Dance Movement Therapy

Edge Hill University will be the first in the North-West to offer training in dance movement psychotherapy due to an increasing demand on the NHS to offer more holistic therapies to patients.

The new MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) course will launch next month to help graduates develop and support the health and well-being of vulnerable people.

DMP is the psychotherapeutic use of movement, a process through which a person can engage creatively in a process to further their emotional, cognitive and physical well-being. It is founded on the principle that movement reflects an individual’s patterns of thinking and feeling.

This form of therapy is growing in popularity and is already recognised as an alternative aid to many types of diseases and disabilities. It is practiced in places such as mental health rehabilitation centres, medical and educational settings, nursing homes, day care facilities and other health promotion programmes.

“At a time when cuts are being made to the NHS, there is a greater demand for choice and alternative therapies,” explained Edge Hill’s DMT Programme Leader Katy Dymoke. “With some illnesses there is a tendency to put patients on medication, which can make them almost zombie-like, but what we’re offering is the kind of therapy that can give them a better quality of life. Increasing evidence shows that DMP can help patients manage their symptoms more effectively and reduces hospital admissions, which is why it is more important than ever to ensure that we can meet the growing demands for this service.”

Highlighting a recent case where DMP worked as a successful alternative therapy for visually impaired young people, Katy said: “These children are often protected by their siblings. However, dance empowers each child to make a movement in line with how they are feeling. It also enables them to take risks and go beyond their day-to-day limitations, in a space free of obstacles. Some of these children have come on in leaps and bounds and it is fantastic to see their growing sense of confidence. Dance movement psychotherapy works holistically with personal development, self-perception, the ability to communicate and participate, and to help them feel part of a group.

“At Edge Hill, we’re offering a cutting-edge course that gives graduates the opportunity to gain experience on a programme that combines strong dance practice with psychology, therapy and research methodologies. Those who achieve the MA will also gain professional registration with the Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy.”

The Masters degree starts on 14th October and is still recruiting. It is suitable for graduates in dance, drama, psychology or a health-related subject, as well as health workers looking for professional development. For more information about the programme, please visit the website www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/courses/dance-movement-psychotherapy.