ARBN 633105736

Elizabeth Loughlin

Elizabeth Loughlin – Bio


Prof. Mem. DTAA; Mem. AASW; M.A. (Creative arts in therapy); B.Litt Hons (Perf Arts); B.A . Dip. Soc Studs. Dip. Dance Movt Therapy (IDTIA). Loughlin works as a dance therapist in the hospital setting with mothers with postnatal depression and their infants, as well as with patients with chronic or life- long endocrine health conditions. Approaches to DMT include psychodynamic and phenomenological/expressive models. Loughlin teaches DMT in the advanced clinical training at the IDTIA; she offers private dance therapy/creative arts supervision, and regular training at the Parent –Infant Research Institute, Austin health, for professionals working with the mother- infant interaction. Loughlin has peer reviewed and other publications in the dance therapy and health fields. She also has a creative dance practice with parent –infant/ toddler and adult dancers.


Edition: 2019 Vol. 16 Nos. 1-2

Collaboration of dance movement therapy with other disciplines can lead to a widened visibility of the dance movement therapy methods and outcomes. The article describes benefits of collaboration from the shared professional processes and perspectives. It also raises the likelihood of client/patient ability to integrate two differing psychological and dance movement therapeutic approaches citing a researched mother- infant mental health program.

Key words: Collaboration; mother-infant; dance movement therapy; mental health setting

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The arts, the liminal space, and the visible outcomes

Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 4

Keywords: dance movement therapy, health content relevance, documented practice study

Page #: 12

The article considers how to preserve the arts therapy in institutional and community contexts and how to communicate its outcomes. It asks the question: how do we sustain the dance arts programs in the settings that traditionally employ allied health and education professionals? How do we communicate the actions of the dance arts to those who are not familiar with the arts eld or its therapeutic interventions? The author will respond to these questions, drawing on the notion of the ‘liminal space’ and its ‘liminal space boundary’. She will first describe the broad outcomes arising from her dance movement therapy practice and associated creative arts interventions over twenty years in two different hospital contexts, a paediatric medical clinic, and a mental health clinic for mothers and infants; secondly she will examine other Australian dance movement therapy practice through a Grounded Theory study of articles in the Dance Therapy Association of Australia publications: DTAA Newsletter, 2001 and DTAA Moving On, 2002-2014. Loughlin proposes that key to the future of dance movement therapy is the use of the visible outcomes, and the communication of their relevance to the core business of the institutional and community contexts.

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The Shared Dance: dance therapy with mothers and infants in the hospital outpatient clinic

Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 2

Keywords: Dance therapy, mother-infant, Winnicott, holding, affect attunement, aesthetic moment

Page #: 37

The article describes significant aspects of dance therapy for mothers and infants who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship. It examines how the pychodynamic notions of “holding” (Winnicott) and “selective affect attunement” (Stern) direct the dance therapy intervention. It outlines how Bollas’ transforming “aesthetic moment” may account for the emotional and different physical patterns of relating that occur within the shared dance between mother and infant.

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Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 1

Keywords: Winnicott, good-enough mother, potential space, mirroring, mother-baby dance, holding environment,

Page #: 4

This article discusses D.W. Winnicot’s seminal concepts regarding development of a sense of self for both the infant and mother, and implications of these for mother and baby dance groups. The article describes the process of mirroring and identification that occurs between mother and baby and possibilities for supporting this process through dance therapy. The concept of potential space is also described as located both in time and place, in which babies are supported to safely transition to a sense of self as separate from other.

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Becoming a Separate Person

Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 1

Keywords: Mahler, separation, individuation, creative dance, parent-infant, early childhood development

Page #: 1

This article focuses on Mahler’s theories regarding the infant’s processes of ‘separation’ and ‘individuation from their primary caregiver, examined in the setting of a parent and child creative dance class as patterns of motility, distancing and rejoining. She discusses key sub-phases that a toddler moves through including initial differentiation, autonomous exploration and a ‘rapprochement’ phase in which the toddlers attention is redirected to his mother (Mahler, Pine and Bergman, 1975:4). Loughlin discusses the implications of these phases for an infant dance class, and important considerations for dance teachers and therapists.

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Intuitive Mothering: Developing and evaluating a dance therapy model for mothers with postnatal depression and their vulnerable infants

Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 3

dance therapy, mother-infant therapy, play, Intuitive Mothering, anxiety, postnatal depression

Page #: 70

Intuitive Mothering, an eight week dance therapy program, has evolved as an experiential therapy for infants and their mothers with postnatal depression within a hospital outpatient psychology group program. Key concepts of the Intuitive Mothering model are described: the shared somatic partnership, neurobiological aspects of intuitive learning, and the contribution of mutual play within the liminal space, all of which aim to promote mother-infant responsiveness. Results of an evaluation of the Intuitive Mothering dance therapy intervention demonstrate a reduction in parenting stress, maternal depression and anxiety, and improvement in mother-infant interaction. Discussion of results point to future directions.


Dance Therapy

Edition: 2009 Vol. 8 Nos. 3-4

felt sense, internal landscapes, maladaptive patterns, Laban movement analysis, code of ethics, clinical work

We are pleased to be able to reprint the following article on Dance Therapy in Australia in this focus on Elizabeth Loughlin. It was published in the Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia in 2003 and is reprinted here with the kind permission of Currency House Inc. NSW, the publishers. It provides a valuable record and commentary on the development of dance movement therapy in this country.

This article gives a description of dance therapy and wide array of medical and psychological conditions it can be beneficial for as well as the settings it is offered within. Following this, is the historical development of the profession in America and Australia and the training pathways that have emerged to align the profession with a psychotherapeutic approach, with training options at post graduate levels. (pp 14-16)

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Dance For Mothers and Toddlers

Edition: 2009 Vol. 8 Nos. 3-4

separate self, space & form, poetic, connection, artistic expression, natural world

A creative reflection on what the dance is in the relational mother-child space, providing a way for exploration, expression and connection with the potential for the mother to ” see the spirit of the child and to share his effervescence.”  Touching on elements that support – includes music, props, collections from nature and ways-of-being that can nurture an imaginative leap and expand upon the emotional availabilities within the mother. (pp 12-13)

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From Outer to Inner Landscapes in a Community Dance Project

Edition: 2003 Vol. 2 No. 3

Women’s liberation, performance, historical drama, community arts

In the mid-nineteenth century the protestant Magdalen Asylums, initially of London, sought the evangelical reformation of female (usually pregnant) prostitutes through the service of laundry work. This article shares dramatic reactions of dancers that walked the site of the Magdalen Asylum in Carlton, Australia. The reactions were rehearsed in studio and the process toward performance enhanced with poetry and sculpture. Despite the lack of political address in this article, performer responsibility when performing provoking subject matter is discussed and concludes the article. (pp 2-4)

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