Richard Coaten

Building Bridges of Understanding that carry us deeper into ’Being Ourselves’: how Dance Movement Psychotherapy in the care environment provides life-enhancing opportunities for people living with dementia and their carers


It is time for the word ‘dementia’, to be replaced by “brain ageing” (Brayne, 2018*) as the stigma associated with it must go, along with misguided assumptions that ‘dementia’ is a disease – it is not, it is a syndrome impairing cognitive abilities (op.cit.2018). The embodied multi-dimensional and relational nature of DMP help carry us deeper into ‘Being Ourselves’, in the context of loss, anxiety, depression and more, giving back to the person a sense of meaning, purpose and value. This workshop will explore these practical, theoretical/environmental considerations helping to re-frame care environments in the context of life-enhancing opportunities.

*Brayne C. (2018). A life-course approach to prevent dementia’, Bulletin World Health Organisation 96(3):153–154

Marja Cantell

Embodying mixed method video data: examples from mother-child interaction and online dance classes for patients at risk of psychosis


During the past couple of years, several DMT MA research projects at Codarts University of the Arts have applied mixed methods analyses of observation data. These student research projects have combined an embodied qualitative observation system (LMA) with a novel, more quantitative observational lens. The use of digital movement observation tools is a fastly developing field that can be useful for (training future) professionals in Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) as it enables combining and comparing qualitative and quantitative observational data. The benefit of digital software is that large amounts of data can be analyzed and used to highlight the intricacies of non-verbal interaction. Additional efforts are still, however, required to further validate both quantitative and qualitative observation tools as a feasible measurement tool in DMT clinical applications and research. During the workshop some innovative observation tools piloted in two studies, i.e., mother-child interaction and interoception in psychosis, are introduced and tried out

Ana Coimbra Oliveira

A box, wings and heart: working through pain with Dance Movement Therapy 


Pain is considered one of the vital signs.  Feeling, remembering or expecting pain affects and shapes the body, relationship with others and the environment, Quality of Life, freedom, hopes, joy,…  In our psycho-oncology clinic and research, we discovered that one of the important effects of DMT is the relief of chronic and/or acute pain caused by the disease or medical treatments.  In our workshop we will explore Movement, Observation, Words (ie feelings, meanings, memory and imagination).  We will find and discuss how DMT can help us to better understand, address and transform the experience of pain.

Päivi Pylvänäinen

Dance Movement Therapy Group as an Interactive Environment for Depression Alleviation


Based on two Finnish DMT research projects, the workshop explores the DMT group structures as interactive environments for promoting the alleviation of depression. The central qualities of the DMT group environment are reflected through the principles of group facilitation, group contents, participant feedback, and reported changes in participants’ body image. In the workshop, interactive movement will be utilized to experientially co-comprehend the relevance of embodied process for changing the relationship with self and environment.

Pauliina Jääskeläinen

Reciprocity of body movements in work environment


The purpose of this workshop is to explore Dance Movement Therapy’s practical methods as a way of understanding and researching organizations and organizing. I present my PhD dissertation in the field of Management and Organization Studies, which focuses on the ways how academic research could be more embodied at every step of the research process. The focus of the workshop is to explore through practical examples the ways the reciprocity of body movements organizes our mundane experiences of work communities, leadership, teamwork and other organizational phenomena. 

Mary Coaten

The impact of the acute adult in-patient ward landscape on the moving body. Reflections on my doctoral study


The acute adult mental health ward landscape creates a particular type of environment which requires elaboration in order to contextualise the dance movement psychotherapy sessions that took place during my doctoral study. My workshop will give a flavour of the setting of the culture and atmosphere of the ward in contrast to the atmosphere of the DMP sessions. ’On entering the ward setting there is an immediate sense of being somewhere different, a sense of emptiness heightened by the restricted access. It is as if there is nothing going on and no-one there.’ (Coaten, 2020). In the workshop we will explore the impact of this landscape on the moving body in the DMP session and illuminate the possible affordances available to the individual in terms of Krueger’s (2018) notion of the ’scaffolded self’ and affective scaffolding.