Dance Therapy and Substance Abuse Treatment

Dance therapy, sometimes known as movement therapy, is a form of expressive therapy that can be used to help patients overcome deep-seated problems and regain independence and confidence. Expressive therapy is a form of counseling that uses creativity and the creative arts as therapy. Dance therapy explores the relationship between movement and emotion. It offers an alternative or supplement to traditional talk therapy, which is focused primarily on the use of language to explore emotion. The principles of dance therapy rest on the notion that the body and mind are inextricably linked. Both the body and mind are tapped into a person’s conscious and subconscious awareness, and dance therapy is an effective way to use the movement, gestures, and body language of a patient to connect with emotions and sensations that may be difficult to verbalize.

Use Your Creativity

Many people suffering from psychiatric disorders or substance abuse disorders have keenly intelligent, creative minds. Particularly for patients with substance abuse disorders, their creative spirit may have become suppressed by the use of drugs or alcohol. Though substance abuse is a way to numb unwanted and painful emotions, it has the often unintended effect of numbing healthy, joyous emotions associated with creative activity. Dance therapy is a way to reintroduce these powerful sensations in a safe, controlled environment.

Reduce Anxiety

Undergoing treatment for substance abuse can be difficult and draining. After months and years of denying or repressing problems, patients must face their fears and seek professional help if they wish to live a full life. Explaining to a therapist the pain you feel, as well as the pain you have caused others, encourages patients to relive experiences they believed were behind them. Dance therapy offers a respite from the intensity of telling one’s story. It is a way for patients to live in the moment and quietly experience their emotions with their body.

Reconnect Your Mind and Body

People often forget that emotion does not live only in your mind and thoughts. Your entire body experiences trauma when you are in emotional pain. Dance therapy provides a way to explore and gently release the emotion that becomes stored in your body. The movements you create during a dance therapy session can express feelings that a you may not have been able to put into words. The connection between mind and body is especially important for those with substance abuse disorders, who have in the past quieted their minds by placing substances in their bodies.

Treatment at South Coast Counseling

South Coast Counseling offers an array of treatment possibilities, from traditional to alternative methods, in order to find what works best for each individual patient. For patients with substance abuse disorders, dance therapy can help them regain a relationship between their minds and bodies, tap into their creative natures and practice engaging in social activities. South Coast Counseling wishes to encourage a creative practice to those who will benefit from such an outlet. Those who are attracted to music, rhythm, and dance, or who would like to explore their emotions outside of verbal language, can benefit from dance therapy at South Coast Counseling