Dancing with Dementia

Washburn Lounge Cambridge, MA) 10 Phillip Place , Cambridge
Richard Coaten
Therapeutic modalities
Who is this class for?

Dancing with Dementia

Building bridges of understanding – DMT & Dementia through a person-centered lens. 

This talk and experiential workshop will explore some of the latest thinking and practice, based on sound research, about the importance of ‘going by way of the body’ in the care and treatment of people with dementia. It will look at the role of the Dance Movement Therapist in helping the person to remember aspects of themselves, engaging through lived body experience and so increasing well-being for however short a time.

Stigma and fear surrounding dementia syndrome is high in the general population, however attitudes are changing as more and more people with the condition are speaking out that they want to be treated as persons entitled to dignity, to respect and to a life well lived in spite of the condition. Social isolation, loneliness and human suffering associated with the disability must and are being reduced here through various projects including the ‘Dementia Friends’ initiative. This workshop explores the role that DMP(T) can play in helping to give people back a sense of themselves that they may have considered lost, forgotten or somehow inaccessible.  It touches their remaining capacities to move, to sing, to dance, to tell stories and share memories, all of which return to the person a sense of their unique ‘personhood’ for however short a time. For the therapist, it opens the challenge of how to travel ‘with’ the person therapeutically, symbolically and physically, yet without knowing where that journey might lead; while responding to expressions of a deep and abiding humanity. For example, where sense and non-sense, the known and the not-yet-known become blurred, often where essence is revealed. It is an intensely interesting and life-changing journey and one that Coaten has spent much of his life working in, researching and studying.

Richard Coaten  PhD, BA(Hons), RDMP, Churchill Fellow, is a practicing Dance Movement Psychotherapist in an Acute Assessment and Treatment Ward in a hospital in the UK, employed by the South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust. He founded and coordinates the world’s first Centre of Excellence in Movement Dance & Dementia ( www.dancedementiahub.co.uk ) and has been pioneering the use of movement, music, dance, song and reminiscence for older people and those with memory problems for the last 30 years. He has run care staff training programs throughout the UK on the subject, is a Dementia Care Mapper (University of Bradford), has published work to his credit and travels extensively in Europe training Dance Movement Therapists. He is also the UK’s delegate to the European Association of Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT).  richard.coaten@swyt.nhs.uk

Sponsored by The Institute for Arts and Health and The Dance-Movement Therapy Program, The Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences at Lesley University. Any questions, please contact Beth Tallett at etallett@lesley.edu

**Event is free and open to the public; optional 2.5 CE Hours for LMHC’s/NCC’s* are available for $10, to be collected the day of the event.

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