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Dance/Movement Therapy and Trauma

Suzanne Hastie

Suzanne Hastie

Grounded in the mind-body connection and in the power of movement as communication, dance/movement therapy (DMT) is a uniquely efficacious mode of psychotherapy for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other effects of abuse and trauma.

Trauma leaves its imprint on both mind and body and research demonstrates that effective treatment requires involvement of both. Because DMT uses movement as the primary means of assessment and communication, the body is not merely addressed in therapy but actually is given a voice. Memories that may be too difficult to express verbally can be shared through movement and dissociated feelings that were previously unknown, but that can be identified as they arise in the body. Survivors can eventually regain a sense of control over confusing thoughts and feelings as they navigate their own bodily-felt experience. Relaxation and stress reduction techniques can also be incorporated to help survivors modulate emotional reactions, decrease muscular tension, lessen symptoms of hyperarousal and better adjust to daily routines. Because of its active intervention methods, DMT is often the treatment of choice for traumatized children whose brain development, nervous system and externalized behavior are altered by traumatic experiences.

DMT is conducted with survivors of abuse, trauma, and torture in veterans’ hospitals, clinics, psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers and private practices around the world.

Source: American Dance Therapy Association (www.adta.org); for more information or to schedule a session/consultation, contact local dance/movement therapist, Suzanne Hastie, 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville at 610-417-0831 or suzannehastie@aol.com.

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