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Dance Movement Therapy Association in Canada

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Last updated July 2020

What is dance movement therapy?


Dance movement therapy (DMT) is based on the premise that thoughts, feelings and the experience of self are expressed through the body and movement. It is a relational process that integrates emotional, cognitive, physical and social aspects of self.
To learn more you can read the "What is DMT" section here.




What is the difference between therapeutic dance and dance movement therapy?


Dance can be therapeutic as it can support both the physical and emotional aspects of well-being. Therapeutic dance is important but is not the same as dance movement therapy (DMT). DMT is not a phrase to describe a type of dance, but refers to an actual profession that supports clients through a psychological framework that uses dance and movement. Additional Resources: Blog: Therapeutic Dance vs. Dance Therapy: 5 important differences by By Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT Video: The Difference Between "Therapeutic" Dance and Dance/Movement Therapy, delivered by Susan D. Imus, MA, LCPC, BC-DMT, GL-CM as part of an ADTA series of talks




How do I become a DMT?


Entry into the profession of dance movement therapy (DMT) begins at a master’s level of education and requires completion of supervised clinical internships. For full information see our education section: https://www.dmtac.org/education




What is the difference between the Alternate Route programs offered in Canada or studying abroad?


The Alternate Route is a part-time program that can be taken over a number of years that falls under the ADTA accreditation. Currently, there are two programs in Canada.
There are also recognized DMT programs in the International Section on our Education page that would be accredited by their own governing bodies. DMTAC recognizes these programs as valid. Education is the first step in becoming a DMT.




Do I need to be accredited by DMTAC in order to practice DMT ?


In order to be recognized as a DMT in Canada, DMTAC requires you to:

  • Begin with a master’s level of education and requires completion of supervised clinical internships. See all training options: https://www.dmtac.org/education
  • Adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) or of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMP UK).
  • DMTs must be members of regulatory bodies (within their scope of professional practice) in regulated provinces. Membership in associations is voluntary in non-regulated jurisdictions, but is strongly encouraged.




Is there a Canadian accreditation in order to practice DMT ?


Currently, DMTAC does not have our own accreditation in place, but there are plans for this in the future. Right now DMTAC recognizes external education and accreditation based on the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) or of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMP UK).




What are my career options with a DMT education?


Although the primary function of DMT education is to serve or supplement as a form psychotherapy, however, some other career options include, but are not limited to:

  • Community Facilitation
  • Coaching
  • Palliative Care




If I have a background in professional dance can I become a DMT?


We recognize the various backgrounds in professional dance forms. However, DMT is not a specific dance form or instruction but intended as psychotherapy. You would need to enter an accredited program to be recognized as a DMT therapist.




If I have a background in counselling (e.g. masters/doctor in psychotherapy, psychology) can I use dance as therapy?


The use of dance within existing therapy would be dependent on the regulating bodies in your province such as the college that regulates psychotherapy or psychology. DMTAC recognizes those who have completed both MA level training in DMT and are members of regulatory bodies and/or associations in their province or territory as required.




How can I practice DMT  as a psychotherapist?


If you plan to use DMT as a psychotherapeutic intervention you will need to adhere to the provincial regulatory legislation governing the safe and ethical practice of psychotherapy in provinces that deem DMT to be a psychotherapeutic modality. Each province has its own definition of what acts are defined as psychotherapy and who can practice them. In many cases, you will have to register with regulatory bodies (colleges). Also, you may have to supplement with additional education or provide supervision credits to qualify for registration with a college.





Steps in becoming a DMT


Transitioning Careers


FAQ Page

We've gathered some of our most commonly asked questions to help you better navigate this developing field in Canada. Do not hesitate to contact us at info@dmtac.org if you don't find the answer to your question here.
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