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Patients benefit from dance movement therapy group

18 November 2008

A student from Canterbury Christ Church University is running a new Dance Movement Psychotherapy Group at Weston Hospicecare in Uphill near Weston-super-Mare.

Sarah Woolf, who is currently studying for a Masters degree in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at the University, is running the group at Weston Hospicecare, which initially is offering places for up to six Hospice patients.

Sarah said: “Dance Movement Psychotherapy is founded on the idea that body movement reflects the inner state of a person. The therapy aims to integrate mind and body and support physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs. It can be helpful in maintaining a sense of dignity, self esteem and independence. No experience or ability is required.”

Sarah is studying for her MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy with Canterbury Christ Church University at Dance Voice, a dance movement therapy centre in Bristol.

Sarah continued: “Clients also have the chance to choose their own music to dance to in the sessions and this can bring back a personal story and a feeling. This can be very beneficial and therapeutic for the clients.”

The Dance Movement Psychotherapy Group will be trialled for 10 weeks at Weston Hospicecare. It takes place every Thursday for one hour.

Julie Francis, Out-Patient Team Leader at Weston Hospicecare, said: “Our patients at the Hospice love the sessions and they find it a great way to express themselves in a non verbal way.This opportunity is very exciting for Weston Hospicecare as this is the first time Dance Voice and Canterbury Christ Church University have offered a Masters degree in Dance Movement Psychotherapy and we hope to forge links between the Hospice and Dance Voice.”

Every year Weston Hospicecare provides free specialist palliative care for around 600 people with cancer and other life-threatening conditions, and their families, who live in Somerset and North Somerset.

The annual running costs for the Hospice are in excess of £2.4 million and the charity is largely dependent on the generosity and support of the Somerset and North Somerset communities.

For further information about Weston Hospicecare, please call 01934 423900 or visit www.westonhospicecare.org.uk.

For more information about the Masters degree in Dance Movement Psychotherapy please contact Maureen Williams on 01227 782895 or email maureen.williams@canterbury.ac.uk 

Notes to Editor

MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy

Canterbury Christ Church University’s Department of Health, Wellbeing and the Family in collaboration with The Dance Voice Education and Therapy Centre in Bristol are delighted to offer this innovative new programme which provides graduates with an incremental route to career progression within the sphere of Dance Movement Therapy. Students will have the opportunity to build on their previous educational studies through a challenging educational and practice experience, which combines applied theoretical concepts with practice placements. This grounded approach allows the acquisition and integration of knowledge and skills for practice.
There is rapidly increasing recognition of the positive impact that art therapies have on people’s health especially within the areas of mental health and dementia. Requests for trained and experienced professionals in Dance Movement Therapists are increasing, following the advent of HPC registration for Dance Movement Therapy as a state registered profession (anticipated to be in place by 2008) and the successful integration of Dance Movement Therapists. Completion of the PG Diploma and Masters stages allow qualification and licence to practice with the Association for Dance Movement Therapy (ADMT UK), in alignment with Health Professions Council.

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Claire Draper
01227 782391