In therapy at some point the counselor will engage in an assessment/evaluation process that generally involves examining how the therapy sessions are going and hopefully includes feed back from the client/patient. If the counselor is trained as a
dance movement therapist the evaluation/assessment may include many areas such
as verbal sharing, drawings and movement. Movement assessment can include
observing ( which can be considered seeing someone move objectively) and
witnessing (which can be considered seeing someone move subjectively) a person
move. I look at:
- Space, how does the person
move in the environment, up/down, do they use space or stay small.
- Time, do they move fast/slow.
- Force, what is their muscle
tension like, are they contracting/expanding, hard/soft, light/heavy.
- Flow, is the movement
continuous, unrestrained, restricted.
- Sound, do they talk, use
vocal sound, create sound with their body.
- Congruent, how are the
movements related to the intention.
- What do I feel while
witnessing, what and how do I feel like moving when witnessing .
- How does this compare to
other people I have observed, the same/different.
I first learned and applied these techniques while studying the movement based
group creative arts modalities know as the Halprin Method and Motional Process
in the 80’s and early 90’s. If you would like more info I recommend 4 books I found useful:
Dance/Movement Therapists in Action: A Working Guide to Research Options
Artistic Inquiry in Dance/Movement Therapy: Creative Research Alternatives
Meaning of Movement
Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology: The Moving Imagination.
These books helped me to strengthen my assessment techniques and to discover new