ARBN 633105736

NDIS and Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)

Dance Movement Therapy is an evidenced and body movement based psychotherapy that NDIS participants can effectively utilise to improve their mobility, communication and social skills, build better relationships and gain self-confidence.  DMT is accessible through the following NDIS fundings forms.  If your NDIS plans are:

  • Self-managed
  • Plan-managed

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

DMT is one of the creative psychotherapies particularly focusing on body and movement. DMT is useful for those with different needs and abilities.

  • DMT focuses on body and movement – it is effective as non-verbal communication may meet the needs of those who struggle to express verbally.
  • DMT is creative – it is a fun, playful, dynamic modality. Dance therapists use props (such as ribbons and cloth) to help clients to build a connection with others.
  • DMT is gentle and delicate – it regards clients’ subtle movement, gestures and postures that may speak one’s psychological status.
  • DMT is dynamic and unique – dance therapists work with clients according to the clients’ needs – it could be directive or non-directive and they change as the therapeutic relationship evolves.
  • DMT incorporates trauma informed care – Body remembers trauma that dance therapist help to reconnect the mind and the body of the client.

You can read more about our work Here (coming soon).

Dance Movement Therapy can help people with:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Sensory Disorders
  • Down Syndromes
  • Physical disabilities
  • Various mental health issues
  • Recovering Addictions
  • Trauma, Neglect and Abuse

Dance Movement Therapy can help you to:

  • Regulate emotions
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Tackle depression
  • Connect mind and body
  • Become more mobile
  • Build a better relationship with others
  • Gain self-confidence
  • Increase more self-awareness
  • Socially Connected
  • Expand general life skills and quality of life

Achieving your NDIS goals

Dance Movement Therapists plan, assess and facilitate sessions and review the process and the progress of the dance therapy program according to your needs. Therapists will set therapeutic goals in line with your short, medium and long term goals. Therapists will liaise with parents, carers and other allied health professionals to gain the best therapeutic outcome. Some therapists use an evidence based app called MARA (see the link), that is specifically designed for the purpose of achieving NDIS goals.

What does the session look like?

  • Check in – verbally done
  • Breath work
  • Warmups and stretches
  • Body and Spatial awareness
  • Moving on your own or with the therapist
  • Moving with music
  • Moving with props, eg scarfs, parachute, octaband, balls, hoops, nature etc.
  • Role Play
  • Narration and storytelling
  • Play based movement
  • Verbal reflection or reflection by drawing

How to find a therapist:

The Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia recognises only its Provisional Professional and Professional Members as dance movement therapists. The DTAA website listings provide brief professional biographies, geographic locations and contact details for each registered member currently practicing in Australia. These members undergo application and review processes to ensure they are trained at a level approved by the DTAA, have completed the required number of clinical practice, supervision and Continuing Professional Development hours stipulated by their membership level. These members are bound by the DTAA’s Code of Ethics. The DTAA provides a Complaints Procedure for members of the public who believe DTAA’s registered  members may have not applied appropriate professional behaviour.

What if you are told you cannot access Dance Movement Therapy:

Contact the Dance Therapy Association of Australasia HERE


Other information

The members’ page also provides questions and answers for DM therapists looking to work with the NDIS and people with disability.

About these resources

These resources have been developed by Tessa Hens and Dr Kim Dunphy for the DTAA.  The DTAA NDIS Sub-Committee, Dr Kim Dunphy, Dr Heather Hill, Jennifer Au, Cecilia Lau, Mandy Agnew and Sandra Perrin commissioned their development in March 2018 to provide support and information to DTAA members.  Kim Dunphy, Mandy Agnew, Laura Houley and Teri McNeil also contributed to the development and editing of these resources.  The NDIS is an evolving scheme that will change over time. The DTAA invites suggestions and input from readers and members to keep these resources current and as useful as possible.  If you have suggestions or comments please forward them to