Dance has so many benefits, and now therapists are beginning to use dance movement with their clients. Their goal is to create a safe space where movement can help them improve their clients’ physical and mental health. They teach their clients that the mind and body are interconnected, and movement can be used as a method of expression. This often leads to new perspectives and behaviors.
Why styles of dance are used for dance movement therapy? Sessions can be structured and choreographed or free and spontaneous. A common style incorporates mirroring, where the therapist imitates a client’s movements; they’ve found that this gives the client a sense of validation.
A 2012 study found that dance movement therapy improved stress management and reduced psychological distress. It taught clients to trust their instincts and impulses. It decreased feelings of isolation and helped form healthy social bonds, since dance movement therapy is often done in a group setting. It also helped increased energy while lowering anxiety levels.
Dance is its own language. It allows us to non-verbally express emotions that could be challenging to share any other way.