What is Dance Movement Therapy?

We follow the definition of the European Association of Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT).

“Dance Movement Therapy is the therapeutic use of movement to promote the emotional, cognitive, physical, mental, and social integration of the individual. Dance therapy views dance as an experienced movement that leads to creative expression and communication as its core component. Movement is both an intervention and a means of assessing the therapeutic process.” (EADMT definition)

“Dance Movement Therapy promotes self-awareness and embodiment as well as individual expression and relatedness to the world. It utilizes proven methods for movement observation, assessment, and intervention. Dance therapy works body and movement oriented (embodiment), often depth psychological and with creative media. It is dynamic, subtle, powerful, small, large – it is everything we humans can be in our humanity alone and as a being related to the world.” – Brigitte Züger, School Director Zoe School Basel.

Short Article: “What is dance in Dance Movement Therapy?”



The goal of Dance Movement Therapy is to experience transformation in favor of the personal sense of self and coherence. It strengthens resilience as well as self-experience and self-efficacy. The experienced body and the accompaniment through the therapeutic relationship open paths of development for this.

Professional field

Dance/Movement Therapists …

  • work therapeutically and preventively in the entire field of health care, social services and education with clients of all ages. They treat clients independent from  a referral or prescription. In their own practice, which they manage professionally, they accompany individuals or groups.
  • work together with medical specialists, representatives of social institutions, pedagogues, and representatives of the authorities. For this purpose, in ZOE SCHOOL they are trained in the field of interprofessional communication, so that they can adequately represent dance therapy in multiprofessional teams.

Dance/Movement Therapists who are trained at ZOE SCHOOL are able to:

  • create dance therapy concepts tailor-made for institutions.
  • to implement (latest) research results in their practice and they can therefore work evidence-based and -informed.

Image of Man

Our conception of man is based on a humanistic conception of being

Each person is unique and is viewed as an individual whose body, mind and spirit are interwoven and influence each other. The creative potential of each person is recognized, captured, valued and supported. In doing so, the individual is granted and also expected to have the ability to grant others the same rights and to engage in discourses about them.

The humanistic view considers man embedded in an ecological and social environment with which he can resonate. He has a right to freedom as well as the right and responsibility to self-determination. This view of the human being emphasizes the interaction of inner processes and the resonance to external conditions. For this reason, we also consider the human being as a holistic being.

Job Description and Professional Competencies

We follow the professional profile of OdA ARTEUCRA and fulfill the following competencies

The profession

Arts Therapists with a Swiss federal diploma…

  • are specialists in therapy with artistic media.
  • are active in the entire field of health care, social services and education and treat people of all ages therapeutically and preventively.
  • work with clients who contact them independent from or on the basis of a referral or prescription.
  • accompany individuals or groups in their own practice and in clinical settings.
  • work together with medical specialists, pedagogues, representatives of social institutions and authorities.

The competencies

Arts therapists

  • intervene in a client-centered way
  • develop treatment offers
  • live and promote art
  • form therapeutic relationships
  • communicate and cooperate
  • organize operational procedures

Competencies specific to the field of movement and dance therapy

Arts therapists with a federal diploma in the specialization of Dance/Movement Therapy

  • expand and shape the movement possibilities of their clients.
  • recognize and analyze movement patterns and limitations in body experience as well as movement and behavior patterns by means of body and movement therapy assessments and movement analyses.
  • lead through direct body experience to the confrontation with limitations and patterns of relationships and behavior.
  • activate physical and psychological resources.
  • integrate physical, emotional, cognitive and social levels, they initiate and structure them through new movement sequences initiated on the artistic level and they activate muscular and neuronal networks.
  • create a new awareness of their own identity.
  • have a broad repertoire of subject-specific methods and intervention possibilities.
  • are oriented towards different theoretical approaches and modulate patterns and processes through both expression-oriented and guided forms of movement.


Dance/Movement Therapy relies on a considerable amount of research. This means that the evidence for dance therapy has been created, which enables us to work in an evidence-informed and evidence-based way.