How I Work With Grief and Loss Through Dance Movement Psychotherapy
Grief and loss can often feel impossible to move through, particularly if you are still in the midst of intense pain and heartache. People may find that dance movement psychotherapy is a natural way to heal from their loss, both physically and emotionally, since it allows them to express themselves physically without putting too much cognitive pressure on their brains.
Dance movement psychotherapy is a process that links the mind and body. It addresses various aspects of one's life, including physical, emotional, cognitive, social, spiritual and creative domains. The humanistic approach to dance movement therapy assumes the innate capacity for self-healing, activated when the person expresses their needs in nonverbal and verbal forms. In that way, we can holistically explore the alignment between what we think and what we are experiencing.
Grief is an embodied experience. The loss of a loved one is felt in the physical being of everyday life. For clients, it can be challenging to feel the loss at first. As a dance movement psychotherapist, my clients and I use movement, body awareness, and expression to work through difficult feelings. In this way, they can fully process their grief with less risk of getting stuck or overwhelmed by emotions that seem too much.
I believe that with consistent emotional support during this time, my clients will have the best chance of moving on from their loss more easily. They'll learn how to cope with the pain healthily, which includes communicating openly about what they're feeling and how they're feeling it, so others know how to provide comfort when necessary.
I went through loss several years ago with my father, which led me to learn how to work through grief as a dance movement psychotherapist. It also led me to deepen the connection between my own experience of grief. In this talk with The Good Grief Channel, which I did last year, I explored the relationship between bereavement and creativity.
Those I've worked with have found it to be a supportive process and beneficial overall. I have learned that grief has no specific time limit. It is an ongoing process for some people. The experience one of my clients was being able to speak with someone who understood what they were going through. It can be hard to talk about the loss that has happened in life, but it is essential to remind ourselves that we're not alone. Another client said the freedom to express themselves without fear of judgment made them feel alive again.