Using multiple senses to explore your inner and outer world, your therapist or counselor helps you communicate your feelings. Together, you use the creative process to enhance awareness of your concerns and strengths. Since the therapeutic work is based on the creative process, not on the final result, it is not necessary to have a background or training in the arts to benefit from creative arts therapy. Throughout the process, you learn new and different ways to use the mostly nonverbal language of creativity to communicate. Depending on your interest, one might chose to journal, collage, write poems, use drama, interactive cards, move, paint or draw. In so doing, you learn to expressive inner feelings that were not previously available to you by simply thinking or talking about them.
What is Dance Movement Therapy?
Since the mid 20th century, Dance Therapy has been used in clinical environments with groups and individuals of all ages. The first Dance Movement therapists worked with veterans of world war 2 who had experienced what was called at that time "shell shock" now generally referred to as PTSD. Since that time, it has been used effectively world wide in a multitude of applications from addiction to stress management, and with all ages. Formed in 1966, The American Dance Therapy Association defines Dance Therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and well-being. It is a form of Somatic (body-based) psychotherapy that draws on an awareness of physical sensation and impressions to help us become more connected to the present moment. It is a grounded and safe exploration of our deeper wisdom, inner strength and resiliency. Dance Movement Therapy is helpful for loss, PTSD, self esteem, anxiety and depression. Practicing Dance Movement therapist have a masters degree in the field and are certified by the ADTA.
Kim Tompkins, LMHC is a board certified Dance Movement Therapist, and for over 10 years, has been offering Dance Movement Therapy groups and private sessions on Boston's North Shore, including Beverly, Salem, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynn, Gloucester, Wakefield and Newburyport.
One approach that a dance movement therapist might offer is the practice of Authentic Movement. Authentic Movement is a simple form of self-directed movement, usually done with eyes closed and attention directed inward, in the presence of at least one witness. The trained witness assists the mover in order to help him or her feel grounded and to reflect on the experience. Movers explore spontaneous gestures, movements, and stillness, following inner impulses in the present moment.
Sessions can have profound results, leading to transformative shifts in perspective, and greater self-understanding. For more on Authentic Movement click here.
Mindfulness is the practice of learning to be in the present moment without judgement. Working in this way through meditation, yoga or movement, we find the key to altering the neuro-pathways in the brain that lead to anxiety, stress, fear, rage and depressive thoughts. Present moment awareness keeps us grounded, allowing for clearer understanding so that we can make our choices with good judgement and deeper self respect.
Trauma Informed Yoga is taught with Mindfulness as a foundation rather than focusing on the perfect look or alignment of yoga postures (asanas). By making choices in movement that honor your needs, you are in control of your practice at all time, creating a greater sense of safety and comfort in which to be present in your body from moment to moment. This sense of safety in movement, experiencing at your own pace, lays the foundation for feeling more centered and more completely alive. Based on the model through the Center for Trauma and Embodiment, its efficacy in treating trauma and related symptoms is backed by rigorous scientific studies.
In a supportive and encouraging environment, this class aims to take us beyond self-care and lay the groundwork of lasting resiliency in mind, body and spirit. Through the practice of yoga we will learn the principles of mindfulness, expanding the courage it takes to be a force of kindness in the world while not giving ourselves away.
The class will combine a gentle to moderate yoga practice with seated meditation. It is open to students with any level of experience and anyone who is curious to try it. Kim’s yoga classes are always respectful of your unique journey. Classes are taught in a trauma sensitive way.