Featured on CarrieDaway: talking about dance/movement therapy and life in Detroit.

Emily was the ‘It’ girl of elementary school and I was the polar opposite. The words I’d use to describe my younger self are loud and desperate (I’m happy to say I would no longer use those descriptors). As ‘uncool’ as I was, Emily was always gracious and nice – no Mean Girl story here. […]

via Life in Detroit: Emily D’Annunzio Goodman — CarrieDaway

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What’s in a name?: The loss of the dance/movement therapist title.

My recent blog posts have been centered around my transition from Chicago to Detroit.  I have also transitioned from a full-time dance/movement therapist to furiously searching for employment which has lead me to my current state: that of filling my schedule with a myriad of part-time positions.   It has been six months since I made the move and things have started to settle.  Life is starting to make sense.  Since transitioning, I have acquired a few part-time positions because, unfortunately, I was unable to find a full-time position that truly encompassed what I was looking for professionally.  I am happy about my part-time positions and feel as though I am doing meaningful work.  However, I am not considered a dance/movement therapist in any of my positions.   While I feel like my knowledge of dance/movement therapy (DMT) and my experience as a professional dance/movement therapist influences my current work, I am lacking the official title.  Lately, I have been missing that title.

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Dance/movement therapy v. therapuetic dance: the four differentiating factors.

Before I dive into the topic of this blog post, I want to honor that in recent months I have retreated from my blog .  I have stopped consistently writing blog posts.  My focus has been elsewhere as I adjust to my new surroundings and the changes occurring in the country.  It has been difficult to find time to write and to maintain the attention span it takes to write a blog post.  Dare I say I even had moments where I thought about discontinuing my blog altogether.  However, various e-mails from prospective dance/movement therapy (DMT) students (I have received a handful lately) have reminded me why it’s important to write and spread the good word.  Not to mention I have had to do a lot of DMT advocacy in my new location where I feel like I am constantly asked to define it.  This often manifests in differentiating it from therapeutic dance or dance projects for individuals with varying disabilities.  My current situation has led me to return to the DMT basics, the basics that differentiate it from therapeutic dance.

I first wrote about the difference between DMT and therapeutic dance, also known as artists in healthcare, when I blogged for Columbia College Chicago’s graduate student blog, Marginalia.  More recently, I led an “Introduction to DMT” workshop at a local college for music therapy and pre-dance/movement therapy undergraduate students.  In my presentation I defined DMT and outlined four components that differentiate DMT from other dance and movement focused practices.  These four components are specific to DMT and to dance/movement therapists, and they are what makes our work unique. Although I have written about this topic before I think it’s important to return to it.  In short, DMT is a type of therapy conducted by professional dance/movement therapists that occurs in professional clinical settings and incorporates movement interventions in the therapy process to address the therapeutic goals of their clients.  Below is a more detailed explanation of each of the four differentiating factors.

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Happy 2016 Annual ADTA Conference!

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Happy conference to all those attending the 2016 American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) Annual conference.  I am unable to attend this year, but I look forward to seeing and reading what people share via Facebook and Twitter.

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Beautiful words from Zoe Avstreih, dance/movement therapist and Authentic Movement pioneer.

Photo I took at the MOMA Bjork exhibit.

Photo I took at the MoMA Bjork exhibit.

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Cultural competency in dance/movement therapy.

cultural-competencyAs mentioned in my previous posts I have recently relocated and I am currently in-between employment.  I’ve been trying to re-acquaint myself with my home, as it’s not completely new, but rather a return to where I grew up.  My new community has infiltrated my thoughts and has caused self-reflection.  My new home is in the process of transformation (much like myself) and the issue of culture and gentrification are palpable.  The phrase, “the new Detroit,” is charged to say the least.  My immersion in my new community and its metamorphosis has inspired me to think about cultural competency in dance/movement therapy (DMT).  How culturally competent am I as a dance/movement therapist and how culturally competent is DMT as a profession?

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Interviewing as a dance/movement therapist: “…but how passionate are you about counseling?”

As I mentioned in my last post, I have relocated to a city where dance/movement therapy (DMT) is on the fringes of the healing community.  Now that I have settled into my new location, I have started to apply and interview for possible employment opportunities ranging from traditional counseling to a DMT position.  My focus on finding meaningful employment has taken its toll on my blog writing and propelled me into the role of a diligent job hunter.  I have had a few interviews since moving and each one has been insightful for me as a dance/movement therapist.  I’ve had to define DMT, explain methodologies, lead a small movement experience for possible future clients, and I was even asked, ‘but how passionate are you about counseling?”

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