Dance movement psychotherapist

Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would use dance to help people to deal with emotional, psychological and physical issues. You’d guide them to use dance and physical movement as a way to express their thoughts and feelings.

Dance movement psychotherapy is based on the belief that body movement reflects a person's pattern of thinking and feeling.

You would work with individuals and groups to:

  • Improve people’s self-esteem, self awareness and perception of body image
  • Improve their communication skills
  • Deepen their insight into their patterns of behaviour
  • Create coping strategies and find new ways to manage life

You would work with people who have a physical disability or a learning disability, or emotional or behavioural problems.

Your clients could also be experiencing mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. They might have problems with an addiction or eating disorder. Some of your clients may come to you for their personal growth.

You would:

  • Observe and assess the person’s movements
  • Plan individual or group movement sessions
  • Find suitable music
  • Create props for sessions
  • Create a safe environment to promote communication
  • Write reports and update client records

You would work closely with other professionals such as psychologists, social workers, teachers and other therapy specialists.

Working conditions

Hours

Your working hours would usually be between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Occasionally, you may need to cover weekends and evenings. Part-time and freelance work is common.

Environment

You could work in a variety of places such as schools, hospitals, prisons and day centres, depending on your client group. The work can be physically and emotionally demanding.

Travel

You may need to travel to different locations throughout your working day.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Listening to people
  • Persuading people
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Being physically fit
  • Being creative

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

You would need to complete a postgraduate qualification (SCQF Level 11) in Dance Movement Psychotherapy accredited by the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMP UK).

To enter an accredited Master's you'll need: 

  • A degree (SCQF Level 9/10) in a relevant subject such as dance, performing arts, psychology, sports psychology or nursing.
  • Two years continuous experience in dance or movement 
  • One year's work experience helping people to overcome physical or mental health problems - this can be paid or voluntary 

Once qualified, you would need to register as a member of the ADMP UK. 

There are currently no accredited Master's courses in Scotland.

There are Masters level courses at the UK Dance Voice Therapy Centre, Bristol; Goldsmiths University, London; Roehampton University, London; and the University of Derby. 

To enter a relevant degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers. Some universities ask for qualifications in one sitting.

Useful subjects

  • English  (required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Physical education (required by many courses)
  • At least one science subject (required by many courses)
  • Social studies subjects such as psychology

You will also need

To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland for some jobs.

 

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show an understanding and experience in dance and psychology.

This could include relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) as well as any course that is accredited by the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMP UK).