Cultural adaptations of Dance Movement Psychotherapy experiences: from a UK higher education context to working with communities in southern Africa facing water related inequality

Athena Copteros, Vicky Karkou, Tally Palmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Water plays a key role in all our lives and in South Africa epitomizes a space in which political inequalities have played themselves out with devastating consequences. The current ecological crisis demands new ways of engaging with ourselves, each other and nature. This research is an initial exploration on the use of a body-based creative movement approach within a transdisciplinary complex social-ecological systems researcher group. The research objective discussed in this chapter is to develop culturally relevant themes from professional Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) training in the UK for application in a South African water resource management context. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to identify culturally relevant themes based on the recorded perceptions of the phenomenon of the training while it was taking place. The themes of: Awareness of Power and Difference; Therapeutic Adaptability; Sharing Leadership and Connecting with the Environment were identified. Artistic Inquiry was used to creatively reflect on the themes and add an embodied response to the discussion. The cultural adaptations of DMP can contribute to a more engaged and non-hierarchical collaboration between practitioners and the people and communities they serve, which would facilitate a therapeutic practice that works with both internal, external (and even transcendental) factors. Key words: Culture, dance movement psychotherapy, training, higher education, transdisciplinary water resource management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing
EditorsVicky Karkou, Sue Oliver, Sophia Lycouris
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199949298
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2017


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