DTNZ In Schools

Dance & Arts Therapy works closely with students based on a school’s unique requirements. This collaboration results in small groups of students being able to participate in an arts therapy and/or dance movement therapy programme in a way that suits them best. Learn more about our school’s offering below.

How does DTNZ support schools?

Our clinical therapy programmes are developed in consultation with a school and tailored to their students’ needs. They are designed to support young people displaying heightened anxiety levels or challenging behaviours related to disruptions in and out of the classroom, or students with particular needs. The student’s specific and unique goals are worked on and the school has regular communication with the therapist to discuss their student’s needs and concerns.

Some of our school programmes are in special education settings, and others are in mainstream schools where students are presenting with mild to moderate mental health concerns. There are up to 10 students per group, who are supported individually, with sessions running between 45-50 minutes, over eight weeks of a school term.

The programmes are grouped into ages or developmental stages ranging between 5 – 10 years, 11 – 15 years and 16+ years. The value of being grouped into ages and stages is that children are with their peers, so they can build close connections based on shared trauma/struggles.

Each session is delivered by a registered, professional creative art therapist, with up to three assistants to support the group and each child’s individual needs and goals.

What are the benefits?

Our art therapists and dance movement therapists combine their specialist knowledge with skills of psychotherapy, counselling and rehabilitation to help individuals with:

  • Increased physical fitness and gross motor skills development
  • The development of social skills and boundaries
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Emotional expression and literacy in unique ways
  • Self and emotional regulation
  • Encourages creativity and imagination
  • Provides stress release

This type of therapy has been shown to be effective with treating or working with:

  • Trauma and its symptoms i.e. anxiety, depression, body image, relationship difficulties, PTSD
  • Child – developmental delays, learning difficulties, those on the autism spectrum and related disorders
  • Mental health conditions including addictions, eating disorders, anger management
  • Neurological disorders e.g. Parkinson’s disease
  • LGBTQIA+ – exploration of identity, acceptance in relationships, self-expression
  • Can support personal development; enhance personal communication, self-exploration, self-understanding

What type of art therapy can be used in schools?

Arts Therapy is based on the idea that creativity enhances wellbeing. The type of art methods that might be used includes drawing, painting, sculpture, drama therapy, sand play, music, storytelling, creative writing, and poetry.

Creative processes are used to help explore and express unconscious material that is often difficult to articulate in words. Art Therapists help their clients improve cognitive and sensorimotor function, to foster self-esteem and body image, develop effective communication skills and relationships, expand their movement vocabulary, gain insight into patterns of behaviour and create new options for coping with problems.

What type of dance movement therapy can be used in schools?

Dance movement therapy is based on the connection between body and mind, and recognises that change and growth in one supports change and growth in the other.

Dance movement therapists look for ways to use the individual’s own actions to create and maintain a connected relationship in which the person can continue to grow and thrive. This therapeutic relationship can then be used as the basis from which to transfer these relationship skills into other relationships in the individual’s social world, expanding their levels of comfort and safety in communication, and to move them into skill building when appropriate.

Further information

If you’d like more information or to discuss your school’s unique needs, please email info@dancetherapy.co.nz.