According to the Canadian Dance and Mouvement Association, Dance Movement Therapy is based on the premise that thoughts, feelings and the experience of self are expressed through the body and movement. It is a relational process that integrates emotional, cognitive, physical and social aspects of self.
The Dance Movement Therapy approach incorporates knowledge from psychotherapeutic approaches, psychology, sensorimotor and developmental movement, movement analysis and neuroscience. The elements of dance (body awareness, rhythm, time, space, gesture, posture, dynamics) are applied as a framework for exploration, discovery, learning and change. Dance Movement Therapy focuses on movement behaviour as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship. Expressive, communicative, and adaptive behaviours are all considered for group and individual treatment. Body movement, as the core component of dance, simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention.