American Dance Therapy Association 53nd Annual Conference

October 11-14, 2018
Salt Lake City, Utah

Bringing the Body and Creativity into Healing: The Art and Science of Dance/Movement Therapy

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October 11th

5:00 pm – 6:15 pm

Breaking the Wall of Silence is presented by a dance/movement therapist and a dance choreographer, featuring work done through the Women in Leadership grant from University of South Florida. Through the interface of clinical and artistic collaboration, presenters demonstrate the process of guiding diverse women in breaking silent walls of abuse and oppression. Insight from DMT methods, neuroscience and stories of resilience transform insecure boundaries, frozen self-esteem and expression. Both presenters, trained at University of Utah, draw from their international collaborations to integrate DMT tools and choreographic interventions. The session includes case studies, experientials and video for clinical application.

(Mid Level; 51-75% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Explore dance/movement therapy methods which facilitate transformation of the wall of abuse and oppression.
  2. Identify embodied issues of self-esteem, boundaries, assertion and empathy.
  3. Gain awareness of creative steps in a DMT and choreographic collaborative process which outline movement interventions.

Lisa Roll LPC, BC-DMT, MALS, is a board certified dance/movement therapist and licensed professional counselor for 20 years with Samaritan Counseling and Growth Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Her clients include those dealing with depression, stress and anxiety, eating disorders, and couple’s therapy. Lisa worked at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital’s Eating Disorders Program and in various in-patient, day treatment and outpatient settings. Lisa’s alternate route training has included The Jung Center of Houston, Naropa University, CO, The Hendricks Institute, California and she has graduate degrees from Wesleyan University, CT and Troy State University, AL. Lisa has collaborated on international choreographic projects and workshops with choreographer, Jeanne Travers in France, Australia, Tunisia, Trinidad, Ecuador and China. She is particularly interested in facilitating dance/movement therapy experiences that enhance communication and personal transformation.

Jeanne Travers, MFA, Dance Professor, University of South Florida is a choreographer, teacher and performer. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Choreography and Performance from the University of Utah where she graduated with honors. Ms. Travers is deeply involved in collaboration and in interdisciplinary, multicultural choreographic projects. Her choreography has been presented in North America, South America, Europe, North Africa and Asia. Jeanne has also taught master classes and collaborative improvisational-choreographic workshops with dance/movement therapist, Lisa Roll in Australia, China, Ecuador, France, Trinidad and Tunisia. Ms. Travers is the recipient of numerous grants and awards nationally and internationally and recently received the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Award for her collaborative project with Lisa Roll titled: Breaking the Wall of Silence: Voices of Resilience which focuses on overcoming issues of oppression.

This presentation is designed to facilitate a participatory and embodied exploration of social justice-oriented dance/movement therapy within short-term, inpatient care. The presentation will include a brief analysis of current dance/movement therapy research findings related to embodied power, microaggressions, and social justice. Then, participants will engage in movement exploration of embodied power dynamics within the therapeutic setting both individually and relationally. The group will collaboratively examine the clinical implications of resulting felt-experiences to develop strategies for co-creating spaces of equality with patients.

(Mid Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)

  1. Participants will gain understanding of recent dance/movement therapy research findings related to the importance of creating spaces of equality within inpatient hospital settings from a social justice perspective.
  2. Participants will engage in embodiment experientials to develop a sense of individual and relational embodied power.
  3. Participants will develop strategies for co-creating equalized spaces of healing with patients in the therapeutic setting.

Lauren Milburn, R-DMT, social justice activist, and creative arts advocate. She completed her Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling MA at Columbia College Chicago with a participatory research thesis project exploring embodied practices for social change. In addition to her ongoing work in advocacy and activism, Lauren facilitates dance/movement therapy groups in behavioral health hospital settings, and volunteers as a creative movement teacher for recently-arrived refugee children and children on the Autism Spectrum.

Rebecca Schultz, R-DMT from Columbia College Chicago. She currently works with children on the Autism Spectrum and with people who reside in an inpatient setting. She loves how creativity and movement help people explore issues in a different way than talking alone.

An integrative theory of creativity, like the people it reflects, would be multi-dimensional, inclusive of complex combinations of biological, cultural, and psychological realities, and with an associated breadth of functions. Since J. P. Guilford’s 1950 speech to the American Psychological Association, researchers in psychology have felt compelled to address this amorphous concept. Creativity research often supports conflicting conclusions. In this workshop, a review of empirical creativity research will be presented. An integrative theory of creativity will be presented; one that embraces the paradoxical conclusions of past creativity research. The significance of this model to dance/movement therapists will be explored.

(Mid Level; Up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hour; NY LCAT CPE hours)


1. Participants will explore an integrative and holistic definition of creativity through mental, verbal, and physical methods of knowledge acquisition.

2.Participants will gain knowledge of the 68 years of empirical creativity research, since J.P. Guilford’s 1950 call for more attention to the idea of creativity to the American Psychological Association.

3.Participants will look critically at notion of creativity in the field of dance/movement therapy.

Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, RYT, runs the Evolving Center, a private practice in DMT. She is a 29-year employee in the Department of Psychiatry at Waterbury Hospital. Judith is a founding member of the Kiva Dance Collective, a 20-year old contemporary dance company, where she is still dancing and choreographing. Judith is currently a doctoral student at the California Institute for Integral Studies, in integral and transpersonal psychology. She is a past vice president of the New England chapter of the ADTA.

Not all wounds are visible. While society allows for support related to physical injuries, gaps exist in understanding deep psychological wounds. Some actions necessary in times of military service have created burdens few can carry. Moral Injury (perpetrating, failing to prevent, bearing witness to, or learning about acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations) forces those living with it to hide their perceived transgression. This 8-week group therapy protocol, inspired by The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, promotes healing through Dance/Movement Therapy. DMT has the exceptional ability to facilitate a path toward self-compassion, reconciliation and reconnection.

(Mid Level; Up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hour; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Participants will be able to discuss what Moral Injury is and how it grossly impacts the daily functioning of Veterans and Military.

2. Participants will be able to discuss the need for a body-based foundation in the treatment of Moral Injury.

3. Participants will be able to examine the efficacy of Dance/Movement Therapy as a treatment modality for Veterans, Military, and those living with Moral Injury.

Brianna Martin, MA, BC-DMT received a MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling in 2013 from Antioch University New England and a BA in Dance Education from Bridgewater State University, 2010. She works as the first Dance/Movement Therapist at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). In less than two years in this position, Brianna has implemented programs aimed to give a more holistic approach to the treatment and healing of our Nation’s Heroes. She has provided consistent advocacy for the needs of the Veterans served at VAPHS and for the field of DMT. As part of a cultural change initiative, Brianna was asked to be a part the VA VOICES team, training hundreds VA employees and 20 VA Voices Leaders to have a greater focus on communication, empathy, and relationship building within workgroups to enhance the quality of care provided to veterans. Brianna also serves on ADTA Public Relations committee since 2013.

This presentation highlights the benefit in combining dance/movement therapy with a neurosequential model of treatment for the reparation of the parent-child relationship following developmental trauma. Illuminations offer how providing parent and child engagement in creative and rhythmic activities will improve areas of self-awareness, social tolerance and resilience. Presenters will be able to discuss developmentally appropriate trauma informed dance/movement therapy interventions for participants to use in their own practices. Relational assessments will amplify the applications of dance/movement therapy within an outpatient group. Participants explore breath, circle/line dances, and drumming in this exploration of healing the caregiver child relationship.

(Mid Level; Up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Demonstrate how combining DMT and NMT practices improve parent child relationship.
  2. Learn how group participation addresses developmental trauma and works toward restoring a positive parent-child relationship.
  3. Participate in rhythmic and repetitive dance/movement therapy interventions that are adaptations of a parent child interactive group program.

Susan Schoon, MS, R-DMT, LPC graduated from the University of Phoenix with a degree in Marriage Family and Child Therapy. She became a licensed professional counselor and a registered clinical supervisor through the Arizona’s Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. Susan studied at Naropa University, Loyola Marymount University, New York State University, and Kinections to complete the alternative route requirements of the American Dance Therapy Association. She is currently employed by Arizona’s Children’s Association. Her current dance/movement therapy outpatient group focuses on young adults and children with autism.

Sarah Gordon MS, NCC, LAC is a Trauma Clinician currently employed at a non-profit in Tucson, Arizona. She has been working in the behavioral health field for the past ten years. Sarah’s passion for understanding the developmental impact of trauma emerged during her graduate studies and has steadily increased in the past three years. Sarah provides trauma-informed therapy services to children, adolescents, adults, and families affected by sexual and physical abuse, neglect, and complex trauma. Sarah developed Trauma Informed Parenting curriculum to promote insight in caregivers. As an active member of Child and Family teams, Sarah advocates for various community providers to be trauma-informed in their interactions with and perceptions of children in foster care. Sarah will complete her Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) certification in May of this year. Sarah hopes to combine NMT and trauma-informed approaches with movement and dance to support individualized trauma-informed treatment and recovery.

This lecture and experiential presentation will discuss inclusive, creative dance for youth of all abilities and explore dance/movement therapy’s role in adaptive dance. To experience how creative dance is available to all bodies, participants will be invited to engage in an inclusive, creative dance session and in discussion about indicators and contraindications for practice within dance/movement therapy. Topics will include: universal design, inclusion, creative dance and its presence in the lineage of dance/movement therapy and role boundaries as a facilitator. Participants are encouraged to bring their thoughts, challenges and expertise to the conversation about dance/movement therapy and inclusive, adaptive dance.

(Mid-Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Participants will be introduced to an inclusion dance teaching model, influenced by universal design principles, and identify one related concept to implement in their dance/movement therapy and/or clinical practice.2. Participants will engage in creative, inclusive dance experiential and discuss divergent factors between inclusive, adaptive dance and dance/movement therapy.3. Participants will review and engage in Bartenieff Fundamentals through the creative dance perspective of Brain Dance.Melinda Malher-Moran, MA, BC-DMT, LPCC, LMHC is an adaptive dance instructor. Named “Leader of Tomorrow” in 2015 from the American Dance Therapy Association, Melinda has extensive experience working with children and teens through dance and movement in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings. She was honored to collaborate on development and structure an inclusive, creative dance program at a major performing arts center in Southern California where she served as both adaptive dance instructor and curriculum consultant. In addition to owning and operating Creative Counseling for Youth and Families in Indianapolis, she currently works as a dance/movement therapist to children with medically fragile and as an adaptive dance instructor for youth with Down’s syndrome.

As a strengths-based approach to psychotherapy, dance/movement therapy places emphasis on the movement relationship, rather than verbal dialogue.  This approach is a meaningful way to support, join, and process with people who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia.  Positive and negative symptomatology of this diagnosis often disrupt organized thinking, communication, and healthy relationships.  This workshop will explore the physicalities of schizophrenia, while highlighting the beauty of the therapeutic movement relationship with this population.

(Mid Level; Up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


1. Participants will be able to summarize positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia and the bodily manifestations of each.

2.Participants will be able to formulate thoughts around DMT interventions they may use with people with schizophrenia.

3.Participants will be able to describe ways in which DMT approaches of psychotherapy are particularly useful for people experiencing thought disorders.

Jacelyn Biondo, MA, BC-DMT, LPC loves exploring the psyche/soma connection, the relationship between dance/movement therapy and schizophrenia, the concept of seeing and being seen, and the role of presence within each of these areas. Ms. Biondo is a Senior Allied Clinical Therapist at Princeton House Behavioral Health where she facilitates Dance/Movement Therapy sessions with involuntarily committed adults and provides clinical supervision for Practicum and Internship Students. She sits on the Board of the PA ADTA as Program Coordinator and the National ADTA Board as the East Coast Nominations Representative.
Ms. Biondo graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts with a dual major in dance and photography, her Master of Arts from Drexel University in Dance/Movement Therapy, and is currently a PhD Candidate in Creative Arts in Therapy at Drexel University. Her research interests include the Movement Psychodiagnostic Inventory, dance/movement therapy, and people with schizophrenia.

Karolina Bryl, MS, R-DMT/DMP, CMA, RMST/E is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist (USA), certified DMT psychotherapist (EU/Poland), and a PhD Candidate in Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University. She is a member of the Polish Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy where she serves on the Ethics and Research Committees, a founding member of Polish Choreological Forum and a member of American Association of Dance/Movement Therapy where she serves on Global Membership Committee. Ms. Bryl has worked with children who have suffered neglect and abuse, children on the autism spectrum and adults with depression and schizophrenia. She has lead dance movement psychotherapy and somatic therapies sessions in the psychiatric setting in both Polish and American psychiatric hospitals while also maintaining a private practice in DMT psychotherapy. She has taught DMT, Research, Anatomy/Kinesiology and movement observation courses in Poland, USA, China and India. Ms Bryl is an adjunct faculty at Drexel University.

Dance/movement therapy provides meaningful experiences for Chinese elderly with dementia living in residential low-income housing. “Joyful connections (JC),” was designed to combat “sun downing” in aging Chinese women with memory loss who speak little English. Results of a yearlong mood study concluded that DMT was most effective in improving mood for this group. Attendees will learn about the JC program and study. Participants will explore Chacian DMT theory, culturally sensitive mindful movement and aspects of the Laban framework that contributed to the success of the study. We will discuss the challenges and the beauty of working within this Chinese population.

(Mid Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Explain the rationale for the Joyful Connections program and highlight the mood study results.
  2. Identify three ways DMT can be used to decrease “sundowning” and improve mood.
  3. Discuss two challenges around working with this population: Chinese and dementia

Audrey Albert King, BC-DMT, LMHC, CMA, RSME/T, MA in Dance education is a licensed mental health counselor and dance/movement therapist at South Shore Mental Health. Audrey regularly provides dance/movement therapy workshops, including movement observation for the clinicians and interns at the treatment center. Audrey facilitates groups in residential senior housing, memory care and community centers throughout the greater Boston area. She is passionate about bringing vitality and joy to her seniors. Prior to becoming a dance/movement therapist Audrey worked in various school systems and communities as a dance educator. Audrey often presents at the New England American Dance Therapy Conference. In addition to her clinical work Audrey teaches dance and is currently a member of an intergenerational performance collaborative of poets and dancers.