Dance Therapy Association of Australia

In this volume

2012 Vol. 10 Nos. 3-4

Artistic Intersubjective Technologies: Developments for Group-Work

Keywords
arts-based-research, intersubjectivity, reflexive-analysis, poststructuralist-theory

The study explored the merits of employing a multidisciplinary approach to group work in a Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation and Support (PDRS) day-program. The main question guiding the study was: What are the practical and research implications of combining arts-based and narrative therapy approaches for group work in a Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation and Support day-program? The methodology drew on poststructural theories of the knowledge-power relation, subjectivity, intersubjectivity and reflexivity. Analysis indicated changes in the group members‟ subjectivity noted as changes in how they perceived themselves and their positions within their community. Emergent issues discussed with the group and explored through the artistic processes were isolation, anxiety, self-consciousness, paranoia, companionship, confidence, motivation, emotions and change. The pantomime project enabled members to gain a sense of acceptance, understanding and belonging from other members of the day-program community. The reflexive analysis highlighted the suitability and significance of the artistic approaches to group work for people living with psychiatric illnesses and the various dimensions of the project assisted in addressing some of the group members‟ issues. Some aspects of the methodology and the process of involving audience members in the study could be applied to dance therapy research. (pp 2-8)

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Dancing with the Candelabra

Keywords
Feldenkrais, trauma, sexual abuse, healing, spirituality, private practice

This paper describes long-term dance therapy with a client with a history of trauma. The description is taken from two perspectives. That is, My Story – which is the perspective of the therapist and Her Story which is the perspective of the client. Through the two papers the dance therapist describes her experience of working for approximately 7 years with a woman who has a history of childhood and adult trauma. The client, a psychiatrist, in her paper, writes of the integration of mind, body and spiritual experience through dance therapy and how it enriched her life, work, teaching and spiritual journey. (pp 9-13)

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The Writings of Naomi Audette – Part 1

Keywords
research, Energy Field, quantum experiences, dyadic process, circle/spiral symbolism, ritual, ancient culture

The Writings of Naomi Audette (1970-2011) encompasses two parts, published across two editions of the DTAA’s Moving ON Journal. Part 1 of Naomi’s profuse writings on dance movement therapy, has been carefully and lovingly gathered together and edited by her colleague and friend, Alexandra Jordan, with the assistance of Monique Buggy. Part 2 follows in Volume 11, No’s 3 & 4. In Part 1, the writings comprise an introduction to Naomi and a reflection on her personal and professional journey by Alexandra. Following are the first two pieces of her work, ‘Dancing the Energy Field; Towards an integrated model of healing’, and ‘Symbolic meaning of the Spiral and Circle’. Addressing two areas of priority for Naomi, the first reveals something of her journey of discovery into the quantum realm, and the second, her research into the themes of ritual. The articles demonstrate her comprehensive understanding of esoteric literature, ancient history, myth and psychology, which she also maps to the physical realm and DMT process. (pp 14-29)

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Holding Space for Imaginative Play and Growth in Special Developmental Schools

Keywords
developmental stages framework, Laban Movement Analysis, Maslow, disabilities, Tripartite model, body-self, group work

This is an excerpt from the content:

This article is developed from an assignment Angela completed for her dance movement therapy training. It stemmed from her responses to a question that asked her to describe the movement characteristics and life challenges faced by a chosen client group. And also to discuss the special contribution that dance therapy can make to the client group together with methods that can be used, and theoretical framework(s) that support the ideas. (pp 30-34)

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Families Dancing Together

Keywords
disabilities, abilities, group work, community support, respite, relationships

This brief article includes a short introduction the article ‘Dance family matters’ , which was reprinted with kind permission of the Bayswater Buzz – Bayswater community newspaper published by Interchange Outer East, in  Melbourne. Describing a community dance therapy initiative led by DMT Heather Hill, to provide a weekly creative dance movement space for children with experience of disabilities to share dance and ‘magic moments’ with their families, it touches on the intentions and activities of the program. (pp 35-36)

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“The Treasure Hunt” – an early intervention DMT program

Keywords
disabilities, special needs, early intervention, group work, attunement, Bartenieff Fundamentalism, families

Emerging from experiences teaching dance to children and offering creative dance to adults with disabilities, came the idea to create a DMT program focussed on early intervention for children experiencing disabilities to share a therapeutic group space with their parents. Focussing on the concepts of attunement in the parent-child bonds, the therapist hopes to create a ‘therapeutic living environment’ for the child, rather than just a one hour per week experience with her. Her activities in the program are discussed as offering experiences intending to; support integration of body movements, social interactions and relational patterns with their parents, raise self-awareness and to develop a healthy relational bonds and emotional boundaries. (pp 37-38)

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Reflections: Birds of a Feather Two Day Summit

Keywords
professional development, creative arts therapy, dance movement therapy, drama therapy, experiential workshops, collaboration

This is an excerpt from the content:

‘Birds of a Feather’ was the thematic image containing the collaboration between various creative arts therapies organizations and training institutes at the ‘Summit’ held in Melbourne. The organizing committee included members from ANZATA (Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association), ACATA (Australian Creative Arts Therapy Association), DTAA (Dance Therapy Association Australia) and MIECAT (Melbourne Institute Experiential Creative Arts Therapies). Held in Fitzroy Melbourne, at MIECAT on July 13 -14, 2012, the programme structure followed a MIECAT method of inquiry with the first workshops on the theme of Discovery, the second Dream and the final workshops, Design. The author describes her experiences at each of the sessions she attended and closes with insightful questions that arose for her post the summit. (pp 41-44)

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Giving and receiving dmt supervision: a dance-movement therapy project in Timor-Leste

Keywords
professional development, trauma, wellbeing, young people, disabilities, political unrest

Kim describes initiating a dance movement therapy pilot study in Timor-Leste (East Timor) by collaborating with fellow Australian DMTs Alexandra Jordan and Meredith Elton, to design and deliver a series of workshops offered to a range of groups during a fortnight in 2011. The historical and cultural context of Timor-Leste is briefly overviewed along with the professional pathways that led Kim to propose the project. Responding to political unrest at the time of their visit, discussions overview how the DMTs adapted their workshops to the anxiety and tension present at that time, with their focus mainly on professional development, as well as activities for young people, children with disabilities, and almost a whole village. The article concludes with Kim’s reflection on her own practice as well as the relational learning gained from offering the workshops and from supervision with Alex and Meredith. (pp 45-47)

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A journey toward professional membership: Timor-Leste and beyond

Keywords
professional development, professional relationships, on-site supervision, cross-cultural DMT, post conflict context

Meredith briefly describes the significance of her 2 week intensive trip collaborating with DMTs Kim Dunphy and Alexandra Jordan to offer DMT to diverse groups, during a time of unexpected political unrest. The emergent nature of the work as well as the opportunity to work with a range of groups and populations, supported the skill development and confidence for Meredith, in applying DMT to her community upon return, including people with a disability. The opportunities for professional growth are expanded upon in the article, as the collaborative work has grown beyond the initial in-county pilot project. (p. 48)

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Reflections on a Trip to East Timor

Keywords
professional development, on-site supervision, cross-cultural DMT, torture, trauma, refugees, asylum seekers

Alex overviews a meaningful trip to Timor-Leste, along with DMTs Kim Dunphy and Meredith Elton, to offer DMT activities across a range of group settings over a 2 week period. Gaining much more than the 30 hours of supervised practice towards her Professional Member registration with the DTAA, Alex writes about the connections with her work in Darwin working cross-culturally, and with people who have experienced torture and trauma through her role as a counsellor, with refugee and asylum seeker children and their families. The collaborative opportunities and beneficial outcomes are touched upon, with scope for exploring further applications of this work and encouragement for others to seek similar learning adventures. (pp 49-50)

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Becoming an Embodied Therapist: Accessing the Language of the Body in the Treatment of Eating Disorders

Keywords

This includes excerpts from the content:

This pre-conference workshop was a part of the ADTA 46th Annual Conference, “Collaborations, Different Identities, Mutual Paths‟ held in October 20 – 23, 2011 in Minneapolis. Jane reflects on her attendance at the workshop ‘Becoming an Embodied Therapist: Accessing the Language of the Body in the Treatment of Eating Disorders’, led by Susan Kleinman, who specialises in the treatment of eating disorders. The workshop focussed on using dance movement therapy principles as a basis for body/mind exercises to “integrate a more embodied approach into traditional psychotherapy theory and practice”. The article outlines Susan’s approach and framework with key concepts imperative to her practice including embodying ways of being that are more connected with one’s selves. Other resources such as ‘focused journaling’ are discussed and a reading list is provided for delving more deeply into this material. (pp 51-52)

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Seduced by the blossoms in a Dance Therapist’s garden

Keywords
Penny Best, professional development, therapeutic relationship, trauma, PTSD, wellbeing

Transpersonal Art Therapist Liz, attended Penny Best‟s workshop titled, “Balancing differentiation and linkage: a wellbeing frame for clients and therapists” to explore dance movement further. The three day workshop included content to increase awareness of the skin, its intelligence and the sensations evoked as skin touches the air, the fabric of being human, being in relationship, in relational spaces alongside others and being in therapeutic and supervisory spaces. Experiential self-exploration, and in dyads, triads and the group dynamic are expanded upon and conceptualised through embodied practices, with reference to client issues as trauma. (pp 60-62)

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