How Dance Movement Psychotherapy Helps People with Substance Abuse Problems

With the theory that dance movement is often linked to a person’s patterns of feeling or thinking, many are now using dance as a way to assist people with substance abuse or other addiction problems. With new dance movements people experience changes emotionally thereby giving the psychotherapist a way to encourage different patterns of behavior.

Whether it is done individually or in a group exercise, dance movement showcases a person’s emotional and behavioral state of mind and creates a comfortable and safe way for the client to let out suppressed feelings and emotions. This supplies the opportunity to work directly with someone’s personal conflicts by using role play and other techniques.

These sessions can be held in a private practice setting or in a community center or other educational facility where the client feels free to express themselves emotionally through movements of dance and the resulting conversation and verbal interaction. With group activities the clients often feel better because they don’t feel like they are alone in their feelings or alone in being a substance user and abuser but have others who share the same problems. This in turn allows them to feel more comfortable with each other in expressing their anger, their concerns, their feelings and emotions associated with a common and shared problem.

With one-on-one or in group, the psychotherapist gives each individual the time to work through their emotions as this is often pent up feelings, angers or remembered events that are painful to remember. The psychotherapist works to help people to find their inner resources that will allow them to take a different path in the future and they will learn to like themselves better and be better able to relate well to other people without the crutches of drugs or other substances that have robbed them of control of their lives.

Category : 5Rhythms Posted on May 16, 2009

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