As on of our Expressive Arts Therapy programs at Paradigm San Francisco, we offer Teen Dance Therapy. Teen Dance Therapy is a therapeutic modality that uses dance in order to promote awareness and connection between the body, mind, and spirit. The premise of Teen Dance Therapy is essentially that through use of the body in forms of dance, teens can gain access and insight into other realms of themselves, including their thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. Used in the therapeutic context, dance can serve as a powerful tool in helping teens to engage in their treatment work.
First of all, it’s important to note that Teen Dance Therapy does not involve any sort of forced performance and/or time when teens are coerced into dancing in front of a group. Teen Dance Therapy is both voluntary and collaborative, and furthermore, usually very much enjoyed by all the teens here at Paradigm San Francisco, including those who have and haven’t enjoyed dancing previously.
We believe the success of our Teen Dance Therapy program is very much due to the excellence and skill of our teen dance therapists, who are able to incorporate movements that provide teens with interesting and fresh opportunities in their treatment. Through the dance therapy sessions, teens are able to observe and reflect upon their movements in such ways that they gain meaningful access into their feelings, thoughts, habits, and behaviors. Our therapists are then able to help the teens draw connections from this context to the larger therapeutic one, so that these discoveries become helpful in their larger treatment goals. Furthermore, our teen dance therapists are uniquely skilled in creating an environment during these sessions which is safe, fun, supportive, and engaged.
Teen Dance/Movement Therapy has been proven to be effective in a number of different therapeutic contexts, including treatment for Teen Bipolar Disorder, Teen Anxiety, Teen Depression, Teen Substance Abuse, and more. The experience, freedom, and relief which teens often find in Teen Dance Therapy is valuable in helping them to improve their self esteem, decrease anxiety, improve their body image, gain insight into body movement and/or coordination, recognize triggers and/or physical stressors, and notice and improve struggles related to relationships and communication.
One of the pillars of our treatment approach at Paradigm San Francisco is to design every treatment plan individually, according to each teen’s unique needs, struggles, symptoms, and strengths. This approach requires an extreme degree of flexibility and options, in order to provide teens with the best possible opportunities for them to open up and find ways to access what their current experiences are. Our Expressive Arts Therapy programs, including Teen Dance Therapy, are extremely helpful in providing new, refreshing means for this therapeutic work, in a setting teens often feel comfortable inside of. Used in conjunction with our daily individual and group therapy sessions, our Teen Dance Therapy program is extremely powerful in helping teens to identify and make important, lasting changes to improve their lives.