chapter  2
15 Pages

Moving Colour

Combining dance movement psychotherapy and art psychotherapy in a NHS community women’s group
ByClaire Burrell, Marika Cohen

The Moving Colour women's arts psychotherapies group proposed an 'exploration of dance movement and art making' to women coping with the impact of longterm mental illness. It was delivered through an arts psychotherapies service based within an inner London National Health Service trust. In this chapter, the authors present their reflections on how running this cross-modality group allowed for both a layering and filtering of experiences, and explore both connectivity and fragmentation. They aim to validate how offering dual-modality support can enhance the potential for arts psychotherapies interventions, providing adaptable ground to nurture evolving experience. While the development of greater embodied awareness is credited as a benefit of dance movement psychotherapy, the embodied experience is inherently central to all arts psychotherapies practices. Meeting the need to develop an arts psychotherapies space for women, the group provided a single-gendered environment that allowed culturally inclusive access to arts psychotherapies, and provided safety and containment to vulnerable women.