Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling
What is Dance/Movement Therapy?
Through play and the creative arts, it is often possible to access insight into underlying feelings and beliefs and effect greater change. In dance/movement therapy we use the mind/body connection to support clients to connect to and express feelings through non-verbal approaches when these feelings are difficult to verbalize or words are interfering with the ability to find greater understanding. Sometimes this may mean supporting a child with difficulty controlling impulses or focusing their attention to use movement techniques to practice increased skills in these areas. Other times it could mean using symbolic movement and play to sort out underlying feelings of anger or anxiety. With children and parents, Melissa strives to create an environment of fun and creativity because laughter and a spirit of play can make dealing with challenges and the work of therapy easier.
At Sensory KIDS we are passionate about supporting children and families impacted by sensory processing disorders, regulatory challenges, autism spectrum disorders, social-emotional challenges, and related developmental conditions. We are dedicated to clinical excellence and family-centered therapy.
What to Expect
A typical session will depend on the needs of the child and family. Each session will begin with some form of check-in about the week. If the therapist is working parents and children together, they will often develop a beginning structure that includes a song, game, or other creative outlet for marking the start of the session and establishing rapport and safety in the space and relationships. If parents are not involved in therapy, it is most effective if at least every other week, the therapist meets with parents alone to address concrete behaviors, parenting techniques, and just focus in on the parent’s needs and feelings without needing to split the attention. Depending on the child’s needs and age, individual therapy can be recommended to support children to express their feelings in a safe space without fear of judgment, and to learn new skills. However, if possible it is ideal to bring parents and children together in therapy so as to work together to develop and practice the techniques that will be used at home. After all, the therapist only gets to spend 50 minutes once or twice a week with families, and then parents and children have to work together to really make change a reality.
The therapist will use dance/movement therapy (DMT) techniques with children and families as it is appropriate for the child’s needs and comfort level. However, thanks to the dance/movement training, the mind/body connection is always a part of the therapy lens. Sometimes, children and parents will not even be aware that a specific activity or intervention is informed by or based in DMT. For instance, that game with the ball or guided relaxation has more benefits then just helping to families to feel good in the moment. Other children benefit greatly from using large muscle movement or dance in every session to channel their energy, express their feeling, and learn new skills for having happier, more functional lives.