Episode 68:

Connecting to Yourself

through Dance Therapy

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Dance/Movement Therapy is a psychotherapy technique that uses movement to improve an individual’s health and well-being by allowing the patient to bring awareness to the body and the effects that mental, emotional and social factors have on the physical experiences in the body. Don’t be fooled by the name, though. Dance Therapy is not about large, expressive movements or learning a dance routine as we find out from our expert and Board Certified - Dance/Movement Therapist, Jessica Knochel. In this episode, Jessica helps us to understand what Dance Therapy is, how it is helpful to individuals, and how it may be a better option for those not interested in traditional “talk therapy.” She walks us through what someone will experience in a session as she works with Nicole on her recurring shoulder pain during the interview.

In the “You Want Me To Do What??” section, Nicole and Shanna talk about their misconceptions about Dance Therapy and what they appreciate about the subtlety of the modality. Nicole gives more insight into her mini-session with Jessica from the interview and how that felt in her body.

Episode Recap:

Interview with Jessica Knochel - 1:32

"You Want Me To Do What??" section - 45:42


  • Dance/Movement Therapy does not look like the traditional idea of dance or movement. For example, stillness is very much part of the process.

  • A Dance/Movement Therapist is trained to use their body as the instrument to attune, witness and reflect what is coming up for the patient in the session.

  • Dance Therapy helps a patient feel seen without needing to have the exact words to describe what they are thinking or experiencing.

  • Dance Therapy is the container for the patient’s process of being present in their body and being aware of what is coming up/expressing in their body.

  • Jessica finds that a majority of her patients have come to Dance/Movement Therapy when they are tired with the coping mechanisms that their bodies have relied on.

  • Dance Therapists use words and questions to help inform the patient as to how they are feeling/getting into their body.

  • Mirroring is a Dance Therapy technique.

  • Name It to Tame It -- bring awareness to what’s going on to reduce the fear/tension around it.

  • A Dance Therapist figures out how to create a safe space for the patient so the patient can feel safe to get into their bodies and feel safe in their bodies.

  • It’s more socially acceptable to be in our heads and overthink than it is to trust what our bodies are telling us.


Where to find Jessica Knochel:

  • Instagram: @matriarchymovement