What is Dance Movement Therapy?

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

Dance/Movement Therapy is the therapeutic application of movement to promote the emotional, cognitive, physical, mental and social integration of the individual. Dance as the body in motion, creative expression and communication are the core components of Dance/Movement Therapy. Since mind, body, emotional state and relationships are interconnected, body movement simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention for Dance/Movement Therapy (definition according to EADMT).

«Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) promotes self-awareness and embodiment as well as individual expression and relatedness to the world. It uses methods for movement observation, movement therapy, assessment, and intervention theory. DMT also works in depth psychology, with creative media and embodiment. It is dynamic, fine, strong, small, big – it is everything we humans can be in our humanity alone and as beings related to the world» – Brigitte Züger, School Director Zoe School Basel.

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


Goals of Dance/Movement Therapy

The goal of Dance/Movement Therapy is the experience of transformation in favor of the sense of coherence and resilience as well as self-efficacy. The experienced body and the accompaniment through the therapeutic relationship open developmental paths for this. These factors are developed, consolidated and strengthened through the experience and through reflection.



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.

Our 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.

What does a Dance Movement Therapist do?

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.

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.


Our values for professional practice


We believe that cooperation between people from different fields of knowledge and in different roles is enriching and has a multiplicative effect on all persons that are involved. Therefore, we promote communication on different levels: for relationship building verbally and physically with our clientele, for interprofessional collaboration, and for communication for and with the public.


We teach transparency because it is an important philosophy of the course that is lived every day. Transparency is important because …

  • it creates trust and promotes clarity.
  • it creates the atmosphere for smooth work.
  • it supports all participants in being correct and authentic.