Dance Therapy Association of Australia

In this volume


2007 Vol. 6 No. 1

Self-Psychology of Heinz Kohut as a Psychodynamic Framework for Dance/Movement Therapy

Keywords
sense of self, pre-verbal, intersubjectivity, affect theory, infant-mother, relational

Sandra explores the concept of the Self developing from an infant to an adult, through connections with Self-psychological theory of Heinz Kohut and the infant development theorist, Daniel Stern, to expand on Personal experience or Inner Life and Interactive Intersubjective Space. Through clinical examples Sandra describes how this conceptual understanding is applied to her therapeutic work. In summary, she writes: “Through Kohut’s concept of Self as an organization of experience and consolidation of agency in the service of talents, ambitions, and ideals, I have found a non-shaming and development-supporting theory for understanding and framing clients’ needs and treatment goals. The invariant patterns of awareness identify more ‘bite-size’ aspects of the self-promoting experiences and give me landmarks upon which to focus as well as measure my interventions. Whether working verbally or non-verbally, the concept of Self guides my therapeutic work toward growth and expressive embodied personhood.” (pp 2-6)

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The Form is not Separate from Content

Keywords
Laban Movement Analysis, phenomenology, body/effort/space/shape (BESS framework), performance,

This paper was presented by Janet for the ‘Shape’ Panel, at the Bratislava in Movement Conference, ‘Laban in the 21st Century’, October 6, 2006 (pp 7-10).

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Making our mark — an introduction to dance therapy in Australia

Keywords
DMT history, mind/body, functional, aesthetic, meaning making, arts, embodied

The article came about as the result of ‘Arts Hub’ inviting the dance-movement therapy community to showcase its work. Heather undertook this task on behalf of the DTAA and wove within it some of our promotional information on dance-movement therapy. In brief she also touched on the history of dance therapy, gave an explanation including the profession’s fundamental beliefs, areas of work and whole-person approaches to therapy. The article was printed in Arts Hub on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 together with the list of books and papers available through the DTAA – mainly by Australian authors. The article is available from the Association as another resource for Australian DMT’s to use as a marketing/information giving tool. (pp 12-14)

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Together… moving with our eyes closed – Co-creating the intersubjective dialogue

Keywords
intersubjectivity, companioning, co-creation, research inquiry, therapeutic relationship, significant moments

In this brief article Julie reflects on her research inquiry at the Melbourne Institute for Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy stating “Fundamentally the focus of my inquiry is to develop a deeper understanding of how the therapeutic relationship is formed via the use of creative arts modalities while endeavouring to articulate the contributing factors that shape the intersubjective dialogue.” Illustrated with two co-created depictions of shared experiences with her client, the author gives a rich description of the qualities of the intersubjective space and shares her own feelings and her client’s – of being in this space together. (pp 15-16)

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Review – Helen Payne’s Workshop on “Authentic Movement” I see a Mover

Keywords
therapeutic process, Carl Rogers, somatisisation, impulse work, stillness, therapeutic relationship, group work

Sally gives an introduction of a 3 day workshop that she participated in, by commencing with the 10 ground rules for facilitating an Authentic Movement session. Processes of Authentic Movement and roles of ‘The Mover’ and ‘The Witness’ are described with examples from the workshop. Expressive journal reflections from the workshop are shared giving a sense of the transformative power of this experience. Rob describes her experiences of the workshop by discussing the meaningfulness of the challenges and restrictions of Authentic Movement. Rob also shares the significant shifts and differences she notices within herself post the workshop, supported by the generosity of time offered in the experientials. (pp 22-24)

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2007 Vol. 6 No. 2

Unspoken Stories: The gift of sharing a Movement Therapy space with Adolescents in a Specialist Psychiatric Unit, SE England UK

Keywords
clinical team, person-centred, transference, counter-transference, themes, Chacian circle, LMA

Tracey reflects on her clinical role as a DMT within an Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, working one to one and in groups with young people experiencing severe and enduring mental health problems. Her clinical focus is to discover and offer a creative unfolding space for what she calls the “unspoken story” for each person. Supported by her role on the unit as both a trainee and then employed as DMT, with supervision and reflective negotiation with the lead charge nurse, Tracey discusses methods and interventions from her evolving practice. These include structure, safety, multi-modal inquiry and exploration of themes whilst ‘working with the delicate notion of formation of identity’ for the young people she journeys with. (pp 2-7)

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ArtStories – Shared artmaking for wellbeing and learning in Northern Australia

Keywords
music therapy, multi-arts approach, participatory research, education, Indigenous Communities, schools

This is an excerpt from the content:

“ArtStories is an exciting initiative of the Charles Darwin University Learning Research Group in Darwin. For the last 18 months ArtStories practitioner-researchers Anja Tait, Edel Musco and Catherine Threlfall have been growing this participatory research in five urban, rural and remote school communities in the Top End. ArtStories aims to support shared artmaking for learning and wellbeing for all members of the five school communities – in particular children in the early years of school, and their families, teachers and support staff. ArtStories is a multi-arts approach, responding to the creative interests and strengths of school community members and students. Participants create and tell stories of self, family, community and dreams, using combined arts approaches.” The research is described with a focus on each school community and the scope for developing this into other Communities. (pp 9-12)

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Dance and Disability: A Student’s Experience

Keywords
professional development, education, creative play, arts & crafts, LMA, therapeutic relationship

Tessa reflects on aspects of her professional learning journey on placement in a day centre as a post graduate diploma student in DMT. Grappling with the ‘politics’ in disability services and the questions of education versus therapy, Tessa shares her own making sense of what is important in the group sessions she leads, exemplified by a creative themed container whereby participants created their own costumes and enacted a ‘Masquerade Ball. Images of the clients and therapeutic outcomes are presented and values of a developing a DMT practice are discussed. (pp 13-16)

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Report on the Creative Therapies Association of Aotearoa (CTAA) Conference in New Zealand – ‘Healing Ways’

Keywords
Neuroplasticity, Authentic Movement, Drama therapy, Expressive Arts, Children, Disabilities, ritual, breathing

A wide array of presentations and workshops are reflected on including Connor’s Authentic Movement workshop. Sessions also covered the modalities of art, drama, expressive arts, music and spiritual/cultural rituals and models. Adaptations of the various modalities with differing client groups are described from Connor’s perspective and her experiential participation in “the Fluid Body” workshop gives insight to her embodied inquiry and delightful discoveries. (pp 17-19)

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A Therapist’s Journey is Unknown, and yet it Flows

Keywords
trauma, Holocaust survivors, Aged care, Jewish culture, professional development

Lillian briefly shares her journey becoming a DMT by studying in Australia as an International Student from Singapore. Her healing and transforming journey touches on her recovery from trauma and her challenges to complete her studies. She describes her uplifting and healing DMT work with Jewish Holocaust survivors in an aged care setting and encourages all students on their DMT journeys. (pp 20-21)

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2007 Vol. 6 Nos. 3-4

The Body in Phenomenology and Movement Observation

Keywords
intercorporeality, Action Profiling, Movement Pattern Analysis, Laban Movement Analysis, intersubjectivity, attunement

This paper is reprinted with permission from E- motion, UK, Vol. XIV, no.17, Winter. Please note it has undergone revision by the author for publication here.

Janet’s introduction: “The following article was originally presented as a conference paper for Action Profilers International, in Surrey, England in 2001. The audience members for whom it was intended were all professional Movement Analysts, and were familiar with Phenomenology’s view that individual perception is always an intersubjective experience. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to pose questions regarding our experiences as movement observers, in the fields of Action Profiling (AP) (and of course Movement Pattern Analysis, (MPA, a name given later to Warren Lamb’s work) and in Dance Movement Therapy (DMT). The theoretical exploration is an attempt to examine possibilities for aligning the Body in Phenomenology with the practical premises we confer on the body within these fields. This version of the paper has been modified and extended to focus more specifically on Movement Observation within Dance Movement Therapy.” (pp 2-8)

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In conversation with Sharon Chaiklin

Keywords
facilitation, vitality, mature DMTs, performance, training, professional development

Elizabeth shares a record of an illuminating discussion she shared between inspired and inspiring participants: Sharon Chaiklin, Rob Baum, Sally Denning and Linda Murrow. They asked questions of Sharon covering an array of topics connected to DMT such as her perspective on her way-of-being as a DMT, qualities for emerging DMTs to aspire to as well as the qualities she observes in mature DMTs. They reflect on the profession’s needs, unique attributes and potential for growth. (pp 9-11)

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Some thoughts on Sharon Chaiklin

Keywords
embodied, teaching, professional development, dancing body, therapeutic dance, processes

In this brief reflection Rob focuses on her experiences of Sharon’s facilitation of the three-day workshop at the “Weaving the threads” DTAA conference in 2007. Rob openly shares her learning challenges and her appreciation of Sharon’s simple and clear style and her emphasis on the importance of embodiment “to be in our bodies—bringing a heightened awareness to the experience of being with another being, in which a client is nourished, held and also embodied.” (pp 12-13)

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Peggy Hackney – in Melbourne

Keywords
Laban, Bartenieff Movement Analysis, The Movement Choir, creating community, DTAA Conference, Professional development

This brief article gives an extended biography of Peggy’s work, reflecting on her visit to Australia in 2007 for the DTAA’s ‘Weaving the threads’ conference. As the keynote speaker for this conference, her speech is referred to in addition to ‘The Movement Choir’ that was facilitated by Peggy. (p.14)

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“Nature Dances” – Alpe Doro, Switzerland

Keywords
senses, nature connection, animal symbolism, shadow, enactment, witness

Beatrice shares her experiences from a week long retreat in a wild and rugged part of her native country, where multi-modal arts were woven with dance, yoga and drama to explore inner questions connected to life meaning and purpose. She writes: “It was an incredibly enriching experience to share a week with people from various backgrounds who all struggled to reach for their truth and reveal it to the group in a very simple hut and in a very wild and rugged part of Switzerland.” (pp 15-16)

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Career Switch… from food technologist to dance movement therapist

Keywords
professional development, science, experiential learning, emotional challenges, postnatal depression

Juliette Kirkwood reflects on her personal and professional transformation woven with becoming a mother. She discusses how she incorporates her former and current qualifications: “The scientist and the artist now work together inside my head to bring about the best possible result for my clients.” (pp 17-18)

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Don’t just stand there, think

Keywords
embodied cognition, rehabilitation medicine, neuroscience, mirror neurons, education, psychology

This excellent article, of great relevance to DMT’s, about how people use their bodies to think, was printed in the Boston Globe on Sunday, January 13, 2008. We are grateful to Drake Bennett for granting us permission to reprint it. 

This article explores the concept of ’embodied cognition’ in depth, from various perspectives including; education, rehabilitative medicine, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy and psychology. Drake cites a wide range of studies that upend traditional thinking about thinking as well as the mind-body split. This concept also “threatens age-old distinctions – not only between brain and body, but between perceiving and thinking, thinking and acting, even between reason and instinct – on which the traditional idea of the mind has been built.” (pp 19-21)

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ADTA Conference Reflections

Keywords
embodying research, dementia, neuroscience, children, movement choir, private practice

Fran shares her “An Australian Experience, Dance/Movement Therapy: New Currents, New Bridges The 42nd Annual Conference, of the American Dance Therapy Association”. This was sparked by the catalyst to have the honour to hear Dr. Marcia Leventhal speak at the Marion Chase Lecture titled “Transformation and Healing through Dance Therapy: the Challenge and Imperative of Holding the Vision”. A wide array of presentations are reflected upon, with snippets from each, as Fran offers encouraging inspiration and community connection to Australian DMTs. (pp 22-23)

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‘Weaving the Threads’ Conference Report

Keywords
professional development, evaluation, workshops, community, publication

The 3rd Australian Dance Movement Therapy Conference “Weaving the Threads” was held at the historic convent in Abbotsford, Melbourne in November, 2007. It was presented by the Dance Therapy Association of Australia (DTAA), in collaboration with Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation (HEMF). In this review Kim acknowledges the many supporting individuals to produce a highly valuable conference for the DMT profession. Conference streams included: Skill development in dance-movement therapy; Therapeutic applications of dance for specific populations and communities; Professional issues and supervision and Research and evaluation. Kim reflected that “Delegates enjoyed the different activities; the mix of formal presentations, workshops, performances and informal networking opportunities. These offerings by local, national and international guests provided wonderful inspiration for delegates. The final session included a very lively discussion about professional issues, especially those related to the future of our profession.” (pp 25-26)

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‘Weaving the Threads’ Conference Reflections: Special Events

In this series of articles, we are pleased to present reflections on integral and exciting occasions within the conference, that included Conference Special Events: “The Movement Choir”; “Performance on the Lawn: Three Songs, Three Dances’ BAH Improvised movement collective”; “Performance from Integrate Stretch” and “Bidding Farewell Through Movement Weaving the Threads – Dancing the Metaphor.” (pp 30-35)

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Dance/movement Therapy Process: Integrating All the Elements

Keywords
professional development, circle movement, DMT skills/attributes, breathing, therapeutic relationship, defence mechanisms

Lesley, Jane and Kim individually reflect on their participation in Sharon Chaiklin’s workshop at the “Weaving the threads” DMT Conference in Melbourne. Lesley expands on a scenario where important professional learning arose from incorrect group assumptions. Special qualities of Sharon’s presence and teaching expertise are featured, as well as her answer to the question “What is dance movement therapy?”. Experiential learning in partnered and group activities is described with photographs, whilst Sharon’s philosophical approach is woven throughout all three reflections. (pp 41-49)

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Physical Storytelling as a therapeutic modality within DMT & Embodying the story telling workshop

Keywords
enactment, group consciousness, family therapy, kinaesthetic empathy, professional development, life patterns

Two reflective articles give unique perspectives by participants (Alice, Virginia and Natalie) in the 2 day ‘Weaving the threads’ Conference workshop that was presented by Steve Harvey and Connor Kelly. Moving moments of healing and insight are shared along with experiential processes that could be adapted to family therapy and professional development settings. A descriptive piece embodying the the story with movement, exemplifies the symbolic healing and adaptive potential of story telling and “the many aspects coming into play in the story telling as therapy”. (pp 50-54)

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