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dance, DMT, Trauma

Dancing Trauma – an embodied approach to trauma recovery

Trauma. It’s big and it’s out there in the media in a way it hasn’t been before. Every day there are more disclosures, and the list of people identifying with movements like #metoo grow right along with the momentum of the movement itself. That’s a lot of traumatized people out there!

I know a lot of you reading this blog have probably experienced trauma in some way. Some of you may have taken that experience and tried to make something out of it. Maybe you became a therapist to try to help others through their own trauma. Maybe you became an activist to try to prevent others from being traumatized. Or maybe you feel totally lost and confused and have no idea what you’re doing. However you’re coping, WELL DONE! Nothing about trauma is easy and I admire you for carrying on each day.

Dealing with the after effects of trauma is terrifying, because trauma by its very nature is something “intense enough and threatening enough that it overwhelms our coping resources” (1). So pretty much what that means this big monster comes along and tramples all over our life, scaring the crap out of us and changing how we see the world and the people in it, and then we’re supposed to figure out how to keep on living. Great. HOW?!?! Continue reading “Dancing Trauma – an embodied approach to trauma recovery”

dance, DMT, embodiment, Trauma

Embodying Consent

Last November I had the pleasure of participating in the Toronto Dance Community Love-In‘s class “Aggressive Snuggling: From the Politics of Touch to the Poetics of Touch”, facilitated by Eroca Nichols – a class that combined aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Contact Improvisation to offer an approach to partnered movement and touch that highlighted an incredible clarity of boundaries and consent.

I decided to attend the classes out of a personal and professional curiosity about consent and touch, especially in relation to working within a dance/movement framework. My main question was: What are some of the ways in which we can facilitate touch in sessions in a safe and consensual way? Continue reading “Embodying Consent”

DMT, embodiment, intentions

Moving into a New Year

For many of us, crossing into the New Year marks an important shift. It’s an opportunity to start fresh, reflect, let go of the things that weren’t so great about the past year, set our intentions for the year ahead, and recommit to the things we value most.

And while I’m a big supporter of setting intentions, whether it’s for the year ahead or even just for this moment, I know how hard it can be to follow through with our intentions once we’ve set them. It’s so easy to make these big plans for ourselves and believe that this year will be different – this year we will make the changes we want to see in our lives.

The trouble is that we have no idea what the year ahead has in store for us. 2018 might be the best year of your life so far, with endless opportunities and personal victories, or it might involve a lot of uphill battles and unfair obstacles. There’s no way of knowing!

That’s why this year, I’ll be setting an intention that is practically foolproof, regardless of what happens in life – good or bad. This intention isn’t about changing something about myself. It isn’t about making a promise that I may or may not be able to keep. That’s why I’m calling it an intention, and not a resolution. Continue reading “Moving into a New Year”

dance, DMT, embodiment, Stress

Finding my way home

Stress has a way of messing with our priorities. It can make it feel easier to tackle the thing that is immediately in front of us, and lose sight of the bigger picture. Well, I can relate. Stress has, at times, found its way between me and the most important things in my life. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “You can’t see the wood for the trees”, and for me, I can’t see my passion for all the stress!

But when I step back to look at the whole forest, I can see what I was missing: Dance. Continue reading “Finding my way home”

About DMT, dance, DMT, embodiment, Group DMT

Why Dance Movement Therapy isn’t just for “dancers”

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what might get in the way of someone trying Dance Movement Therapy, what obstacles there are to overcome before you can commit to coming to a session. One of the things I’ve heard from clients is that the dance/movement aspect can feel intimidating if you’re not someone who identifies as a “dancer”. My goal for writing this blog is to try to put some of those fears to rest.

But first, if you need a bit of clarity around what DMT is or why you would consider it as an option for therapy, you can read my other two blog posts here.

So – Dance Movement Therapy – there it is, first word, right off the bat: DANCE. I actually know quite a few DMTs who refer to themselves as Movement Psycho/therapists because of the implications the word dance has. I’ve chosen not to do that because I feel that dance is such an integral part of the process and I don’t want to negate that by taking it out of the title. Continue reading “Why Dance Movement Therapy isn’t just for “dancers””

About DMT, dance, DMT, embodiment

Why choose Dance Movement Therapy?

Sometimes I think the hardest part about being a Dance Movement Therapist is convincing people to give it a chance. Once we’re in the room and moving together, that’s when the value of the process becomes clear. But starting therapy, even a form as widely known as psychoanalysis or cognitive behavioural therapy, can be intimidating enough as it is. I’m asking you to take a chance on something you’ve probably never even heard of before! It’s a lot to ask, I know, and that’s why I’m writing these blogs.

In my first blog, I wrote about what DMT is and what a session might look like to give you an idea of what you’d be getting yourself into. My goal in writing this blog is to share a little bit of my own experiences with DMT and why I chose it, in the hope that it might inspire you to consider DMT as an option for therapy.

So, why did I choose Dance Movement Therapy?

Continue reading “Why choose Dance Movement Therapy?”

About DMT, dance, DMT, embodiment

“So, what IS Dance Movement Therapy?”

“…and what do you do Jessica?”
“I’m a Dance Movement Therapist.”
*confused look* “A what?”
“A Dance Movement Therapist.”
*blank stare*

It’s the start of many conversations I’ve had recently, especially since moving back to Canada after completing my training in the UK. And while most of the time I’m more than happy to explain, I can feel myself shrinking inside every time I see someone start to tune out as I dive into one of my various definitions of the profession.

So far, it seems that the best way to explain what DMT is, is by doing it. Words just aren’t enough to convey the complexity and richness of what DMT has to offer. And yet, here I am, writing a blog in attempt to find another way in, because while I’m happy to offer free trial sessions to people who are interested, I need a way to reach those people who, for whatever reason, might find it difficult to get to a session.

So here goes!

What IS Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)?

Continue reading ““So, what IS Dance Movement Therapy?””