Dance/movement Therapy with Heidi provides what research supports as essential in warding off mental decline in the older adult: physical activity and cognitive and social stimulation. As a mind/body approach to mental health, DMT uniquely addresses the physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs of the older adult by providing a safe, supportive environment for all to express their feelings and share life experience through movement. Interacting in this manner de-emphasizes verbal language skills, cognitive deficits and allows persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias to participate in the group from a place of ability, rather than disability.
Heidi fosters an atmosphere of physical and psychological safety in which elders can maintain a sense of self-worth, vitality and self organization. Groups also fostering a feeling of belonging and providing a greatly needed forum for social interaction, mutual support and creativity.
The motor action and dance often spark memories from the past, which in turn helps confused individuals become more alert and organized. Heidi encourages this ongoing process of reminiscence and the expression of accompanying feelings, both verbally and non-verbally.
Disease that impairs memory also affects self-image and esteem; persons with dementia often become depressed and frustrated by their decreased abilities. Ritualized group movements expressing mourning, frustration, and anger, in addition to joy and laughter, allow for the release of these emotions, while group bonding, fosters an atmosphere in which the elderly can regain a sense of self-worth and connection.
Our Families, Our selves
Caregiving for a loved one may be one of the most important roles a person may take on in life. It is not an easy role, and most of us are never prepared for it.
Being a family caregiver for a spouse, parent, child or loved one takes a lot of time, effort and work. It challenges people both intellectually and emotionally. Caregiving needs can come suddenly and without warning, or perhaps or role evolved slowly over time.
Heidi offers private session and groups for caregivers. Sessions are spent nourishing the nervous system to handle the demands of the multiple responsibilities, emotional tugs of life of a caregiver, building relationship with other caregivers, and dipping into the freedom of time and space to take care of oneself.
Call or email me today for a free initial 20-minute phone consultation.
Living well is an inside job.