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Dance therapy - when everything hurts except the soul


Dance therapy is a completely unique phenomenon. What is it about? This is the direction of psychotherapy in which movement and dance contribute to both the physical and emotional integration of the individual. This method has a rich history. Anyway, it represents a certain interest. So this topic would like to pay special attention.

About the premises

All people, at least a little familiar with folklore, history and art, are well aware that from time immemorial dance has been an integral part of various rituals, community life and other practices. This is more than just a movement to the music. The dance carried sacral, communicative, identification, expressive and recreational functions. He helped to express himself freely, to contact with partners, to emotionally discharge and relieve physical tension. In fact, all of these functions dance carries today.

The healing properties of dance in the 20th century prompted psychotherapy specialists to use them as a new method of treatment. In addition, at that time modernity appeared. The dance of this genre has become quite special. After all, it was in it emphasized the individuality of each person and the importance of the personal. The first dance therapists were people like Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman and Rudolf Laban.

And, of course, talking about the prerequisites, it should be noted the attention of the teachings of V. Reich. This specialist assured that all the unexpressed experiences and emotions do not disappear anywhere. They accumulate in the muscles. And there are peculiar "blocks". In general, dance-movement therapy, the exercises of which will be noted by attention a little later, refers to the teachings of Reich. Or rather, to how a specialist explains the work of psychosomatic mechanisms. But his methods as such are not used.

In our country, this area appeared not very long ago - in the 90s. And initially, such a concept as dance therapy was not even indicated. The theory says: in Russia, it was initially presented as a method of personal growth and development. But in 1995, the concept has already appeared. And after him - ATDT (Dance Movement Therapy Association). She was organized in Moscow. And ATDT works with the support of the American, European and International Associations.

Now TDT is an independent direction in psychotherapy. And the range of its application is very wide. Dance therapy is aimed at combating stress, Parkinson's disease, autism, post-traumatic disorders, etc.

About principles

Like any other medical technique, this type of therapy relies on certain provisions and rules. They are followed by doctors working in this direction. The essence of the main principle lies in the fact that the human body and its psyche are inseparable. And they constantly interact with each other. Also, dance is perceived as a way of communication. And the person involved in TDT comes into contact with himself, his partner and the whole world.

Another important principle is the unity of thoughts, feelings and behavior. Because any change in one aspect entails a change in the other two. In this way, the principle of integrity is manifested. Also, the “highlight” is the perception of your body as a process, not as an object or object. The very awareness of this is reflected in the result, presenting the desired effect. And another important principle is that in the course of the practice of dance therapy the specialist addresses the creative resources of a person as an endless source of creative energy and vitality.

Dance therapy for children and adults is aimed at achieving the same result. The main goal is to expand the scope of awareness of his body, as well as its capabilities and features. It is important that a person is able to develop self-reliance and improve his self-esteem. For this, doctors and engaged in the development of the patient's body, instill in him a love for this business.

Another goal is to improve social skills and integrate internal experience. It is important that the person in the course of treatment establishes a special connection between movements, thoughts and feelings.

It is worth noting that there are different groups of dance therapy. The main one is clinical. It is an auxiliary type of therapy, forming a symbiosis that is effective in terms of treatment with medicines prescribed to patients. Clinical TDT can last a long time - sometimes for several years. But efficiency requires it. By the way, it helps especially well for patients who have impaired speech and interpersonal communication (that is, communication). By the way, clinical TDT appeared more than 75 years ago.

Also, TDT is widely used in people with psychological problems. And this type of therapy is much more complicated than the previously mentioned. Because it aims to solve specific problems of a person. And such TDT is carried out both in the group with other patients and individually. The method is usually based on analytical psychology.

And there is also dance therapy for those people who have no problems, but they want something more from their lives. For example, to learn with the help of TDT your hidden “me”, find a new way of self-expression and begin to interact with others.

As it was said at the beginning, TDT gained popularity not so long ago. What is not surprising, because it is an innovation. During classes with patients, the doctor uses skills, skills and knowledge that relate to psychology, creativity, art, physiology and therapy. It is important. After all, almost every disease is psychosomatic. And up to the moment when the disease begins to manifest itself at the body level, it appears in the subconscious. That is, at the level of the psyche.

TDT is special in that during its implementation, great attention is paid not only to the thought processes and cognitive methods of rehabilitation, but also to the physical and creative parts. That is, simply put, both hemispheres are involved. And this is what is necessary for a harmonious and integral person. And be that as it may, but the most unexplored aspect of our world today is man. Namely, how his body interacts with the psyche.

Dance therapy, whose history is very interesting, is really effective. It minimizes physical stress and increases the mobility of a person. If you believe the notorious theory of Reich, it turns out that the very muscular "clamp" is eliminated. After all, a person begins to move, to express his feelings and emotions during the dance. And the accumulated energy that was spent on the maintenance of muscle "clamping", finds its application.

The value of artistic experiences is very high. In the dance, they even extract from the unconscious the needs and cravings, which the patient could not even guess. In other words, he simply gets rid of them.

In addition, TDT is a great way for non-verbal interaction. It is for this reason that group lessons have recently gained popularity. A person begins to contact not only with a healer, but also with other participants. And this is an additional strain relief and more relaxed atmosphere. Group classes significantly improve the emotional and physical condition of patients. And if they are also adolescents, TDT helps them increase their self-esteem and develop a more positive image of their own body. By contacting other members of the group, young people can awaken new, previously unexplored feelings.

So, we considered the methods of dance therapy in as much detail as possible. Now you can touch the attention and exercise. There are no restrictions and generally accepted standards. After all, one of the goals, as mentioned earlier, is to demonstrate freedom and creativity. The most important thing is that the movements performed by the patient should be directed towards the realization of his own feelings at this particular moment. His task is to express his experiences with a dance. And the therapist, watching him, must understand what the patient is trying to convey. This is where psychoanalysis comes into play. The task of the doctor is the duty to accurately analyze the patient's behavior, which will help to understand his problem.

Then the healer, together with the person, proceeds to expand the limited potential of the movements. So it is possible to liberate the patient, to direct him to overcome the complexes and psychological problems. This is the aim of dance therapy.

Exercises are what the patient should concentrate on during the session. When a person “stretches”, it is important for him to feel what exactly he is feeling at that moment. And the doctor, in turn, should help him come to the realization of his physical sensations. At the last stage, the patient usually feels that his soul is one with the body, and transmits it with his dance.

What else is worth knowing?

For TDT there are no barriers. No age limits or limitations on diagnosis. Now there are centers that work with adults and children who accept anyone who wants to help cope with personal problems, anxieties, fears, personal crisis, lack of understanding of themselves and the loss of the meaning of life. There is also a married TDT.

Special programs have been developed for children that are able to correct disharmonious development (such as autism, developmental delay, minimal brain dysfunction). For adults there is a program that helps to cope with obsessive overeating, anorexia and bulimia. With the help of TDT, you can even establish parent-child relationships.

And people who have decided to do TDT (or they had to do it), claim that there is an effect. All described theory is confirmed in practice. And therapy allows not only to replenish strength, but also to get to know oneself, to feel one's light, uniqueness and value for this world, which is confirmed by many reviews.

As it was already possible to understand, the activity of a person who possesses such art as dance therapy is very complex and multifaceted. Training of specialists of this profile also takes place in several stages. The program itself was created in 1995. This is still the only technique that meets the requirements of the European Association of TDT. And the program is carried out by such a university, as the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis. IPPiP is located in Moscow.

All students in this area have to master a lot of disciplines. The preparation is comprehensive and serious. Leading experts not only from Russia but also from the USA and Europe are involved in teaching.

During the training, future therapists take theoretical seminars on TDT and psychological counseling. The program also includes supervision. Students will also undergo personal psychotherapy and clinical practice.

Educational nuances

It is important to note that this is not a 4-year course, but a professional retraining, at the end of which students are given a diploma. This document gives professionals the right to conduct professional activities in the field of psychotherapy and, of course, TDT.

For admission it is necessary to make a questionnaire and write a meaningful essay (a kind of creative competition). Also, each prospective student is required to take an introductory course on TDT. This is necessary to identify a person's abilities for this activity. The program includes 10 hours of the basics of creative dance and 50 hours - group TDT “Basic life themes”. After completing the course, the person is interviewed and accepted for training.

By the way, today there is also a regional training program, which can be taken in the center of healing art and creativity in Ufa, which cooperates with the previously mentioned university (IPPI).

How did a new direction in treatment appear?

Dance therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which the social, cognitive, emotional and physical aspects of a person’s life are integrated during the process of movement (dance).

This method of treatment is suitable for healthy people and those who are faced with emotional disorders, psychosomatic diseases, impaired communication skills and other problems.

Dance as a form of communication has its roots in deep antiquity, while body movement under a certain rhythm was a ritual act that could pursue different goals: from social and community to healing practices.

Already at that time, dance had accumulated in itself functions reflecting the social and psychological life of a person and society. What did the dance for:

  1. Ritual communication. Dance was a form of transmission of sacral knowledge and communication with the divine principle.
  2. Communicative function, when a person is able to establish contact with a representative of his own type with the help of dance (among historians there is a theory that before the appearance of a language, communication between people took place through dance).
  3. The identification function, when with the help of dance an individual shows his involvement in a particular community.
  4. Expressive function. Dance acts as a way of expressing feelings and relieving tension.
  5. A cathartic function, when through a dance a person gets the opportunity to plunge into intense negative experiences and thereby get rid of their toxic effects, to receive spiritual purification. (Catharsis is a keen experience of liberation and rebirth as a result of great shock or suffering).

Movements to music coped with these tasks throughout the history of mankind. The healing properties of the dance were known among the Indian tribes.

In China, a number of specific dance and gymnastic exercises, such as Tai Chi, were a popular practice during treatment.

In England, in the 19th century, there was a theory among doctors about the beneficial effects of dance on the treatment of diseases associated with the patient's physiological and psychological state, and thanks to the work of choreographers Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey in Great Britain, the first theories of dance-movement psychotherapy were developed.

The prerequisites for the development of dance therapy as a successful method of treatment were formed for a long time, but in the twentieth century there were 2 events that had a great influence on the development of direction. What led to the birth of dance therapy:

  1. The emergence and rapid popularization of psychoanalysis in Europe and America, thanks to which they began to study unconscious mental processes.
  2. The emergence of a new type of modern dance, the most prominent representatives of which are Isadora Duncan, Rudolf Laban and Mary Wigman. By abandoning the canonical forms of dance, turning to new subjects and using unusual dance-plastic means, the representatives of this trend sought to transfer personal, unconscious experience and individual self-expression.

The founder of dance therapy as a method of treatment is considered to be Marion Chase, who was a dancer and teacher.

Being engaged in dance with pupils, Marion drew attention to the separation between the students: if some focused attention directly on the technique of dance, then others were occupied by the sensual component and self-expression.

By changing the teaching methods, she allowed her students to convey more emotions through freedom of movement, which allowed them to come to an understanding of the psychological advantages inherent in the dance as a form of perception of the world and emotional interaction with it.

Working with children and adolescents in various educational institutions, she managed to make the proper impression on psychologists so that they began to take her method of treatment seriously.

After that, she practiced dance and movement therapy with people who experienced both psychological and motor problems, and in 1946 Marion was invited as an active dance therapist to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where, thanks to her work, efforts and knowledge, patients considered to be hopeless, they were able to learn how to interact in a group and express emotions, after which their treatment proceeded in the classical form, but with great success.

As an independent discipline, dance therapy began to develop after 1966, when the American Dance Psychotherapy Association was created.

Advantages and features of the method

Mainly, people who know the world around and define their place in it through movement, through their body, turn to tantsetherapy.

Движение в их случае рассматривается как способ выразить и понять себя, поскольку на каком-то этапе они потеряли связь с собой, гармонию и ощущение целостности.

Анри Матисс «Танец»

Не ощущая контакта со своим телом, люди теряют связь со своим глубоким, живым и творческим началом, связь с собственной природой. The principles and goals of dance-movement therapy, on the basis of which the treatment method is based, are as follows:

  1. There is an integration of bodily and mental experience. The integrity of the thinking, behavioral processes and emotional involvement of the individual. Changes in one aspect entail changes in others.
  2. Using dance, you can communicate on three levels: with the world as such, with other members of the group, with yourself. This creates a unified and proprietary system of communication.
  3. Movement allows you to unleash creativity, which is the essence and the root cause of human energy.

It is important to remember that dance therapy is primarily a direction of psychology, not art. The beauty of dance gestures and movements, plasticity, technique and direction of dance are not key aspects of therapy.

Thanks to the involvement in the creative process, which is able to open the way for a person to study and realize himself, his capabilities and limits, the patient gets the opportunity to work out other tasks. What gives the dance:

  1. Improved physical and emotional state.
  2. Self-esteem and self-esteem increases, a person learns to trust himself in a new way and builds his own favorable image.
  3. The experience of the integration of feelings, thinking and movement becomes important for relationships with oneself and with others.

In addition, in cases of group therapy, patients with psychological problems get better at interacting with people, learning new skills in communication takes place.

Variants of the classification of dance and motor therapy

Considering dance therapy from different points of view, we can distinguish at least two classifications that reflect the approach to treatment methodology and the requirements for the education of a dance therapist, the complexity and uniqueness of a set of measures to assist patients.

The first classification is based on the number of participants. There are the following types of dance therapy:

Today, the last one is the most demanded and worked out, because it allows us to carry out the treatment of many people at once. Usually, all participants are involved in the process at once, but different formats are possible (for example, when someone moves and someone watches).

Accordingly, the second classification is based on the requirements for the specifics of education, experience and skills of the dance therapist who performs the treatment.

Here are the types of dance therapy for this classification:

  1. Clinical dance therapy for patients with mental disorders is used as an additional method of treatment along with medication. It is considered the most difficult type of dance therapy. It is widely used in cases where patients have a speech disorder, and they have difficulty contacting other people. For the emergence and consolidation of improvements requires a long therapeutic effect.
  2. Dance psychotherapy for mentally and physically healthy people with specific requests. Or, for somatic patients experiencing difficulties at the physiological level, they consider tantracetherapy, primarily as an additional method of treating disorders associated with movement and coordination.
  3. Dance art therapy for people who do not suffer from mental illness, but who have the desire to develop their skills and take a fresh look at the world. In this case, therapy is a way of self-expression, expanding the idea of ​​yourself, your body.

Both group work and one-on-one lessons can be really useful and bring a new, inspiring experience.

TDT techniques and their characteristics

In dance and motor therapy, there are several possible types of dance, which are used depending on the preservation of physical abilities.

  1. Unstructured dance consisting of spontaneous and diverse movements. This option is often chosen for the treatment of neurosis. Spontaneous movements are perceived as an element of the game, with which you can express emotions and sensations.
  2. Structured dance, which can be attributed, for example, round dance. Circular dance has special therapeutic properties, gives a sense of ownership, community and intimacy.

In addition to the circular dance, exercises aimed at relaxation and concentration or movement in the environment can be attributed to exercises characterized by a clear and competent structure.

For patients with psychotic disorders, mirror responses may be perceived as aggression, which adversely affects the effectiveness of therapy. In order for the group members to feel comfortable and safe, the therapist must be empathetic and sufficiently qualified.

Dance therapy for children

Today, dance therapy for children is one of the most popular ways of treating young patients with impaired communication skills. Teaching children to dance in general education, development and leisure centers takes place in rhythm lessons with a professional teacher. Since rhythm positively affects the development of plasticity and grace in a child. He learns to hear the rhythm and understand music, to harmonize what he heard with the movements of the body.

Gars du ardennes witham

First, the teacher teaches children the elements of dance, helps to form and develop new motor skills, but in itself imitation is only half of the work. In working with children, for the development of creativity, there are elements of plays and games, where children can use imaginary images, include fantasy, appeal to their own spiritual experiences and reveal emotions.

Theoretical basis

Dance therapy is based on the recognition that the body and mind are interrelated: changes in the emotional, mental or behavioral areas cause changes in all these areas. The body and consciousness are considered as equivalent forces in integrated functioning. The dance-therapist Berger divides psychosomatic relationships into 4 categories: muscle tension and relaxation, kinesthetics, body image and expressive movement.

Awareness of feelings and the corresponding emotional expression involves the muscle tone of the person. People usually do not realize their feelings if there is a high degree of physical tension. In the process of trying to cope with stress, a person can, defending himself from fear, lose control by suppressing and repressing his feelings that exist in the body. By giving tension to arise and keeping it in the body, a person thus protects himself from direct experience and from meeting face to face with his conflict. For example, the degree of tension in the shoulders and arms can be unconsciously increased to the point where this part of the body becomes cut off from the senses: it becomes dissociated. With such a person, the dance therapist may choose to work the swaying arm movement to relax the muscles associated with a particular emotional state that the patient denies. Having started working with muscle patterns that relate to emotions, a person experiences (through the muscles) feelings that are aggravated, become conscious in movement, and then recognized or clarified at the cognitive level. This connection, which develops between physical action and the inner emotional state, is a consequence of the muscular memory associated with the senses. With another client, the therapist can work with bodily sensations and translate their action so that emotion and movement reinforce each other. So movement becomes a direct expression of inner feelings. For clients who have a more integrated level, the therapist can help focus on a specific part of the body, in order to identify what is being done on the body level, perhaps unconsciously, and what gives rise to a certain emotional experience. In such a situation, the therapist can help the client verbally explore associations, images, fantasies or memories that occur in the mind during the process of combining the motor response in the body with its emotional components.

Every thought, action, memory, fantasy or image causes some new muscle tension. People can be helped to discover: how they change, transform, redirect, destroy or control these subtlest muscular sensations that influence the experience and expression of feelings. This process is similar and corresponds to the protective mechanisms of the ego. In his work on character formation, Reich shows how an identical process becomes evident in both the physiological and psychological spheres. He's writing:

“In melancholic or depressed patients, speech and facial expression are frozen, as if every movement overcomes resistance. In the manic state, on the contrary, the impulses suddenly cover the whole body, the whole person. With a catatonic stupor, mental and muscular rigidity are identical, and only the end of this state returns both mental and muscular mobility. ”

Awareness of one’s own senses requires some degree of body awareness. The kinesthetic process makes it possible to get direct experience from muscular activity. Changes in the position and balance of the body, coordination of motor activity and movement planning include both the perception of external objects or events, as well as our motor response. This kinesthetic sensation, critical to the performance of everyday tasks, plays a leading role in shaping our own emotional awareness and responses. There are two ways to develop emotional awareness:

The first - learning the correct label or word that corresponds to a given emotional state. This training begins in infancy and early childhood. To understand how such training happens, it’s enough to remember how the baby is taken in their arms and asked: “Why are you so sad?” Or they say: “You’re hungry, aren't you?” Our non-verbal behavior says, says something. Other people will recognize our experiences and clothe them in appropriate words to identify, and later to talk about them.

Second The way to develop emotional awareness is based on the recognition and interpretation of other people's motor actions. In his study of how emotions communicate, Klein points out that each emotion has a specific psychological code and characteristic brain pattern, controlled by the central nervous system and biologically coordinated, this process is the same for all people. In addition, the experience of different emotions and their corresponding muscular reactions are also universal, universal. Therefore, we are able to perceive and recognize the emotional states of others. Our emotional responses to other people usually come from our interpretations of bodily actions and the reactions of others, perceived, recognizable and experienced by us at the kinesthetic level. Kinesthetic empathy, which is largely unconscious, plays a role in verbal and non-verbal communication between people.

The next concept is a body image, it refers to the relationship of the soul and the body, that is, to the psychosomatic relationship. In one of the early generalizing work on the study of the image of the body, Schilder states: "The image of the body is an image of our own body, which we draw in our head, that is, the way the body is presented to us." He views the body image as something that is in a state of constant development or change. Movement causes changes in body image. The way to connect parts of the body, the awareness of such bodily sensations as breathing, the awareness of muscle activity, are just a few examples of how kinesthetic sensations can contribute to the awareness and development of a body image. Mahler's work on emotional development and “psychological birth” also supports the evidence that self awareness is necessary as a separate physical reality, entity, before the process of individuation takes place.

The image of ourselves that we have affects us and is influenced by all our perceptions, experiences and actions. A person who perceives himself as weak and fragile differs from the one who perceives himself as strong. Just like when a child is treated like a silly one, his body image will absorb his reactions to people's impressions and to his own. Schilder writes:

“The positional model of our own body is connected with the positional model of the body of other people. Positional models of people are related. We feel the images of the bodies of other people. Experience, experiencing your own body image and experience, experiencing the bodies of other people are closely intertwined. Just as our emotions and actions are inseparable from the image of the body, the emotions and actions of others are also inseparable from their bodies. ”

Focusing in a certain way on the relationship between movement change and psychological change in dance therapy, Chace states: “Since movement affects the body image and the change in mental attitude, then if you work with a sense of distortion of the body image in action, it will change your mental self-perception, attitude towards yourself. ”

The fourth area, which deals with the relationship of soul and body, and on which most dance therapists emphasize is an expressive movement. Emotional expression manifests itself through the body. Body position, gestures, respiratory patterns are some examples of movement behavior that is studied in terms of expressive movement. It is the qualitative aspect of the movement, rather how it occurs, rather than static positions - that reflects individual self-expression. Allport and Vernon write:

". No action can be defined as expressive only. Each action has both inexpressive and expressive aspects. It has its own adaptive character and individual character. Opening the door, for example, this task prescribes certain coordinated movements, this goal, but also provides some freedom for the individual style in performing the prescribed movements. The confidence, pressure, accuracy or patience with which this task is performed have their particular Only these individual characteristics are called expressive. "

Expressive behavior is a motor manifestation of emotions that are interconnected in a functional system. Clynes sees the expressive movement as an emotional state that expresses. His study of how emotions are experienced and communicated helps to explain how dance movement therapy works with feelings and their manifestations in action. If we produce an action or gesture that corresponds to an emotion (for example, to angrily kick a stone), we begin to experience the corresponding generated visceral response. If this action is repeated several times, then the intensity of the emotional experience will increase. In order to encourage the experience and expression of emotions, the dance-movement therapist works with movement patterns associated with emotions. For example, to work with anger, the therapist may suggest folding his hands into a fist, squeezing them tightly and shaking them in front of another person. There may be other instructions: stand firm, straining your whole body. When shook with fists, the movement generates a more specific bodily experience of the emotional state. It provides feedback and a loop of interaction between expressive action and emotional experience.

Emotions can be caused by a real situation (eg, sadness, when you lose a friend), perception of a part. emotional state (for example, you become infected with fear, seeing the fear of another person), in an imaginary fantasy situation (for example, remembering or imagining that you are stuck in an elevator) or perceiving a fantasy state in another person (eg, the experience of pain or guilt shown an actor).

The therapist's use of imagination, action, or emotion helps thus crystallize and integrate the physiological and the psychological.


These are, first of all, people who are sometimes called kinesthetics. For them, movement is a way of processing information. They, to fully understand, need to feel it in the body and find an expression of it in motion. For them, movement is a way of self-expression, self-knowledge and development.

And also it can be people of another warehouse (you can select an audible type, or visual), who at a certain stage of their life began to realize that in order to solve their problem, they need to turn to their body, learn to understand its language and join it in dialogue.

All of them can be united by the fact that at a certain moment these people may feel that they are not complete, have lost contact with themselves, or would like to change the quality of this contact. Psychologically, the loss of contact with oneself is identical to the loss of contact with the body.

Танцедвигательная терапия может стать полезной:
• Для тех, чьи проблемы связаны с телесностью: проблемы, связанные с образом тела, с общим ощущением скованности, напряжения и мышечными зажимами в разных частях тела, или тревогой по поводу близости, физического контакта и доверия.
• Для всех, кто испытывает эмоциональные трудности, конфликты, находится в стрессе.
• For those who are not satisfied with their own body (weight, size, shape) or their bodily behavior (overeating, “tightness”, increased tendency to injury, etc.).
• For those for whom some feelings or experiences are too strong, or so absorbing that it is difficult to find words to say about them, or for those who avoid their own feelings and cannot find the exact words to verbalize their feelings, desires , needs.
• For people experiencing a stressful or crisis period in their lives, which is associated with all sorts of losses (death of loved ones, divorce etc.) or a cardinal change in your life.
• For people who are concerned that their problems are not being solved for too long, that life seems to go in a circle, or they experience the general condition that in life “everything goes wrong”.

This can be both individual work and group work.

Group or individual dance therapy?

Sometimes people ask what is more effective - group or individual lessons? Effectively, both. The choice of the form of work depends on the request, an important role is played by the financial capabilities of the client. The therapist may also recommend the best way to work at the moment.

In individual work, the focus of attention is aimed at exploring the client’s inner world and its reflection in the body, postures, movements and behavior in life. The therapist helps to establish the connection between the movements of the client and his feelings, thoughts and memories. Deep intrapersonal work takes place here.

In group work, additional attention may be given to relations with other people. A group can act as a certain model of society, where participants can fully understand their feelings, thoughts and behavior in relationships with other people, as well as explore and consolidate changes in a safe atmosphere.

The number of sessions, both in group and individual work, is very diverse. This is due to the request, that is, the goals, objectives that a person sets for himself. But usually, to achieve the first sustainable results, 7-12 meetings are necessary. The most effective weekly sessions.

The general goals of dance therapy can include:

-The development of self-awareness, self-esteem and personal autonomy.
- Establishing the relationship between their thoughts, feelings and actions.
- Elaboration of emotional blocks at the body level.
- The study of alternative, more constructive behaviors.
- Improving adaptive abilities and developing behavioral flexibility.
- The expression and control of all-consuming feelings and thoughts.
- Development of communication skills.
- Access to internal resources and creative powers.
- Development of harmonious and trusting relationships.


- In childhood, a person seeks the approval and love of his parents, developing a “must-must” system, often without taking into account his own immediate needs,
- It tries to avoid punishment, unpleasant and painful experiences, unbearable feelings and creates basic clips in the body and in its movements,
- He learns to survive in the world around him and in various degrees rejects, cannot take significant parts of his personality when society does not recognize them, or considers them unimportant, or does not support individuality in the proper degree.

So, dance therapy As a field, psychotherapy is huge. For TDT there are no restrictions on age or on nosology. The limitation is only the limitations of the dance therapists themselves (i.e. depends on their specialization).

In Russia dance therapy initially developed as a kind of group of personal growth for adults. Now the range of its application has expanded significantly. There is a group and individual work with children and adults, with the help of which you can solve your personal problems associated with relationships with other people, anxieties and fears, crisis life situations, loss of life meaning, lack of understanding of yourself.

There is also a family TDT, where you can solve family problems, there are children's groups for preschoolers and schoolchildren, developing creative skills, communication skills of the child, helping to prepare and adapt in school. There are unique programs for children (parent-child groups) that correct the disharmonic development of the child (such as mental retardation, minimal brain dysfunction, etc.), in groups and individually work with people suffering from eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, obsessive overeating), with psychogenic bodily symptoms and other psychosomatic disorders. TDT is used as a way to prepare married couples for parenting before childbirth, as well as for postpartum support - special groups for babies from 0 to 3 years old and their mothers.

Work is beginning to develop with people suffering from post-traumatic disorders, with disabled children, refugees.


TDT In Russia, there is still a very new specialization. The TDT Association (ATDT) is gradually taking steps to develop this profession with the support of the American Dance Therapeutic Association (ADTA), the European TDT Association and the International Therapy Association for Creative Expression (IEATA). Now it is a 3-year specialization in TDT at the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis with a state diploma of vocational retraining.

In January 2011. in Yekaterinburg, the only regional program for specialization in TDT, carried out under the auspices of the Association of TDTs and supported by the Institute of Physics and Industry and Education from November 2007, has ended.

Certified Specialists dance therapy in Yekaterinburg (in accordance with the professional register of ATDT and standards of professional training of the European ATDT):

The history of the development direction

It is not known exactly when dance movement therapy was born, but elements of dance were actively used by ancient civilizations: they were included in various rituals, were an integral part of the rituals, part of the practice of healers and healers, as well as a kind of communication.

The dance was present in the life of primitive tribes and performed several functions at once.

  • First, he personified a kind of symbolic language and provided a connection with something sacred and sacred.
  • Secondly, rhythmic movements were a way to transfer information through gestures and communications between individuals.
  • Thirdly, the dances were used as a method of identification - designation of belonging to a particular nation, tribe or nation (this function is partially preserved to this day).
  • Fourthly, with the help of movements the dancer could spit out emotions, show his perception of the world, express thoughts.
  • And, finally, from the most ancient times, the dance was used as an accessible way for all to relax and relieve tension. And in some practices it was perceived as a path to a special state, for example, to nirvana.

The American dancer and teacher Marion Chase, who noticed that her students were changing, began to move to the direction of psychotherapy, and such changes affect not only the dance technique, but the expression of feelings through movements. Chase decided to give freedom to the dancers and, thus, discovered a positive psychological influence.

At first she practiced in dance schools and worked with children, but later psychotherapists and psychologists became interested in her experience. The formation of dance-motor therapy as an independent direction was influenced by the views of Carl Jung, as well as the psychoanalytic theory developed by Harry Sullivan and Wilhelm Reich.

Objectives and principles

Dance movement therapy is based on five basic principles:

  1. Inseparability of mind and body, their close connection, constant interaction and influence on each other.
  2. Dance as a communicative process consisting of three levels: with other people, with the outside world and with yourself.
  3. Thoughts, feelings and behavior are closely interrelated and exist as a whole complex, so changes in one aspect affect the rest.
  4. The body is a continuous process, not an object, subject or object.
  5. Human creative abilities are presented as an inexhaustible and replenishable source of energy and vitality.

The direction pursues such goals as developing self-confidence, increasing self-esteem, expanding the sphere of consciousness, searching for new opportunities, knowing the body and all its parts, improving social and psychological skills, gaining experience, and establishing a close and inseparable connection between movements, emotions, feelings. and thoughts.

Types of therapy

There are several types of dance movement therapy:

  • Clinical is used in medical practice in combination with other methods of therapy, is conducted by courses and can last for years.
  • Dance psychotherapy is aimed at eliminating psychological barriers and problems and involves focusing on specific requests from patients.
  • Personal dance-movement therapy. Her main goals are self-knowledge, personal development, mastering something unknown, receiving new bright emotions.

In which cases dance and movement therapy will be useful?

Dance therapy is used in many different cases, and its main indications are as follows:

  • rehabilitation after severe diseases or debilitating and complex treatment (such therapy is used in cancer therapy),
  • emotional stress, frequent and severe stress, nervous exhaustion,
  • experienced severe psychological trauma,
  • low self-esteem, self-doubt and self-reliance, shyness and stiffness,
  • living in adverse conditions or dysfunctional families,
  • confusion in thoughts, inability to understand oneself and understand one’s life purpose,
  • serious post-traumatic complications,
  • difficult pregnancy
  • eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.

In what cases is therapy contraindicated?

At first glance it may seem that almost everyone can dance, but dance-movement therapy as a psychotherapeutic area has contraindications, which include suicidal thoughts, persistent and severe mental disorders, senile dementia, gross behavioral disorders and diseases that limit any physical activity.

Practices and exercises

There are many techniques and exercises, but there are several primary dance rhythms: smooth and soft, crisp and sharp, chaotic and spontaneous, graceful and refined, and motionless, aimed at tracking body pulsations. And some techniques include three main components: awareness of the body, its individual parts and processes, increasing the flexibility and expressiveness of the dance, and authentic movements that imply improvisation and spontaneity.

Advantages and disadvantages

Finally, it is worthwhile to list the advantages and disadvantages of dance movement therapy. First, consider the advantages:

  • Dance is nice. The rhythmic movements performed to the music help to relax, distract from bad thoughts, have fun and take a step towards self-expression.
  • This direction is very useful for children, as the dance improves coordination of movements, increases flexibility, gives self-confidence and ensures harmonious psychological and physical development.
  • Dance movements - this is physical activity, and it helps strengthen health, and acts on many important systems of the body: cardiovascular, respiratory and even digestive.
  • Active exercises, which include directions, are useful for adults, adolescents and children who are overweight. Dance will help to normalize body weight, maintain shape and make the body more prominent, because in the process of training, almost all muscle groups work.
  • This direction does not require the development of special skills and knowledge, and efforts are minimal.

  • There are contraindications, although few.
  • Therapy is not effective in all cases. So, with serious mental disorders, it may not help.

Try dance-movement therapy on yourself and appreciate its benefits and effects.