60 Minute Presentations
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Dance Your Way into Funding: Grant Writing Workshop for DMTs

Presenters: Minjung Shim, Monica Gaydos, and Karolina Bryl

Description of the presentation: Strong, robust research is of vital importance to supporting evidence-based practice and the growth of the dance/movement therapy (DMT) field. Significant research projects often require large sample sizes, costly equipment, and expenses in materials and human resources. Obtaining research funding is necessary to provide evidence-based data and answer some of the pressing research questions in the DMT field. Fortunately, an increasing number of funding announcements are being issued from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Department of Defense, as well as public and private foundations, to support research on the creative arts therapies and their contribution to health. Grant writing is a critical skill that DMT researchers would be wise to develop in order to capitalize on these funding opportunities. The DMT field is in the exciting position of having a growing number of doctoral and postdoctoral-level trained researchers entering the profession. In addition, clinicians and student researchers often wish to embark on funded research projects in order to investigate various aspects of clinical process and outcomes. However, both trained and novice DMT researchers often find it challenging to navigate the process of identifying funding sources and writing grants. In this 75-minute workshop, participants will receive an overview of funding resources for DMTs and learn about the varying levels of grants and funding mechanisms. Presenters will share their experiences of applying for research grants and the lessons learned from successful as well as unsuccessful grant writing experiences. Presenters will also share pointers on how to achieve clear and concise writing in grant applications, as well as common pitfalls to avoid. Finally, this workshop will allow time for a question-and-answer period, as well as a culminating group movement experience to help integrate the material covered in the session.  Return to top 

Developing client capacity for self-assessment in dance movement therapy

Presenters: Kim Dunphy and Tessa Hens

Description of the presentationIn dance movement therapy, as yet there has not been a significant movement towards client’s contribution in the assessment process. Much assessment has been done by therapists drawing on their specialist expertise and using complex tools that are often outside the understanding of clients themselves and other stakeholders in the therapeutic process including families, careers, other professionals, managers and funders. Many clients, such as people with cognitive impairment or who do not have access to verbal and written communication, have been inadequately supported to reflect on their own experiences and engage in self-assessment with respect to services they access. This has limited their ability to share their views authentically and influence relevant service provision.

This presentation offers redress to that situation, in introducing an approach to DMT assessment that actively involves clients, including those who may not have good access to verbal and written communication. The presentation uses technological tool, iPad app MARA and its features including video, photo, drawings, voice recordings and numerical scoring against a comprehensive Outcomes Framework for DMT to introduce workshop participants to a range of possible assessment options for their practice.

This presentation also draws on from findings of a research process of a DMT program for participants with intellectual disability in which therapists and participants worked together to increase participants’ engagement in, and capacity for, self-assessment. The workshop will discuss findings of that research including tools found to be useful in this task, such as recognition and use of different communication styles; and dance, movement, and visual arts exercises.

Workshop participants will be actively involved in exploring these assessment strategies. They will use role play in experiential activities to trial the use of MARA app and its features for client self-assessment. This will be followed by discussion of data options gathered using this tool and its diverse media features and how these might complement and advance current assessment approaches. Benefits and challenges in including client contribution in assessment approaches will also be considered, as well as the vital process of reporting utilizing all this additional dataReturn to top

Interventions for Trauma and Attachment: the complementary principles of Dance Movement Therapy and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Presenters: Megan English and Miriam Schacter

Description of presentation: This workshop, facilitated by RDMP-RP, Megan English and danceABILITIES™ founder/RP, Miriam Schacter explores the complementary principles of Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP*). The workshop supports Dance Movement Therapists to apply safe and effective somatic interventions in their work with clients who have experienced situational and/or relational trauma. Topics offered include: an overview of the correlated principles of DMT and SP as related to the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology, the therapist as neurobiological regulator through presence and physical contact, embodying the window of tolerance, somatic resourcing for self-agency and processing traumatic memory, recognizing and integrating new boundaries, survival defenses through a Laban perspective as well as DMT and SP experientials. * SP was developed by Dr. Pat Ogden. Return to top

One Art Form, Two Perspectives: Dancing to Heal the Invisible Wounds of War

Presenters: Allison Winters Fisher and Roman Baca

Description of the Presentation: This workshop presentation will address the mental health and wellness of the US military and veteran population from two perspectives: 1) dance/movement therapy (DMT) in a military healthcare setting, and 2) military-informed dance through choreography and performance. The presentation will include overviews of both presenters’ respective work. The first perspective will be presented by a DMT who has implemented and manages a DMT-based mind-body wellness program at a military treatment facility for service members with traumatic brain injury and related psychological health conditions. The second perspective will be presented by the artistic director and founder of a dance company which explores military themes through choreographic workshops and performances. Vignettes, videos, case examples, and original research will be presented from both perspectives. The experiential portion of the workshop will allow participants to explore the veteran experience through movement exercises which are currently utilized by both presenters in their work.  Return to top

The origins of DMT- Questioning the western presentation; A reflective discussion for recent graduates

Presenters: Neha Christopher and Caroline Burek

Description of the Presentation: This session will explore and connect the common themes, specifically in western Dance/movement therapy in the United States and the practices of indigenous south Asian cultures. This session will invite participants to expand their cultural awareness of varying communities who have been employing cultural practices, themes and interventions for generations which are being taught as dance/movement therapy principles. By expanding awareness further than just dance/movement therapy in the west, we hope to increase humility and recognize biases that many western dance/movement therapists carry with them as a bi-product of unfamiliarity. Both presenters’ lived experiences in the work as dance/movement therapists will be contrasted and compared as a way to highlight the similarities that western dance/movement therapy has formalized far after south Asian cultures have been working with and existing with these themes. Through embodied experience, the presenters will work side by side to demonstrate what could be viewed as a “typical” western dance/movement therapy session while pointing out moments that connect to the south Asian culture and traditions. It will also work to give credit to these cultures and recognize negative implications that only teaching dance/movement therapy from a western perspective may have on students in the field. By giving credit and expanding knowledge of different cultures utilizing movement, mind body connections and non-verbal community we hope to increase empathy and understanding that the guiding principles that western dance/movement therapists teach are not exclusive ideas. Return to top

The paths to building relationships: the individual’s approach. DMT for young adults  with complex disabilities.

Presenter: Ayana Spivak

Description of presentation: This experiential workshop gives participants an opportunity to get involved in a Dance/Movement Therapy session designed for groups of young adults with developmental impairments and complex disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and others. Moving together we will explore the potential benefits of Dance/Movement and Expressive Arts Therapy for this population, focusing on aspects such as an increased sense of confidence, independence, liberation, connection, joy and social engagement. Other specific targets of work with this population are:

•strengthening the sense of self by developing body-awareness and relationships;

•increasing the range of movement and, as a possible outcome, broadening the range of behavior patterns;

•supporting the growth of communication and interpersonal skills, ability to build and maintain relationships;

•providing a space for self-expression and offering a safe, supportive and encouraging environment to reveal the individual’s creative potential.

Participants of the workshop will learn about certain modifications of the fundamental methods of DMT and EXAT that align with the needs and specificity of a population with developmental disabilities – Marian Chace movement circle structure, Mirroring, Baum-circle, group rhythmic activities, use of props, music, dance improvisation and performance techniques.

After the experiential part of the workshop there will be time for a clinical vignette and short video, illustrating the dynamic of several clients. For the rest of workshop, we will talk about issues we may face supporting this population - attention span, ability to remain present, barriers for social interaction and unique communication styles. There will be an open space for questions, discussion and sharing of the participants’ own experiences: the facilitator of the workshop will also be happy to share her findings and ideas about her approach to populations with development. Return to top

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