At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we design each treatment plan individually, by drawing upon the best of traditional and alternative therapeutic approaches. We offer a number of different Teen Expressive Arts Therapy programs, including our Teen Dance/Movement Therapy program, which uses dance in order to promote deeper connection between the body and mind, as a way of promoting therapeutic healing.
Teen Dance/Movement Therapy is defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as, “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.” The premise of Teen Dance Therapy is the mind, body, and spirit are connected and that as such, intentional movement of the body can be used in the therapeutic process in order to help teens explore deep aspects of their conscious and unconscious minds. In this way, the Teen Dance Therapist will design sessions that allow them to both evaluate and assess teens’ current state through their body movements, as well as to provide healing opportunities, through the movements.
It’s important to understand that Teen Dance/Movement Therapy is not mandatory and is also not performance-based experience. As such, there’s no aspect of these sessions or any other Paradigm Treatment Centers in which teens will be forced to perform dance moves, as part of their therapeutic responsibilities. Rather, the Teen Dance/Movement Therapy sessions are voluntary and very often, deeply enjoyed by teens here. This is largely due to the fact that our dance therapists are highly skilled and trained in designing sessions that make the experience comfortable, organic, and also meaningful for all teens in the group. Because of the supportive, safe, and fun environment that our teen dance therapists are able to create, teens are able to let go and enjoy engaging in creative therapeutic processes, with less direct or intense focus than teens sometimes experience in the more traditional, talk-based therapy sessions. Through the guidance of the Teen Dance Therapist, teens are able to make meaningful discoveries about themselves and their behaviors, including things such as their communication styles, their body image, their thought patterns, belief systems, gain relief from stress, and even practice communication and social techniques.
As with all different aspects of our teen treatment programs, our Teen Dance/Movement Therapy sessions are always coordinated with teens’ lead therapists as well as their greater treatment work and goals. In this way, teens are able to use insights learned in their Teen Dance/Movement Therapy sessions to further the conversations and progress they’re making in talk therapy sessions, and more. The result is the therapeutic experience at Paradigm Treatment Centers is intensive, holistic, and meaningful, as we ensure that teens’ time is meaningfully spent in therapeutic work that sets them up to succeed.