Dance Therapy Association of Australia

DTAA Professional Membership

The importance of Professional Membership for practitioners and our profession

The DTAA encourages all those who seek to have their work recognised as dance movement therapy, or who have the intention of practicing in the field, to work towards Professional Membership. There are advantages both for the individual, and for the future of dance movement therapy in Australasia.

For the individual:

  • being awarded this level of membership is a valuable and substantial professional credential and significant achievement. It is only granted after achieving stringent criteria set by the Professional Membership Committee;
  • the right to use the post-nominal DTAA (Professional) after the therapist’s name is earned;
  • Professional Members can supervise Associate Members aiming at a higher level of membership.

Through the DTAA being a member organisation of PACFA, Professional Members can also:

  • use the letters “PACFA M.A.” (Member Association) after their names;
  • use the PACFA logo on their letterhead;
  • be listed on the National PACFA Register.

For the future of dance movement therapy in Australasia, we need to strengthen the organisation by having more members achieve this status. Having this level of membership of one’s professional association is the best way for DM therapists to be established as valued professionals within healthcare teams, and is also important for those working in private practice. Overall, taking this step is the best means of strengthening the dance movement therapy profession and one’s own personal professional credentials.

For further information, please contact Professional Membership Convenor Sandra Lauffenburger at slauf@netspeed.com.au or admin@dtaa.org.au

Requirements for Professional Membership

To meet the DTAA’s dance movement therapy competencies, applicants for Professional Membership of the DTAA must demonstrate that they have completed the following:

  1. an initial qualification relevant to dance movement therapy.

    This might be Human or health sciences: allied health, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, medicine, movement science, etc; Psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, social work, psychiatry; Education, special education; Dance, or dance education; or other, as approved by the Professional Membership Committee.

  2. dance movement therapy training of at least 250 contact hours, of theoretical and practical components, including:

    a. dance movement therapy history and theory
    b. counselling and psychological theories and practice including interpersonal communication skills, accurate observation and listening techniques, development of the therapeutic relationship and group therapeutic processes, and assessment and evaluation skills as applied to dance therapy.
    c. psychological theory that includes humanistic, developmental and psychodynamic models as applied to dance-movement therapy.
    d. systematic study of anatomy, physiology and bio-mechanics,
    e. clinical knowledge and skills regarding client needs, conditions and/or pathology.

  3. client contact (at least 250 hours)

    A minimum of 250 hours of client contact (direct face to face contact only) in dance movement therapy is required, with two distinctly different populations, over a period of no less than two years.

  4. professional supervision (minimum of 70 hours)

    Details about supervision available here

  5. provision of reports from two supervisors and two referees’ names

    The applicant must provide two reports from supervisors, one who is a DTAA Professional Member or DM therapist registered in another country, and one from a workplace supervisor who is either a DM therapist or another professional with relevant expertise, using the pro-forma in the application form.

  6. agreement to comply with the DTAA’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct.

Professional Membership form