In this volume

2015 Vol. 12 Nos. 3-4

Dance is fundamental to our humanity

self-actualization, trauma, resilience, physiological states, restorative psychotherapy, sensory-motoric information

In this article Gray explores the role of dance and its essential role as a healing, empowering and restorative practice which is fundamental to our humanity. Gray draws from her wide experience to portray the ways in which the therapeutic application of dance movement offers clients an opportunity to participate in a process of what she refers to as self-actualization. Gray offers insights into how the cultivation of resilience through DMT may allow the client to begin moving through difficult patterns of pain and trauma. By locating dance movement therapy as an integral part of a wider restorative psychotherapeutic framework, Gray’s article invites readers to explore the value of DMT in terms of its ability to help facilitate physiological state shifts which are crucial to the healing and rehabilitation of victims of trauma. (pp 2-6)

The Triangle; ‘Mindfulness’, DMT and Neuroscience – a theoretical approach

mindfulness, artistic-kinesthetic action, body activities, symbolism, group rhythm, therapeutic movement

This is an excerpt from the content:

In this article, I will explain the development of dance movement therapy (DMT) and the theoretical approaches that have influenced that development, present the basic principles of two main approaches, and highlight the connection between DMT to research of the brain and the concept of Mindfulness. Throughout, I will mention the different branches that came and integrated with the traditional therapeutic approach and became an integral part of the overall therapeutic approach that uses dance as a medium for therapy and diagnostics. (pp 7-14)


My House Burned Down

dance, dance psychotherapy, symbol, relinquishment, trickery, honesty

This is an excerpt from the content:

This article is about dance and therapy: it discusses how the author / dancer- choreographer / and dance therapist uses dance in her practice and how dance may be a potent tool in the therapeutic journey. (pp 15-23)

My Personal Journey to Dancing and Beyond

passion, purpose, i-Ching, ballroom dancing, personal performance, coaching

In this personal reflection Withers shares how he has come to value dance as an important aspect of both his professional and personal life journey. Withers draws on his early days as a professional musician and weaves this deep appreciation of art into his his more current other areas of interest, including psychology, i-Ching, and more recently, Dance-Movement Therapy. As a coach within the small business and corporate world Withers highlights how dance has become a part of his mentoring skill set, and he links dance to key elements of performance and business coaching. Withers also reflects on his personal involvement with Ballroom Dancing and speaks of the mental and emotional aspects relevant to this practice. (pp. 24-27)

Dancing with Change

dementia, creativity, awareness, improvisation, change, personhood

This is an excerpt from the content:

In the first of these two articles, Heather introduces the concept of dance as a model for creating a positive approach to supporting people with dementia and their family carers. It is based on the concept that the qualities required in dance – creativity, improvisation, awareness and the ability to adapt to change – also apply to dementia care. (pp 35-38)


The adventure (not dementia) club

dementia, collaboration, relationship, appreciation, strength, celebration

This is an excerpt from the content:

Joanne and Heather report on the results of their Style Café program in Victoria, which puts the concept of ‘dancing with change’ into practice. This concept, featured in a previous article in the Australian Journal of Dementia Care, offers a positive approach to supporting a person with dementia, their partner and family. (pp 39-43)


HEMF Research Grants Report: Developing an iPad app for assessment in dance movement therapy

assessment, evidence-based practice, Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation, technological innovation, disability, therapeutic goals

Researchers Sue Mullane and Kim Dunphy report on the progress of an iPad app they have been developing for assessment in Dance Movement Therapy. Mullane and Dunphy were awarded the Hanny Exiner Memorial Grant to support their work in this area, and the following report details their progress to date and future directions. The report addresses the main issue surrounding assessment in DMT – the “dearth of relevant and accessible frameworks and functional tools to collect data” and the subsequent lack of technological innovation which the iPad app seeks to address. (pp 44-46)



Book Review. The Healing Dance: The Life and Practice of an Expressive Arts Therapist

Book Author: Kathleen Rea.

(pp. 56-58).

Opening a Pathway: Exploring DMT Training in Aotearoa

Anaia reflects on the inaugural year-long Certificate in Dance Movement Therapy held in 2014 in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Discussing the emerging profession of DMT in NZ Anaia’s article notes the need for guidelines for training and professional practice in this area. In reflecting on the Certificate program Anaia describes how It evolved in response to parallel needs in the NZ community- the needs of people who are interested in using dance as a therapeutic practice to gain knowledge and experience; and the need for more DMT practitioners in various communities around the country. The journey is one of learning and growth, according to Anaia, as the development of DMT as a profession continues to emerge in the land of the long white cloud. (pp 28-30).

2015 Vol. 13 Nos. 1-2


An Introduction to Historical Antecedents and Theory Contributing to the Development of a Wholistic Model of Embodied Therapeutic Intervention and Treatment

The following article presents basic background concepts and theory from the last fifty or more years, including body-mind integration, non-verbal communication, and other elements and precepts which contribute to the evolution of embodiment theory. In addition, many points of view leading to a wholistic view of clients in therapy are presented. Ideally, this article will assist students studying to become wholistic therapists with a basic background for working within a three-dimensional model; a model which embraces and explores the whole person, feeling, thinking, creating, and expressing.

Conversation with Donna Newman-Bluestein: the connecting wheel of healing

Donna Newman–Bluestein visited Melbourne, Australia, in February 2014. Donna provided members of the dance therapy community with a workshop on dance and dementia – her area of specialty. Afterwards, Jane Guthrie and Elizabeth Mackenzie met with Donna: it was a fine summer’s evening at Abbottsford Convent in Melbourne. We went there to introduce the convent to Donna, in its role as the home of the DMT community, and to share conversation and a meal. We explained how the convent buildings had housed early graduates of the first Graduate Diploma of Movement and Dance, and Dance Therapy Certificate course, in Melbourne – in fact in Australia.

Using props in Dance Movement Therapy (DMT): The Hula Hoop

In recent conversations at the DTAA conference (Melbourne, July 2015), as I was speaking about the use of hula hoops in my group work, I shared I had been writing a document about the use of props in dance movement therapy (DMT). I was encouraged to continue with it as there is a lack of written material in this area. I hope that this writing will generate further contributions from other DM Therapists about their use of other props.

The Next Generation

We are pleased to publish a selection of contributions by students. They include assignments recently submitted by DMT students for the completion of different parts of their training. The first, by Lyndal Pope, was for completion of the Advanced Diploma of DMT for the IDTIA. This is followed by short pieces submitted for an introductory module of Explore the History and Philosophy of Dance, for the Diploma of DMT in the recent Phoenix Institute DMT course in Melbourne. The four short articles are published under the topic of Healing Dance in Human History. Ancient healing and ritual dances were given some priority in this module as having been such an important part of community life. The module emphasised the history of the circle dance, as well as other dances from various cultures that can be drawn on for dance making purposes in DMT.

Australian Dance Movement Therapy: gradual change over time

The following presentation was made at the ADTA conference in San Diego, California, in October 2015. Jane Guthrie represented Australia on the International Panel who were asked to respond to the question: “What causes intense interest in DMT in your country?” Her presentation drew on the content of the panel presentation she was involved in earlier in the year, together with Tony Norquay, Jennifer Helmich and Virginia Woods. This was at the Australasian DTAA Conference, Broadening the Spectrum in July 2015, in Melbourne. From this earlier conference panel, the presenters have developed their views on the topics discussed into an article soon to be published. The presentation Jane made at the ADTA conference showcased the work of four Australian practitioners involved in diversified practice. To her this answered the question for the International panel members of causes of intense interest in DMT in Australia.

Celebration of Life