Dance Movement Psychotherapist jobs(Also known as Dance Movement Therapy, Movement Psychotherapy, DMP)
Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) is a unique form of psychotherapy in which the creative use of dance and movement plays a key role within the therapeutic relationship. DMP is one of the four Arts Therapies and is regulated by the professional body, the Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy (ADMP) and the government legislated Health Professions Council (HPC). Uniquely, DMP focuses on embodied emotional expression through dance movement. DMP integrates both verbal and non-verbal communication, since this reflects how we communicate as humans i.e. along a spectrum from language to non-verbal communication. The DMP profession is influenced by contemporary psychological theories and psychotherapeutic and therapeutic practices, multi-cultural traditions in dance, bodywork and spiritual development, and is being continually informed by national and international research studies. DMP is practised as both individual and group therapy, predominantly in education, health, social services and other community-based settings (e.g. voluntary and private organisations), prison services and in private practice. DMP practitioners also work with international conflict resolution projects.
- The starting salary for newly qualified DMPs is £26,000 per annum.
- Senior practitioners and researchers can earn up to £55,000 per annum.
ResponsibilitiesCore responsibilities include:
- Maintaining an ethical code of practice (as defined by ADMP and HPC)
- Clinical note keeping from DMP sessions
- Being involved in client referral processes
- Attending regular clinical supervision (one hour for every 20 hours of practice)
- Session-specific responsibilities including maintaining time boundaries for the duration of the session
QualificationsA postgraduate (MA or MSc) qualification is essential in order to become a Dance Movement Psychotherapist. The duration of the training is 2-3yrs. As part of the professional requirements, all trainee Dance Movement Psychotherapists must undertake personal individual psychotherapy. A PhD is an additional qualification for those that are interested in pursuing research into the field and publishing.
SkillsCore skills for becoming a Dance Movement Psychotherapist include:
- Ability to be empathic
- Ability to be reflective and then act upon this in order to change
- Fluency and sensitivity in dance movement and with words
- Interest in working with people
- Ability to work safely and provide a good enough ‘holding environment’ for others
- Ability to address own assumptions and prejudices about self and others
Working ConditionsWorking conditions tend to vary according to the context. For example, if a Dance Movement Psychotherapist is working on an in-patient psychiatric unit the session space may be a designated (at times carpeted) room. Since the Dance Movement Psychotherapist works directly with bodies and emotions in a wide variety of contexts, both the physical and emotional demands of the job need to be recognised. It is therefore important, indeed a professional requirement, that the therapist has regular supervision in order to support her/his practice. The profession is female dominated; however, within the past three years the percentage of men entering the profession has increased. Depending on which context the Dance Movement Psychotherapist is working in, hours tend to be within the standard eight-hour working day, especially within public services (e.g. the NHS, education, prisons etc). However, where the therapist is working in private practice, this can include evening work. DMP sessions tend to be indoors in a dance studio or in a space which can accommodate movement. There are also practitioners who work outside in natural surroundings, mainly when conducting professional development workshops.
ExperienceExtensive experience is required to become a Dance Movement Psychotherapist. This experience comprises working with a range of different client groups within a spectrum of settings (e.g. NHS mental health services, schools, prisons etc) The initial qualifying experience can be gained through studying the MA in DMP. There are currently six DMP professional training MA programmes in the UK. Each programme is professionally accredited which means that upon successful completion newly qualified graduates can enter the profession at registered level.
- The UK National Health Service
- Social Services
- Schools (mainstream and Special Needs)
- Prison Services
- International conflict resolution projects
- Arts projects
Career ProgressionMost Dance Movement Psychotherapists have started out as professional dancers. However, previous careers which have acted as a stepping-stone for current registered practitioners include nursing, teaching, medical practice and psychotherapy. The key aspect to progressing as a Dance Movement Psychotherapist is an ongoing practice of dance movement (in a variety of styles or techniques).
Beatrice Allegranti works as a Dance Movement Psychotherapist, choreographer, educator, academic researcher and writer. As a senior practitioner, Beatrice has a small private practice in London as a Dance Movement Psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Her new book ‘Embodied Performances: Sexuality, Gender and the Body’ will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011. As a Dance Movement Psychotherapist with sixteen years of experience Beatrice’s clinical practice has involved facilitating therapy groups and one-to-one therapy within a wide range of settings: in outpatient adult mental health within the UK National Health System, for elderly adults with dementia in hospitals and assessment centres, with children who have a wide range of special educational needs as well as those on the autistic spectrum, with adults who have special educational needs, and more recently, with adolescents who have experienced trauma as a result of living in conflict zones around the world. Beatrice is also an experienced facilitator for staff development and training and has worked with teachers, nurses, doctors, social workers, occupational therapists, actors, dancers and directors.