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)