Are There Standards of Practice for AM?

As I see rules and regulations for standards of practice becoming increasingly specific in dance/movement therapy (d/mt), following suit with other mental health professions, i.e., counseling, psychology, social work, I am increasingly puzzled by what I perceive as a lack of rules or regulations re the practice of authentic movement ( AM), and I wish that the AM community would articulate this information publicly.

If AM IS perceived as a branch of d/mt, it seems to me that it would be helpful to actually collaborate with ADTA to officially come to terms w/ these issues, to promote it and to help regulate the practice of it. Currently, I/m confused re WHO is considered skilled enough to practice and how that’s communicated to the public. I believe though that one doesn’t have to have a dance background or be a d/mt in order to be a facilitator of AM and that they could do this in a private practice setting although only our ADTRs would be considered acceptable to provide similar experiences in a private practice setting. I have many questions re how AM practitioners can do this without having some kind of credentials or license.

As I express myself in this message my questions grow and I hope there will be some discussion re these issues.

© 2008 Susan Kleinman, MA, ADTR, NCC


Anonymous said...


I would like to try and answer your concerns about standards of practice for AM practitioners. Authentic Movement is a discipline that can encompass many areas of inquiry: psychotherapeutic, interpersonal, aesthetic, creativity, collective experience, mystical, etc. Authentic Movement training concerns the development of 'witness consciousness' which is product of learning to track one's own experience in the presence of a mover. I believe that this type of training helps individuals to develop an integrity in how they choose to be with a mover or movers. Thus, someone with no training or experience in clinical psychotherapeutic interventions, would not choose to work with individuals in that way. However, there are many people who have trained in Authentic Movement, who do have those skills, many of them are dance/movement therapists, and they choose to incorporate Authentic Movement into their psychotherapeutic work with patients or groups. Obviously, the nature of AM lends itself to the descent into unconscious,intrapsychic material, however I do trust in both the training and the integrity of the people who have trained in it, to be aware of and be able to provide the needed guidance (and possible referral to a clinican) for those that may need it.

Julie Miller

kristine said...

Greetings Authentic Movement practitioners:

I feel like I must respectfully respond to this conversation. It's my belief while participating in this wonderful practice for 25+ years, that it is PRECISELY because there is no codification/certification/regulation of AM practitioners that the full gamut of creative and lively approaches to the practice flourish.

I have witnessed a narrowing of such creativity and energy in many other disciplines after there were standards set for training and practice, including teaching and working with others (e.g., clients): Continuum, Feldenkrais, BMC, etc.

I have also worked with a couple of AM practitioners who were extraordinary "therapists" in that their ways of teaching and working with others was therapeutic on so many levels (beyond the psychotherapeutic realm).

I encourage all of us to be thoughtful and discerning whenever we enter into one-on-one therapeutic work. But I celebrate the diversity of approaches that give this practice such depth and breadth. I, for one, will always support the openness of training and experience that fosters these approaches, which includes no regulation from a certifying entity.

Elizabeth Reid from Averill Park, NY said...
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Elizabeth Reid from Averill Park, NY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Reid from Averill Park, NY said...

You can copy this link below to go to a the discussion from the June 2006 International Gathering on training and standards.

Or go to the Authentic Movement Community web site and look under the Report on the International Authentic Movement Gathering of June 2006 at Hampshire College. Scroll down to :

Authentic Movement Training: What is it?