Dance Movement Psychotherapy with adults with learning disabilities; the elderly with dementia and those with mental health issues.

I have been working in residential homes, day centres and mental health settings, providing Dance Movement Psychotherapy,  for 14 years.

My areas of expertise are with those who have learning disabilities, elders (most with dementia) and those with mental health issues.  With adults with learning disabilities I call the work ‘Finding Their Voice’, being able to move and express themselves non-verbally often results in surprising aspects of a person’s personality emerging, individuals can ‘come alive’ and do things previously unseen. With elders, particularly those with dementia, the focus is ‘Creating Meaningful Relationships’. Movement can rekindle skills and is a way of reaching those who are slipping into their own world.  I have found that it is better to have groups based on the participants’ abilities.   With those with mental health issues the way of working and potential outcomes are varied. If there is a general observation, it is that integrating the mind and body helps with there being a stronger sense of self and the ability to live life in the here and now. Participants can be very fragile and building trust and safety in the group is all important so that individuals can get to a place where they can experience feeling stronger in themselves.

I completed a small scale piece of research about the importance of non-verbal communication with adults with learning disabilities.  The study involved researching how care staff understands non-verbal communication, how the environment affects them and then what they communicate back to the service users.   The findings are very interesting and can be a useful tool in aiding the communication between service users and staff.

About me

I am a qualified, registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist and have been practising as a DMP for 14 years.  I enjoy seeing individuals come alive and show something of their true selves.  My belief is that DMP is successful due to the focus on the non-verbal which gets connected to the verbal and enables the mind and the body to work together, giving life to our lives.

My qualifications are MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy and BA(hons) Humanities.  I am a (Senior) Registered member of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy. For more information about Dance Movement Psychotherapy, visit the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy website.  Every DMP has to have a license to practice, which is granted by the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy on a yearly basis.  They also check that DMP’s have attended a set number of hours of Continuing Professional Development per year, they have a code of practice and  set the guidelines for ethical standards all of which I whole heartedly abide by.