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Dance therapy and conscious dance: What's the difference?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Conscious dance, although often referred to as therapeutic dance, isn't the same as dance therapy. There's therapeutic dance and there's dance therapy, and they involve different training pathways.

A dance therapist may facilitate a therapeutic dance session, but the other way around isn’t necessarily true. Being a therapeutic/conscious dance facilitator doesn't qualify one to work as a dance therapist. This is because therapeutic dance generally doesn't have a clinical focus whereas dance therapy is a clinical practice that relies on the relationship between client and therapist.

Dance therapy works both with individuals or groups, and requires a formal intake procedure. In contrast, therapeutic dance works primarily with groups, such as a drop-in group that requires a less formal intake process. Further, in dance therapy, using observational skills and intervention tools, the therapist helps the client resolve emotions, whereas in therapeutic dance, feelings are processed by the individual on an internal level.

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