KMP Movement Analysis is the comprehensive system for identifying psychological, developmental, emotional, cognitive and global health/imbalance through movement observation, notation and interpretation.
If the mind, emotions, and body are a closely integrated , mutually interacting system, then it is reasonable that we should be able to gain information about the mind by observing the body. The body and its manner of moving not only reveals aspects of current feelings and emotions, but can give us insight into an individual’s past. As Loman and Foley wrote in 1996, “…experiences get stored in the body and are reflected in body movement.” A person who feels rejected may develop a hollow, narrowed body attitude which expresses and reinforces such feelings throughout life. Because both physical and emotional experiences leave long term traces upon the way people hold themselves and move, the study of movement opens a door to the study of patterns of early development, coping strategies and personality configurations.
In my work with clients/patients I sometimes use the written word to help process what they are feeling and what I am feeling about working with them. I worked for years at a residential drug/alcohol rehab center and wrote a short poem about one experience.
1. We walk together
toe to heal
In the way we came here
Youngest to oldest – Male to female –
Opiate to alcohol – Forceps to stone
2. We all
Everyone of us
walk for a reason
3. Up the hill
we reach the top
4. around the pond and into the trees
A shelter – A holding
in the environment
5. Close your eyes
Notice your breath – As you inhale – as you exhale
Feel the wind – notice the smells – the scent of the earth
The sunlight and shadows sway back and forth to the rhythm of the branches moving in the wind
6. Don’t be afraid – shiver- cry out – weep – scream
We are all killers inside
We are all healers inside
Our blood runs through the veins of our ancestors
And is here to stay – an echo of times now gone
A dream of times yet to come
1. Today I took my clients outside to the park. We walked in a pecking order; the client with the most time were in front followed by the others in order of time, drug of choice, sex, finally by age. It was a metaphor for their life journey, of their choices and circumstances thrust on them from birth.
2. In the clients (and us all) our journey is a reflection of who and where we came from. Our personality and our history. Our wants and needs. Our understanding of these things. In this residential rehab clients have come because of an intersection of factors, both internal and external.
3. The walk with the clients took us up a sharp and steep hill, the last little leg of our walk before we reached the park and the pond. The walk of addiction is a mighty hard row to hoe in the discovery of the self
4. The clients were very happy to see the pond and dogs and people, and we headed for the trees to find some sanctuary. This little stand of trees I felt would be a good holding environment to do a movement meditation in a public space.
5. I led the group through a meditation in the environment, giving them a chance to be calm/passive and feel nature, with its enormous power. Like that higher power that 12 step teaches. Also nature has a rhythm that we, as earthlings cannot escape, it is deep inside us, with us since the womb.
6. In the mediation I encouraged the group to go to where it was safe and to go a little beyond safety, to a new place. Being different (clean/sober) in a setting (park) that is familiar is challenging. They will face that challenge when they leave the rehab. As addicts they must accept their dark side, and they must recognize their light side. This killer and healer is the story of being human, told by all cultures since we first lit a fire and huddled together. It is this story telling that teaches us to remember the mistakes so we know what to do if we make them and know how to avoid them.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Social Work, presents a lecture by Rena Kornblum.
Dance/movement therapy is the psycho-therapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.
In this video, you will learn about the field of dance/movement therapy, and how non-verbal work can augment your practice.
Rena Kornblum, MCAT, ADTR, DTRL, is the Executive Director of Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy & a Board Certified dance/movement therapist.
A friend commented that it might be hard to evaluate someone who could only move their hands/arms. Basically the same principles apply whether the movement is with legs through the space or being still with a posture, or moving the arms.
Arms and especially hands are the most common movement elements, feet and legs are next and of course not everybody can move everything so an assessment/evaluation is made with what you can get from a patient/client.
Of course an assessment is guided by the intention. If I want to know how someone is feeling and they are reluctant to share verbally I might ask them to express with their hands (which I often do at the hospital) if they are unclear how they are feeling and how to express that with their hands I might switch to a simple game with the intention of warming them up.
A warm up involving the hands could be tossing and catching a small stuffed animal and at some point adding words by answering easy questions like; my favorite food is “____”. If the person is nonverbal than you can interact with facial/postural/gestural expressions when tossing the animal and/or mirroring to interact and experience/create a response.
The assessment/evaluation happens when observing/witnessing the force and effort used to toss the cow and/or the facial, posture, gesture. Does the effort change during the session and how is that change related to the activity. For instance people will typically have smaller movements to start out with and as they become more comfortable their movements become larger. This happens whether the person is moving by feet/wheels through the space, or sitting tossing something or making gestures or changing their posture. I look at the whole body and don’t just observe/witness the active bits but also what the rest of the body is doing during the activity. For example is there a slight movement in the foot when tossing and is that from an old injury or a current muscle tightness or is it an emotional based issue.
If something comes up in a session that seems like it needs further exploration I might engage the client/patient in an activity that focuses on that “something”. If the left foot turns I might ask the person to focus on their feet when they toss or to make a sound. Or I might simply mention that I noticed you always turn your foot when you toss the stuffed animal and see what response the client/patient has.
The fun and useful part about being a Dance Movement Therapist is that you get to use verbal counseling skills and body counseling skills. The entire person is given a chance/opportunity to express with all of themselves, body and mind.
From BMJ Open:
Objectives The arts therapies include music therapy, dance movement therapy, art therapy and dramatherapy. Preferences for art forms may play an important role in engagement with treatment. This survey was an initial exploration of who is interested in group arts therapies, what they would choose and why.
Conclusions Large proportions of the participants expressed an interest in group arts therapies. This may justify the wide provision of arts therapies and the offer of more than one modality to interested patients. It also highlights key considerations for assessment of preferences in the arts therapies as part of shared decision-making.