In this volume

2006 Vol. 5 No. 1

Physical Story Telling

professional development, supervision, authentic movement, improvisation, therapy, felt sense

Connor describes: “Physical Storytelling is a creative improvisational practice with roots in contact improvisation, authentic movement, dance improvisation, Dynamic Play Therapy and Playback Theatre (Harvey 1990; Harvey & Kelly 1991, 1992, 1993). This form draws on the elements of story telling, physical interaction, improvisation, and witnessing with the aim of transforming inner subjective experience through metaphor in a shared setting. The resulting performance can be thought of as exquisite communication. This form evolved and developed through practice in contact improvisational classes. Stories were added to the dances and later New Years Eve performances became regular rituals. This practice has been applied in a variety of settings including therapy, clinical supervision, performance, closing rituals at conferences and training of creative arts therapists.”  This article describes the evolution of this practice including the development of skills and the application in clinical and professional development settings, with descriptive vignette’s. (pp 2-8)



So, What Is This Thing Called Dance-Movement Therapy?

Professional definition, Industrial relations, psychodynamic, Psychomotor Therapy, psychotherapeutic, authentic dance

Michelle discusses the mis-perceptions of dance-movement therapy by opening with an incorrect definition of the profession published by The Centre of Mental Health Research in 2001. Unpacking the misunderstandings and challenges with language to define the profession, the author refers to various attempts to explain and define dance-movement therapy, including interconnections with psychology and psychotherapy. The author weaves in her own embodied personal and professional journey as a DMT to re-write a new professional definition, drawn from a collection of truths, whilst intending that it will also be ‘consciously evolving’. (pp 9-12)

The Israeli Association of Creative and Expressive Therapies: Dance/movement Therapy

historical development, professional growth, training programs, drama therapy, psychodrama, bibliotherapy

DMT Judith gives a brief overview of the founding and development of the professional association YAHAT or I.C.E.T. – The Israeli Association of Creative and Expressive Therapists (YAHAT signifies ICET in Hebrew). The formation and growth of the profession is described through reference to the various training centres, recognised credentials, ethical codes of practice and professional areas of practice for creative and expressive therapists. The ethnic and cultural diversity within this group of therapists are described as being innovative, collaborative, holding high professional standards, within an inclusive and progressive profession. (pp 13-14)




Dancing the personal and political: A participant’s response to a workshop and forum led by Petra Kuppers

Cultural Development Network, Community Development, disability, collaborative, palliative, arts funding, phenomenological

Petra Kuppers, community dance artist and activist from the USA led a workshop in Melbourne that was hosted by the Cultural Development Network and Ausdance. Ann-maree provides her response from the perspective of being a participant through the lenses of her community development work, dance practice and creative art therapy studies. An articulation of Petra’s approach to community art is given, with an emphasis that her work is political not therapeutic and primarily focussed on disability culture, although she also shared her creative inquiry processes and landscape connected responses, to people who were dying of cancer. Ann-Mares finds parallels in community cultural development (CCD) frameworks and similarities with her studies at MIECAT (The Melbourne institute for experiential and creative arts therapies) in the creative processes of change, concluding “Whether our aims are social or personal, therapeutic or political, I think the creative art therapist and CCD practitioner share the understanding that participation in creative arts offers meaningful ways of being in the world, and that collaborative processes offer powerful and respectful ways of being with others.” (pp 15-17)


The Benefits of Combining Creative Arts and Narrative Therapy approaches: a preliminary introduction to a PhD research study

research, heuristic process, hermeneutic phenomenology, sacred, improvisation, experienced-based education

Lisa describes aspects of the process and the journey she experienced to explore blended creative approaches to therapy: “discovering unique outcomes, and how this related to talents, strengths and attitudes that could be celebrated and embodied through the artistic process.” The research project focussed on collaborating with people experiencing mental illness her project “intentions are to make art together, to give a platform to make otherwise isolated pieces of art and creativity visible, make creative experiences where the negative experiences can be counteracted or counterbalanced, bring forth alternative experiences to the isolating forces in their lives, make group experiences more accessible, and provide a ‘practice space’ for these alternative ways of seeing themselves so that they may strengthen and develop into real options of perceiving themselves in life.” This community health based project included supporting participants to publicly share their stories in the form of a film documentary. (pp 18-19)



Book Review: ‘Women, Trauma and Visual Expression’

Book Author
Amy Stacey Curtis


Reflections: Workshops presented by Penelope Best

empathic attunement, supervision, professional development, inquiry, client’s voice, perceptual perspectives

The DTAA was pleased to welcome back Penny Best from the UK in March 2006. Penny, now a frequent visitor to Australia, conducted a five day Professional Development Event. She has become well known to our dance–movement therapy community and this time offered an excellent and stimulating three day event ‘Reflecting, Shifting & Transforming – in – Relation’ and two separate workshops on “Reflected Images: The Supervisor revealed through the Therapist who is revealed Through the Client’. We are very pleased to have received several contributions for publication. Sally Denning provides a reflection on the overall five day event, whilst Robyn Price reports on the 2nd day of the 3 day event and contributes a short poem from the content of the 3rd day. Elizabeth Mackenzie takes an interesting Haiku form approach to distill what she said was “a wonderful exploration of Dance-movement therapy practice and theory in the workshops”, and within this indicates that her perceptions and understanding were heightened by her attendance. (pp 22-26)


2006 Vol. 5 No. 2

Dancing the Demons Away: Dance/Movement Therapy as a Tool in Counseling Sexually Abused Children in the Philippines

Psychotherapy research, Piers-Harris Self Concept Scale for Children, Movement Indicator Checklist for Sexually Abused Children, Trauma, body image, LMA, KMP

This research was a pioneering study in the Philippines on the use of Dance Movement therapy (DMT) in counselling sexually abused female children that were institutionalised in a government shelter. It was undertaken as a final fulfilment for an M.Ed., course at the University of the Philippines and was submitted in March 2005.

Dinghy pioneered the first Master’s thesis on Dance therapy in her country with this research that used purposive sampling with five girls (ages 6-9 years old) who attended ten DMT sessions over a period of two months. Discussion centres on the researcher’s intention to explore the nature of trauma for these girls as well as their movement characteristics, and the possible healing effects of DMT, specifically on their body image and self-concept. This successful study paves the way for further innovative and creative forms of psychotherapy for sexually abused children in the Phillipines. (pp 2-9)

Let There Be Light! Phillip Light – Interviewed

African dance, drumming, percussion, Elderly, Disability, Children, Aboriginal Culture

Jenny shares a conversation with Phillip about his dance journey from Israeli folk dance to working with a wide range of groups offering drumming, Cultural dance classes and dance movement therapy experiences. Diverse travel and cultural experiences overseas and throughout Australia are reflected upon. These have inspired Phillip’s unique approach to working with; elderly clients who may have dementia, with physically and intellectually disabled children and teenagers and more recently clients with acquired brain injury. (pp 10-13)

Music and Imagery Conference in New Zealand ‘Challenge and Delight’

Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM), PTSD, Transference, Countertransference, Journalling, Self care, Disability, supervision

Conner gives an in-depth overview of the workshops and presentations on offer including her’s and Joanna Booth’s experiential participation in many sessions including; “Counselling and the Law”, using BMGIM with complex experiences of PTSD, “…the effects of Sound on the physical and Emotional Self”,  “Self-care and safe practice – Group work and Counsellors” and “Journalling – A group process”. Presentations were also given on “Making self of Myself through Narrative and Music” with presentations on using GIM in professional practice, supervision and with cognitively impaired adolescents.  The closing ritual of the conference is described vividly from Connor’s embodied perspective. (p.14)


reflection, professional development, doctoral thesis, student learning, perspectives

Heather shares her passion for writing by reflecting on her own writing journey paired naturally with her DMT practice. Encouragement is given to novice practitioners to start writing in the early stages of their careers and to continue to write and share experiences that will be valued by readers. Coming to know what you know, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it as a DMT, as well as the potential to improve one’s written proficiency are also advocated as good reasons to write. (pp 18-19 )


A Reflection On: The Dynamic Architecture of Communication: Moving, Feeling, and Observing: Space Laban Movement Analysis (LMA)

Kinesphere, axes, planes, scales, Affect Theory, Innate primal Affects, Sylvan Tompkins

An experiential workshop led by Sandra Kay Lauffenburger in Melbourne explored the feeling of the Kinesphere, the Dimensional, Defense, and Diagonal Scales, as well as the communicative subtleties contained in each. Ties to Affect Theory were also explored. The workshop was designed for practitioners of Dance-Movement Therapy but was open to anyone interested in Laban Movement Analysis and the exploration of non-verbal communication for professional or personal reasons. It built on the basic components of the Space element of LMA through didactic, somatic, dance, and playful experientials. (pp 20-21)


2006 Vol. 5 Nos. 3-4

Vive La Difference: Creating Relationship Through Dance And Movement

intergenerational, group process, rituals, relationships, creativity, community development

This article is from a presentation made by Heather at the International Consortium of Intergenerational Programs (ICIP) Conference, in Melbourne from 26th-28th June 2006. A nine-week program was facilitated by DMT Heather with support staff bringing together twelve older adults at the local day centre for frail elderly, and eight grade one children from the local state primary school.  The program is vividly described with reflections and vignettes from the sessions exemplifying the meaningfulness of the program for the adults and children. Connections with similar programs are outlined as an outcome from attending the ICIP Conference. (pp 2-5)

Taking Heart – an opportunity for Dance/Movement Therapy?

medical humanities, professional development, professional self-care, medical DMT

“In November 2004, the Association for Medical Humanities (Australia/New Zealand) was created to promote the medical humanities in education, healthcare and research. Its aim is to facilitate communication between the many disciplines that are concerned with the human experience of health and illness.” Robyn gained an opportunity to articulate the DMT profession and explore scope for further collaboration with the medical profession. Links are provided to journals, books and the Association for Medical Humanities (p. 6).

Thematic Unfolding – Movement Therapy on a specialist self harm unit

Mental health facility, touch, movement improvisation, “The five part session”, research, Thematic Unfolding Evaluation Model

An audit project conducted as a pilot study on a specialist Crisis Recovery Unit by DMT Gerry Harrison, is described from it’s inception, development and thematic unfolding of six sessions of Movement Therapy. Voluntary group attendance by clients over the course of their six-month stay on the unit was documented, along with the ‘Mixed Methods Approach involving quantitative and qualitative data. Each week is descriptively outlined with vignettes from the sessions. Working with interpersonal relationships was the central theme explored during the study in accordance with the focus of the therapeutic community intention of the unit. (p 7-12)


The Body Of Dance And The Dancer’s Body

LMA/ BMA, embodiment, present moment, Moving Beyond Polarities, Creative Systems theory, Aliveness

This article is the opening panel presentation presented by Peggy at the “Laban for the 21st Century Project’ apart of ‘Bratislava in Movement 2006’ in Slovakia from October 6 – 13th. (pp 13-14)

Dance Movement Therapy and a Journey to the Corporate World

DMT skills/attributes, proefessional development, group facilitation, communication training, improvisation

Candy touches on her goal for her DMT career path and it’s unexpected change to become a trainer for businesses seeking to enhance their teams’ skills in: self-awareness, presence and improvisation, observation and trust in the process of leading. Each DMT attribute is described as it applies to a business setting, especially for the leaders in these contexts wanting to improve their communication.(pp 16-17)

Dance Democracy In Dorrigo

regional community group, creative dance, well-being, Anna Halprin, props, performance, collective facilitation

A community group that comes together weekly to share movement along with DMT Fran. The group is unstructured and without a facilitator, allowing space for an array of props and practices to be explored creatively, including performance and processing lived experiences. Community sharing and development has evolved in the emergent space that embraces the unknown, where meals and bartering are shared, games can be played and relational challenges can explored and processed. (pp 18-20)

Reflections on Workshop with Dr Steve Harvey – Dynamic Family Play and Physical Storytelling

Dynamic family play, Physical story telling process, professional development, performance, themes,

Sally describes her participation in this one day workshop which involved games, discussion, embodying concepts and understanding play possibilities for use in family therapy. Potential application of the Physical Storytelling practice is outlined from Steve’s work and from the group’s participation in the process, with one person’s story providing rich experiential learning material for the group. (pp 23-24)

Listserve Dialogue – Dementia: Walking Not Wandering

residential care, Alzheimers Disease, Geropsychiatric Unit, personality, group therapy, presence, listening

The announcement to the ADTA listserve on the publication of this book (reviewed p.27-28), in which there is a chapter by Dr Heather Hill, promoted some dialogue between herself and Christine Hopkins. It is of interest to read, particularly for those involved in working with this population.

The Chapter: “The who, how and why of walking/wandering – a dance therapy perspective” , is summarised by Heather:  “Essentially my chapter rejects a simplistic account of ‘wandering’ as a symptom of dementia, and enlarges the perspective of walking/wandering in the context of dementia, to take in the person and the person in relation to his/her internal or external environment”. Further therapeutic re-framing of walking behaviour are offered by Heather and responded to by Christine with a moment she shared in relationship with a woman who was wandering. This moment expanded into a question for how to integrate wandering walkers into DMT groups. (p.29)