My choice to blog about my experience as a dance/movement therapist has provided me with opportunities to connect with a lot of a different individuals from all around the world. It has been exciting to connect with people stateside from Boston to Colorado and worldwide from Poland to New Zealand. I also receive a plethora of e-mails from prospective students (both high school and undergraduate students) who are curious about dance/movement therapy (DMT), as well as e-mails from other professionals about my work as a dance/movement therapist. I try to respond to e-mails to the best of my abilities, and lately they have led to awesome chats over coffee. I remember my own desire to reach out to people who knew more than me about the process when I was first starting down my DMT path (thanks again Megan S. for responding to my e-mail before the movement interview). However, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about this process and in some ways feel a bit overwhelmed by it. So, naturally, I decided to blog about it.
If you are interested in any of the many facets of DMT and plan to email a professional dance/movement therapist then below are some things to consider.
1. First and foremost, ask yourself: are you seeking information that is available on the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) website? Are you seeking general DMT information, links to accredited DMT graduate programs, DMT Q&A, or links to the official ADTA blog and YouTube channel? If so, go there first.
2. Can you find this information via google? Are you hoping to find more macro-level information about DMT? If you want to find out more about DMT job opportunities and salary information then google it! While it is helpful to speak to a professional dance/movement therapist about these topics, these topics are also very specific to location and job setting.
3. Have you read the professional journals? This is particularly true if you are hoping to find out more about how DMT applies when working with a particular population. The American Journal of Dance Therapy (AJDT) is a great place to start, or maybe even the Arts in Psychotherapy journal.
4. The individual you are emailing is a professional and will email you back when it’s most conventional for him/her. This individual might work an intense full-time position, or like in my case, work a handful of part-time positions. What this means is that this person is busy and it may take a while for him/her to respond. Which leads me my next point…
5. Don’t be offended if the individual doesn’t respond at all. The professional dance/movement therapist may not have the time and resources to respond to your e-mail, and that’s okay.
6. If you are looking for consultation or supervision expect to pay the professional you are emailing. Professional dance/movement therapists have spent a lot of time and money to hone their craft and gain expertise. If you truly value the knowledge they offer then pay them to access it. While it’s important for professional dance/movement therapists to advocate and pass down knowledge for the integrity of our profession, that does not mean they should have to do it for free.
7. Attend seminars, lectures or workshops offered by professional dance/movement therapists in your area. Or, attend such events in like-minded professions that cover topics like creative arts therapies, wellness, health, yoga, mindfulness, etc. The ADTA also offers webinars on various DMT topics.
8. Trust your own process and that it will lead you down the right path. The only person who can decide if DMT is a good fit for you in concerns to your career path is you. While I can go on and on about by why I chose to attend Columbia College Chicago this may or may not be helpful to you and your own graduate school decision making process. Do your research, feel it out and most importantly trust yourself that you are doing exactly what you need to do no matter how it manifests.