In this ADTA Talk, board-certified dance/movement therapist Lori Baudino, PsyD shares the story of a young girl, Natalie, who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. With tapes, tubes, and bruises covering her body, she is bed ridden and stationary in her hospital room. Through the facilitation of dance/movement therapy, Natalie is able to regain some control over an “uncontrollable life sentence.”
Baudino states, “We as dance/movement therapists are trained in techniques that illicit emotional expression. We are trained to read the individual patterns of a child’s movements and to facilitate an opening for psychological healing, through the mind-body connection.” Dance/movement therapy allows for the exploration and expression of a child’s thoughts and feelings. Further, through embodiment of these feelings, a child is able to begin to understand their own experience, and find relief.
With the American Cancer Society declaring cancer as the second leading cause of death in children younger than 15, providing opportunities to support the psychological experience and perception of these children in addition to their medical care is imperative.
“By using movement, a language that is innately familiar to all children, I’ve allowed her [Natalie] to emerge. With her ideas, and her direction, we have journeyed into our imagination and we have changed a seemingly unchangeable environment in a place of healing.”
Dr. Baudino provide bedside therapy to children in California through Dréa’s Dream—a dance/movement therapy/expressive movement program for children with cancer and special needs funded by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation.