The therapeutic use of motion for emotions and imagination, social, cognitive, physical and mental wellbeing improves, is imposed by dance therapy or movement therapy. DMT has been used in Western medicine since the 1940s (Newcomer). How it works is dependent on the connection between mind and body. The therapy encourages self-exploration through expressive gestures. Research has shown that DMT can improve depressive symptoms and improve health and well-being. There is, however, much controversy about DMT’s advantages. Four approaches to DMT are open. All the four approaches discussed above bear the notion that nonverbal both the transference and counter-transference processes are represented.
Firstly, Authentic Movement which is a form of dance movement that came from DMT pioneer Mary Whitehouse’s “movement in depth.” Joan Chodorow and Janet Adler further developed authentic movement as a dance form. In authentic movement, the dancer explores the unconscious by moving the inner listening in a non-hierarchical and an entirely independent manner. Whoever is watching, therefore, observes the process of the mover or the dancer keenly and non-judgmentally.
Secondly, Chace Approach which is an approach is named after Marian Chace, one of the dance therapy pioneers. In Chace approach, an intervention like symbolism, kinesthetic empathy, body action and rhythmic body activity enhance communication and expression. The emotional repertory of the clients’ motions are empathically mirrored to show the empathic relations and further build the empathic reflections. Mirroring is a key DMT intervention gained from the Chace Approach widely applied in DMTs in the various other approaches (Newcomer).
Thirdly, Imaginative Dance Therapy which is an approach used some therapists use in the German-speaking nations where it is founded on the concepts from what is referred to as “Imaginative Therapie.” It incorporates Lilian Espenak Whitehouse and Chace concepts and stresses on one of the pioneers of DMT, Trudi Schoop’s practical work of DMT. In imaginative dance therapy, the lived body theory, dance compositions and improvisation are all crucial elements (Newcomer).
Lastly, Psychodynamic Oriented Dance Therapy approach. The approach is marked by both deep psychological theories and concepts. For instance, that conflicts when having DMT sessions show conflicts of previous experiences and can be worked through during DMT. The approach is founded on a mind-body function that incorporates movement improvisation and a psychodynamic functioning by movement experiences and the relations of the group. Dance improvisation is a particular intervention that is employed in all the other DMT approaches. When used in psychodynamic oriented DMT, dance improvisation shows the unconscious emotions and states that can be compared to psychoanalytic that is free of association. It means that the active imagination bears both a symbolic and concrete meaning.
DMT is attractive since it is focused on the movement behavior as it comes out in the therapeutic relationship. Also, it can be practiced in many different locations including nursing homes, mental health centers, day care centers, disease prevention centers, rehabilitation centers and in health promotion programs. Apart from the fact that DMT can be applied in many different locations, it is effective for persons with various conditions including social, developmental, physical, medical and psychological impairments (Newcomer). Finally, DMT can be used by individuals of all races, ages and ethnic backgrounds in various formats including group, family and individual treatments.
Newcomer, Laura. 8 Alternative Mental Health Therapies Explained. 4 December 2012. Web. 29 April 2017.