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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how the use of choreography, dance technique, and performance in dance/movement psychotherapy (DMP) sessions impact the patient/client’s wellbeing. The inherent cathartic nature of performance proposes a tension between the healing facets of therapeutic material that emerges from dance, and ethical considerations regarding client confidentiality. The therapeutic performance is defined and described using a case study and examples from the author’s practice as an active performer and dance movement psychotherapist. The use of choreographic tools, and specific dance styles in DMP, are explored as potential interventions. The chapter thus focuses on the therapeutic potential of public performances based on movement created during the sessions, suggesting a delicate clinical balance between the private self within the session, and the public self that others witness.

Keywords: performance, ethics, interventions, therapeutic dance, aesthetics

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