Dance therapy - It is a branch of psychotherapy, using dance movements as a method that promotes the integration of the individual into society. Dance therapy establishes communication with the unconscious through bodily and integration of the material obtained into the conscious field. Being a non-prescriptive style of therapeutic intervention, she studies movement without modifying it.

Modern culture, splitting the physical and mental aspects of the individual, perceiving the body as an object requiring mandatory change, improvement, uses very aggressive methods in the form of food restriction, limiting physical exertion, unsustainable fasting and surgical intervention. This pushes the body to revolt, provoking psychosomatic diseases, cultivates a negative to the self.

Since dance movement therapy does not cultivate the concept of reference movement, on the contrary, the therapist teaches the client to follow internal impulses, such an experience of coordinating with oneself is sometimes unique to an adult.

History of dance and movement therapy

The origins of dance movement therapy can be found in the early ritual dances of the peoples of the world, who used movement in a symbolic display of the various stages of initiation that are important for the existence of processes, such as hunting. Even then it was believed that the behavior in ritual and in real conditions would be identical, that the body in ritual demonstrates whether a person is ready to perform a certain task. The group dance formed the unity necessary for effective interaction in real situations, thereby fulfilling the communicative function even at the stage of speech absence or at its differences.

Later, the aspect of individual movement initiation was abolished, but the dance remained an element of social communication, moved into the plane of art and carried an entertaining function. He lost his individuality and became limited by certain rules and traditions. The popularization of impulse, non-mechanical dance is associated with the name of Isadora Duncan, a great dancer of the 20th century, who developed a free movement technique based on the ancient Greek Mysteries.

The events of the Second World War put the psychology of the rehabilitation of a huge number of people united by various problems, injuries, differing by age and population. At that time, psychoanalytic theory dominated psychotherapy, which, in classical use, was somewhat limited to verbal tools.

Dance therapy, as a correction method, was considered after the development of the ideas of the neo-Freudian Wilhelm Reich, who worked on the concept of orgon energy and muscle clamps (armors). Also, Karl Jung (analytical psychoanalysis) cultivated a dance direction of treatment, considering that dance is one of the ways to express “active imagination”, helping to extract an unconscious layer for analysis and attainment of catharsis.

The final integration of psychoanalysis and the concept of free dance modernize Marian Chace, an American dance teacher. Watching the transformations taking place with the students of her school, who paid more attention to emotional expression, and not the accuracy of the technical implementation of the gesture, she began to use the movement to understand and change the psychological state. Later, having tested the method on the patients of a psychiatric institution and obtained stunning results, when, inaccessible to communication earlier, patients could establish communication and became able to express feelings, dance therapy was recognized by the community of psychologists and psychiatrists in the late 40s.

Dance-movement therapy, as a method of psycho-correction, is used to uncover the ability to express emotions, unconscious material through symbolic action, integration of the resulting into consciousness.

The elements of the therapeutic process of direction are awareness, both of the individual components of the body, and sensory experiences during movement, increase in expressiveness, authentic movement, and disclosure of spontaneity.

Dance and movement therapy exercises aimed at creating a healthy perception of the body, uses for awareness of the client of his person in others. Moving in forms unusual for everyday life, a person learns his limitations and resources better.

Dance therapy is performed in individual and group forms. A typical session includes warm-up, direct practice and completion.

Dance therapy is applied separately and integratively with the analysis. Usually, verbal expression, feedback, analysis occur at the completion stage, but is allowed throughout the session, depending on the actual tasks.

Dance movement therapy, as a correction method, is used to solve any psychotherapeutic tasks. It is a method of choice in psychosomatic diseases, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood neuroses, when the verbal component is insufficient due to age or the inability to realize what kind of emotion a person works with. The same dance and motor therapy is used to resolve interpersonal and group conflicts, develop the inner potential of a person, and unlock the resources of the unconscious.

Dance therapy for children

Tactile sensations from birth are dominant for the healthy formation of the individual, because the information obtained is physically relevant for the psyche. Since speech is not formed immediately, the body from birth is an instrument of translation and perception of mental processes. The child literally feels the emotions of the body and the key element of personal development is the ability to abstract the emotion and verbalize it. If this aspect is ignored, psychosomatic diseases are formed, which are a way of transmitting psychological problems.

Already preschoolers are diagnosed with somatoform disorders, chronic muscular tension combined with the inability to work through internal experiences. The lack of formation of abstract thinking limits the use of verbal methods, projective ones, including motor ones, become the main tools.

Dance therapy in kindergarten is carried out by a full-time psychologist, it is recommended that teachers learn the exercises for introduction into the daily life of the garden. The stages and exercises are identical to the classic application with the priority of non-verbal components. The advantage of the implementation of dance-motor therapy among preschoolers is the game format, which helps to level the effect of resistance.

The effects achieved by this method: the preservation of the natural sensitivity of the body, the range of movements, the discharge of tension, the expression of the emotional spectrum, the study of the elaboration of experiences, is carried out as an element of creative formation.

Dance therapy in kindergarten helps to unite, communicate, form competent orientation in group conflict.

Dance therapy is permissible in the correction of disturbed and disharmonious formation.

Dance therapy for the elderly

Isolation from society is called an important problem for the community of older people. The narrowing of the social circle, especially for previously active and sociable people, is acutely experienced, affecting somatic well-being.

Reducing the functional effectiveness of your body is often perceived as traumatic, because motor techniques can be considered a priority in the psychotherapy of the elderly, performing a healing function.

Dance therapy for the elderly allows each participant to work within their own physical resources and abilities, therefore, successfully applicable to people with disabilities. Having based on impulse, spontaneous movement, not imposed by the accuracy of execution, it allows the age representative to perform tasks without a sense of inferiority.

Dance and movement therapy exercises on plastic, coordination and flexibility are used to expand the range of motor functions, which is positively reflected in somatic health. The introduction of dance therapy in a conservative plan for the rehabilitation of older people contributes to increasing activity, expanding psychomotor abilities, creating an adequate perception of the physical image of self, expressing and working out anxiety, sadness.

Priority is group therapy, as a source of communication and mutual support. Visual confirmation of the commonality of problems opens up a resource for a collective solution, shifting the attention to support and sharing. Joint creative interaction unites and qualitatively expands social contacts.

It is advisable to train the basic principles and fundamentals of free dance for later use by older people individually. Safety method allows the use of exercises on their own.