinity – raising up, raising up, raising up. Because embodiment is fashionable
in neuroscience and so on, we even have embodied mindfulness, embodied CBT probably around the corner. We are not in competition with them but we can go that much further than they can. If mindfulness is all about sitting still, we need to move as a rest bite for sitting still.
And we need to sit still as a rest bite for moving. So it’s just 50%. We need to push for the other 50. So – the mindful movement. *touch* *reconciliation* My work is now specialising
with people with memory problems and dementia.
And also involving their carers. Demens, the original Latin for dementia,
is being out of one’s mind. In order to be ‘out of your mind’ you have to know what being, philosophically,
what being ‘in mind’ is. And once you go down that route you then realise that the dementing
and the rementing are two two parts of the same coin. We’ve got such fear and ignorance about
dementia that when you actually work
with people themselves if you can get beyond the sense
of what isn’t possible into, well, “what do you like to do?” Increment by increment people have a sense of their personhood,
their own identity. So it’s about bringing life where there might be a lack of life
and a lack of movement. It fundamentally comes to revealing
a hidden humanity that is present. So we are best placed to talk about it because a whole vocabulary,
our language is nonverbal and this is a perfect fit to help people come out of themselves and feel
their resources, their capacities. We’re bridge builders. We’re building bridges between
the not known and the not yet known. I really strongly believe in Dance Movement therapy. Together with all this development, with attention to body-mind connection, I think in many, many aspects
dance therapists are pioneers in all this connectivity
between mind and body. TITLE: Still Pioneering As being one of the pioneers in Dance
Movement therapy in my country [Russia] I had to start and do everything myself. First I was in the educational field and
dance was just my passion in life. And it happened that when I came across with dance improvisation, dance theatre, it really changed my life. I started to question about
this healing power of dance. One of my dance teachers
came from the United States and they said – you might be interested
in Dance Movement therapy. So I went to the library of foreign
literature to find out what it is. I would dream to have a Master’s
degree in Dance Movement therapy because it took me so many years
to reach this equivalent. It’s been a long journey
about differences, trying to pull together a lot
of different countries in Europe. Initially, for many, many years,
there was a group of people who met who were either conveners, course
directors of programmes across Europe, the heads of Dance Therapy national associations, and each year they would discuss what they’ve been doing and what the training
standards were, what they were hoping to achieve. And we managed to fulfil the vision
of getting European Association with a constitution and such,
but we also got in place: How do people register
in this country or that country. What is a practitioner. Do you have to have supervision. How much training hours do
you have to have. Some were in university trainings, some were private practice,
private trainings, Some countries you could
call yourself a psychotherapist, some countries you could not. Some had state regulations for
profession, some didn’t. How could one country say
“if you train here – you can work over there” or “if you work there – you can work here” ? Still, we haven’t got that yet, we’re
still working on that. I believe it is important that the training for all students is at a Master’s degree level which indicates a prior
professional training as a basis. The first 3 years of University can be
from different professional programs. And I think we still need to develop a clear model for Dance Movement Therapy as the true source. From my experience, in my era,
everybody went out and had to proselytise, had to say ‘this is what it is’,
had to explain, show, make jobs, you know,
convince people and then there was a period of time when trainings began to be settled and national associations were settled, and the graduates came out thinking: “Where are the jobs?” “I’m owed a job now,
I’ve trained – give me a job!” And they’re surprised to find
that, ah, they too still have to keep finding and creating the work into
what’s appropriate at that time in history. Even if you are recognised, accredited,
do your CPD, do your, you know, everything. Everybody’s a pioneer because
there aren’t jobs just waiting to be filled. There are a very few, a handful, but
most people have to make their own jobs. So they might start with some
voluntary work and show that it works and then maybe they get offered a post or sessional work where
they’re paid by the session, or they might find themselves
in a dual role, so they might be a social worker or a special
needs teacher, or a nurse where they’ve got a job as that,
within that profession. It needs to be more inroads made
and more security given so students need to know from
the outset before they start a training that they are going to have to
make their own work, they’re gonna have to market themselves, sell themselves,
be a business basically. Make relationships with the
people who are likely to employ you. Good relationships so that they employ you.
Not dance therapy – but you. Because they know you can do a good
job and you can help those patients. So it is not easy, you have to
have lots of inner resilience in order to work in this profession. TITLE: Embracing Doubts I was remembering being in a room with people who wanted to sing,
wanted to dance, wanted to walk up and down the room, wanted to dance in the middle of the circle, some people didn’t want the music on,
they didn’t like the music and I felt a sense of terror, I felt “What am I gonna do? Somebody’s in front of my machine and I
can’t use my machine as I was hoping and somebody’s just gone out the door. What do I do?
I’ve got a group to manage. How do I keep this sense of a group
because it’s disintegrating and it’s changing in front of my eyes and
I don’t know what to do about it. That anxiety and that fear. Recently I met a third-year Dance Therapy
student at [University of] Roehampton. She described to me her own first session with very similar things going on
and I went “wow”. So, 29 years after I had
my beginning experiences here’s a student starting this very month and having exact same feelings. That sense of what do you do? I said to her – be yourself. Learn the best,
study the best and then, when you’re actually in the session, forget it all and just be in that moment. It’s this real, authentic presence
physically and emotionally, and psychically that I can dance with you and respond. And I always say that students you read the theory and then you think: “I’ve got to go find the theory”, “I’ve got to find that in my clients”,
“I’ve got to go find that in me” whereas actually that came out
of somebody’s way of talking about the experience. I was told once: “You’re flitting
around, what use is that to anyone?” This stereotype of a Dance therapist
as somebody who flits around, is not going to be helpful and it’s
just, you know, a bit of fun. To get over that and is a huge challenge. I was just completely on my
own most of the time. I had a peer supervision group but it
would have been nice to have somebody I could say “you’re my mentor, I can
depend on you to give me the answers”. Because we all want that, don’t we? They’re gonna have doubts,
of course. I had doubts. However you don’t give up
because of that, you find a way around it.
So you create other approaches, other words, other language,
other settings, other ways of communicating. Find strategies and resources
in yourself to embrace those doubts and still keep going. Typical DMT student is a woman. They are creative, they love movement, they’ve got a movement background, a practice of some kind in movement. And, most of all, they want to help
make a difference to people’s lives. I would personally like to see more men involved in Dance
psychotherapy, I would. I believe that the relationship between men and dance in our culture is quite special. In my experience it has been an opportunity to explore and uncover my own identity as a man. Movement provides us with an
extraordinary opportunity given that through the polarity of movement and the wealth of the efforts it is possible to connect with
profound aspects of human life in line with Freud and Jungian theories through movement we can embrace both the female and male aspects
that are intrinsic to our lives. Dance and Dance Therapy offers opportunities rich opportunities for relational therapy, developmental therapy, with children. There is an opportunity to experience
the transferential experience with a male figure. It is helpful for children, as well
as young people and adults to confront and solve issues within a DMT setting which is a safe holding environment. To use the movement, to use
the dance, to use the body-mind it’s a fascinating and profoundly
important work to be doing and I’m very honoured to be with
such an amazing group of people. TITLE: Moving Together In terms of the future
I have a vision of dance psychotherapists
working more and more with people with memory problems
because it’s one of the most significant needs in society around
the world and certainly in Europe. My sense is that work with groups
is going to be quite important. Establishing group work where the
individuals can also support each other. It’s going to be a lot of work within
Europe to do with migration and refugees, I think that is an area of understanding and I think less so, perhaps,
on individual practice. So I think it’s much more
making ourselves available encouraging the capacity of
the family group of the larger supportive
community group. If you have a group of people sitting
talking you wait for each person to talk, if you have a group of people dancing together you have that many people creating community so quickly through play and exchange and
I think that’s what we need to be doing offering that kind of space. If I think about where dance therapy is
going first of all I’m thinking about professionalisation. And I think that that’s the European
Dance Movement Therapy Association which is working on that
to get parity so we can get economic movement, an exchange of tutors, exchange of ideas, exchange of work as well. Without research the profession
isn’t going anywhere. Because research shows that we can
deliver the outcomes that the Health Service or whoever
is employing us requires. If we can show that evidence
then we’ve got a job. We need people to do PhD’s,
doctorates and so on because they need to
get that training in research so that they can then carry out
postdoctoral research. In Europe, there are the resources,
the energy and the desire to explore more focused theoretical models of DMT. An example of this is the impact of an Anthropological approach as an alternative to the
Psychodynamic approach. At the same time European Dance Movement Therapy is characterised by the tight methodology that appears to be the
favourable route to developing credibility in the specificity
of the profession of DMT. We need to get more recognition nationally, across Europe, internationally as a profession based on
evidence, evidence-based practice and then, I think, move
forward to be equivalent to psychotherapists who work
already around Europe. We must speak more
about our work. Tell people and other helping
professionals about what we do and what we really can bring,
how we can add. Even if we are little
in some country, together with [DMT] associations
in the United States, South America, Australia, Asia we really build-up
a global community, professional community of
Dance Movement therapists so this is an established profession, this is an established
standard(s) of the training. It gives this support to go on. I think the the cultural diversity which we offer is something very special and I’m very proud of being part of that, to share with colleagues
from all over the world. It’s just fascinating
with all the languages, the different cultural backgrounds, but when we move together
it’s one language and this is really the fascinating thing that brings us together. Dance Movement Therapy is a force for change
it promotes mental and physical health and well being 20 EADMT Member associations (2017) 44 professional training programs (2017) 1870 DMT professionals (2017) 2424 EADMT members (2017) This documentary was made possible by the generous and kind support form the EADMT community and crowdfunding contributors.


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