In Dance Movement Therapy (a Creative Arts Therapy), therapists use a variety of tools. One is the use of drawn images. When I work with clients I use art in service to therapy, allowing the client to draw before moving so the image becomes a prop, and/or a drawing after moving allowing the client to draw their experience.
As mentioned in a previous blog post; in the creative arts process, the symbols that are created contain valuable information which speak to the circumstances of life. The unique aspect of the creative arts is that it often taps into the subconscious using a different part of the brain to express than what is used to verbalize
When using drawings with clients I look beyond the psychopathological perspective, and view the work for its intrinsic value as an expression. I acknowledge the universality of images and symbols with an open mind to the uniqueness and specific feeling content of the client’s creation.
Interesting article on one of dance movement therapy’s pioneers, Marian Chace and her work at St. Elizabeths Hospital for the mentally ill in Washington D.C.
Medicine: Dance Therapy
Polka-dot curtains brightened the windows, and red valentines fluttered from the walls. But there was only blankness or despair on the faces of the score of patients who shuffled one day last week into a recreation room at the Federal Government’s St. Elizabeths Hospital for the mentally ill in Washington, B.C. Schizophrenics who had been hospitalized for a year or more, they drifted silently in their own private worlds. One man was racked with uncontrollable tremors. Another lifted his head as if to hearken to inner voices.
Then a greying, grandmotherly woman wearing dancing slippers put a Strauss waltz on the phonograph and went to work. As always, the goal for Marian Chace, 62, the nation’s leading dance therapist, was to make contact with the mentally ill, through music and movement