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Movement is a language. We all learned to relate on a nonverbal level before starting to communicate verbally. Thus, this nonverbal language of the body is especially powerful for children, who communicate, navigate relationships, and interact with their environment through movement. An early, healthy connection with their bodies enables children to develop a strong sense of self and dynamic sense of both their body image and physical boundaries. For all of these reasons, dance/ movement therapy is a highly effective modality for working with children. This chapter introduces the field of dance/movement therapy, specifically as it relates to working with children. An overview of the field is covered, as well as general goals for working with children and case studies that exemplify these goals. Children are a unique population for the work of a dance/movement therapist, because the limited verbal abilities of children may make it more difficult for them to reach out and express themselves. When words fail, dance/movement therapy fosters children’s ability to relate, communicate, and connect on a nonverbal level. Dance/movement therapy utilizes body movement as both a method for assessment and a treatment modality


Book chapter from Integrating Expressive Arts and Play Therapy with Children and Adolescents, edited by Dr. Eric Green and Dr. Athena Drewes. Originally published by John Wiley Publishers. 2013. ISBN: 978-1-118-77561-5