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What can a dance therapist help with?

A dance therapist can help clients who are struggling with mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, trauma, or eating disorders, among others; it may also help clients cope with other life challenges such as poor body image, family conflict, domestic violence, or grief. There is also some evidence that this therapy may improve mood and daily functioning in clients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

Who is a qualified dance/movement therapist?

Dance therapists typically have an advanced degree, such as a master’s or a doctorate, and may be required to obtain additional certification depending on the country in which they practice; in the U.S., dance therapists should hold a credential known as the R-DMT, or Registered Dance/Movement Therapist. Interested clients should look into local requirements and ask prospective clinicians what training and certifications they have obtained prior to starting treatment.

Is dance therapy effective?

Some research has found that dance therapy can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, dementia, eating disorders, and other psychiatric or neurological concerns. However, a few reviews have found that some of the evidence in its favor is not high-quality, suggesting that it may not be as effective as proponents claim. Dance therapy may be most beneficial when used in conjunction with traditional therapies, rather than as a stand-alone treatment.

How can I recognize a good dance therapist?

Clients should ensure that prospective therapists have been trained in dance/movement therapy and completed any necessary certifications. Next, clients should ask whether a therapist has experience in treating a client’s particular issue and how they expect treatment to progress. Finally, clients with physical limitations should discuss these with the therapist to ensure that they will be safely addressed in treatment.