“…the physchotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and well-being.”
American Dance Therapy Association
Benefits of DMT for Healthier Aging and Improved Quality of Life
- Complements and supports a multi-disciplinary team approach
- May promote the feeling of control over one’s own body
- Increases sensory engagement
- May increase social engagement and self-expression
- Provides a safe space for expression of thoughts and feelings
- Promotes nostalgia
- Cultivates a support system
- May promote overall relaxation
- Often encourages physical exertion
Common session themes include:
- Relationships and support systems
- Sessions are inclusive and held with individuals of all ages, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities.
- Each member is encouraged to participate at his or her own pace/comfort level.
- Sessions may take place with either one individual or a group of individuals.
- Memories and feeling states that may be held in the body and mind are expressed playfully through movement (and often also through verbal sharing) and supported by the therapist.
- Groups are most effective with 12-15 individuals. Smaller or larger groups may be beneficial as well, provided that most members do not require 1:1 attention and constant supervision.
- Sessions may be held in many different types of settings (therapeutic day rooms of various healthcare establishments, wellness centers, rehabilitative settings, community centers, etc.).
- Members are typically situated in a circle formation prior to the start of the session.
- The entire session may be seated based upon participant comfort and ability.
- Appropriate music selections are often played in the background to help promote structure, rhythm, and nostalgia. See my sample playlist below.
The Sounds of Music
Sample DMT Session Playlist