American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 2–15 | Cite as

Why Is Movement Therapeutic?

Keynote Address, 44th American Dance Therapy Association Conference, October 9, 2009, Portland, OR
  • Maxine Sheets-JohnstoneEmail author

The title of this keynote could be in the form of either a question or a claim—Why is movement therapeutic? or Why movement is therapeutic—and its content could thereby be either a reflective exploration of possible answers to the question or a setting forth of reasons supporting the claim. I opted for the question because the question is open to wider perspectives and deeper reflections and is also the more intriguing. Among the topics I will be considering are a sense of agency, the dynamic congruency between emotions and movement, kinesthesia, feeling alive, how habits of speaking can occlude or impede conceptual clarity about movement, cultural differences and basic pan-human kinetic dispositions, attitudes, and possibilities. All of these topics will be addressed from the point of view of actual human experience. In the context of experience, I will propose five direct answers and two broader answers to the question, Why is movement therapeutic?


I begin with the observation that...


Semantic Congruency Projectional Quality Qualitative Dynamic Kinesthetic Sensation Affective Feeling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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