Can Dance/ Movement be Used as Psychotherapy for Special Needs?

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Picture courtesy: http://www.ashahai.com

Always on the lookout for interesting things happening in Delhi, I was very intrigued about a workshop introducing Dance/Movement for therapy. The workshop was a taster session for a foundation course beginning in September, aimed at psychology students, professionals in this field and parents of children or adolescents with extra needs. Though I don’t fit in any of these categories, I walked away feeling enriched and introspective.

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Movement activities in the workshop

WHAT IS DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY?

This form of psychotherapy regards movement as a way to engage and mentally stimulate people with extra needs. Psychotherapists specializing in this don’t teach dance forms, but use the fluidity of dance moves to “engage a person creatively in a process to further their emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration.”(Information culled from the website of organization Asha Hai, which practices dance movement therapy among other forms of therapy for people with special needs).

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The participants of the workshop included professionals and students of psychology, dancers and parents

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY?

Though aimed at people with extra needs, dance movement can potentially benefit everyone. In a world excessively reliant on social media and technology, loneliness and mental health issues are on the rise. Dance and movement are an easy way to combat these and increase confidence and social skills. As we grow older, we restrict our movements in an attempt to follow socially sanctioned behavior, which can lead to unhappiness. As with other forms of art, dance movement helps one to reconnect with their inner child.

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With the founders of the course- Akansha Mishra and Rashi Bijlani

WHAT IS THE DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY COURSE?

This pioneer foundation course is organized by registered dance movement therapists Rashi Bijlani and Akanksha Mishra, in collaboration with the Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research. Due to the lack of alternative therapy courses in India at a Master’s level, both of them studied abroad. This course is an attempt to spread their specialized knowledge amongst people in this field. Their foundation course offers 15 sessions over three months, and is an initiation into this vast form of therapy, as yet unexplored in India. They hope to inspire more people to pursue this study at a higher level after attending their taster session.

The course also aims to teach school counselors, teachers, parents and other caregivers a unique way to deal with children who have extra needs or adolescents with emotional issues like low self-esteem. Dancers can also gain tremendously from this specialized knowledge, in their professional careers as dancers or dance teachers.

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With all the participants after the workshop

WHY IS THE COURSE IMPORTANT?

A recent news article in leading national newspaper, the Indian Express, highlighted the growing epidemic of loneliness (read here), among Indians. I feel alternative therapy is the best way to combat the rise of stress disorders and tension, especially if you want to avoid the stigma attached to traditional psychotherapy.

I highly recommend the course to people in this field, to widen their knowledge as well as incorporate these practices in their own methods. Schools, counselors and parents of special needs children can inculcate these methods in their personal interactions.

If however, you don’t want to attend the course, I recommend sending children/ adolescents directly to dance movement therapy sessions. They will certainly gain a lot of confidence and happiness.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

COURSE DETAILS:

Dates: Starts September 12 and ends on November 4th

Days and Timings: Wednesday and Friday 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

                                   Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Cost: Full Fee INR 40,000

          Early Bird (10%) for registrations before August 15: INR 36,000

Venue: Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, B-16 Qutub Institutional Area, New Delhi

DETAILS OF ORGANISATION ASHA HAI (Dance Movement Therapy):

Address: D-1/1, Hauz Khas, New Delhi

Phone: +91-9810899990

011- 41035300, 011- 26859611, 011- 26519376

Whatsapp Number: +91-9810694640

Website: http://www.ashahai.com

Email: info@ashahai.com

*Featured image courtesy: http://www.ashahai.com

If you like this post, you may like reading these other posts too:

Expressive Arts as Therapy

Review of book “The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy and Self-Motivated Kids”

Raising Emotionally Balanced Children in a Competitive Environment

Recognizing Developmental Disorders in Children

Workshop on Mindful Parenting with Dr. Anupam Sibal

 

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