Dance and spontaneous movement have always been used to promote healing, express feelings, and negotiate spirituality. This ancient practice is transcultural. However DMT as a form of psychotherapy began in the United States in the 1940s initially in state psychiatry where Marian Chace used her knowledge of the body as a dancer as a form of communication. By perceiving the de-synchronisation of the body with compassion she was able to relate to isolated communities. Using mirroring , shared rhythm connection between self and other was invited. Meanwhile another pioneering Dance Movement Therapist Mary Whitehouse worked with populations in the community to support them to integrate complexes through working with the body as a way to make a connection between the known and the unknown. Mary explored movement from habit moving versa being moved by a deeper intelligence.
Dance Movement Therapy in Ireland has been initiated by therapists trained in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Dance as a healing art and as a method of health education emerged in Ireland in the 1990’s in the Western Healthboard through the work of Bernadette Divilly. Dance Movement Therapy was pioneered in the Health Services with children with disabilities, health education and in the Northern Health Board by Fran Burns. Currently Dance Movement Therapists in Ireland work in private practice, research and publishing and community settings.
They have varied and diverent careers as they create opportunities for their own employment. The Health Services are using Dance Movement Therapy as an element of an integrated approach to work with mothers and babies at risk for developmental delay. As the art form of dance, and the field of psychotherapy including contemporary neuroscience research develop and grow so will somatic based body therapies and Dance Movement Therapy in third level Education.
Pre and peri-natal psychology and mindfulness practices are developing with virgour as evidenced by the first Irish based Somatic Education training Orgins developed by Joan Davis on the east coast of Ireland.