After a lot of hard work and a long waiting period, it’s official! I am a Board Certified-Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT). I have advanced from a Registered-Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT) and have gained the privilege of listing these sophisticated letters after my name. Each of the creative arts therapies have their own certification process, and although words/titles might be similar, the credentials means different things within each modality (e.g. Music Therapist-Board Certified v. Registered Art Therapist v. Board Certified-Dance/Movement Therapist). So what is a BC-DMT and how does one achieve this status?
In order to understand what BC-DMT means, it’s important to know what R-DMT means. To become a R-DMT an individual must complete a master’s degree in dance/movement therapy (DMT), fill out an application and send the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) a transcript and a check. Basically, the R-DMT credential means you have completed the necessary school work to call yourself a dance/movement therapist. Or in other words, it’s the ADTA’s way of saying, “Congrats, you’ve finished graduate school!”
The BC-DMT application is a more in-depth process geared for professionals in the field. Although you can find the application process here, let me break down the requirements and the process in a simple list:
- At least two years paid professional experience as a R-DMT.
- 48 hours of supervision from the BC-DMT/s of your choice.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- Four page session review essay.
- Four page theoretical framework paper that states one DMT founder and two psychological theories you align with in your professional work; you must also state the observation tool you use (e.g. Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) or Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP)).
- A bunch of other forms that prove all the above things.
After doing those simple tasks amongst your busy professional schedule, mail the required documents to the ADTA by the deadline (there’s only one by the way, meaning you can only apply once a year) and wait… and wait…and wait for them to either grant, grant with revisions, or deny your BC-DMT status.
It’s important to note that both R-DMT and BC-DMT is only a title/credential. It is not a counseling license. The counseling license is something an individual must file and apply for within the state of residence (speaking on behalf of the U.S. here, as I’m sure each country has their own process). I have to be honest, because of this fact I was unsure if I wanted to apply for the BC-DMT. What’s in a name or the letters behind one’s name? Although having these five letters behind my name gives me cred within the DMT community, it also comes with a higher price tag in terms of maintenance each year. One thing I am ethically allowed to do is provide supervision to R-DMTs. Although I am still weighing the pros and cons of the BC-DMT title, I do feel as though I’ve hit a professional milestone and one that I feel proud of.