“Movement is our innate way of communicating. It’s something that we all naturally do… Everyone moves.”
This idea of connecting through movement is the foundation from which Dr. Lori Baudino builds when working with hospitalized children. As a licensed clinical psychologist and board/certified dance/movement therapist, Dr. Baudino was brought to Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA under a grant from the Andrea Rizzo Foundation to develop the pediatric dance/movement therapy program.
Merging the ideas of play, imagery, and “activity-like” interactions with treatment goals, and often working within small spaces that are filled with beeping machines and wires, Dr. Baudino is able to “take [the children] on a journey to a place more pleasurable than the one that they’re in so that they can access it later when they’re going through a procedure.” Explaining that dance/movement therapy helps to meet goals of self-expression, working through frustration, building coping mechanisms and managing pain, Dr. Baudino notes that, while “it looks very playful and like nothing’s happening… a lot of messages and information are happening…goals and expectations are being met.”
Editor’s Note: To learn more about Dr. Lori Baudino’s work with children, register for the American Dance Therapy Association’s October 18th webinar: Using Dance/Movement Therapy to Embody Health: Working with Children with Cancer and Special Needs.