Dance/movement therapy (DMT) uniquely addresses the needs of adults
with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by relying on movement and other
nonverbal behavior as the primary means of communicating and connecting.
Interacting in this manner de-emphasizes verbal language skills and
cognitive deficits and allows persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other
dementias to participate in the group from a place of ability, rather than disability.
Group movement, no matter how limited, releases a feeling of energetic activity
and a pleasurable sense of the here-and-now. The rhythmic, repetitive
movement facilitated by a dance/movement therapist helps foster perceptual
and cognitive organization, providing a structure in time and space for
the safe expression of feelings. The motor action often sparks memories
from the past, which in turn helps confused individuals become more alert
and organized. The therapist encourages this ongoing reminiscing process
and the expression of accompanying feelings, verbally and non-verbally.