Shuper Engelhard, Einat & Vulcan, Maya

Couple therapy through dance movement: disclosing multiple truths in the relationship


טיפול זוגי באמצעות תנועה הכרות עם ידע סמוי וגילוי אמיתות ביחסים

 

Einat Shuper Engelhard & Maya Vulcan


Movement-integrated couple therapy has recently developed and gained scope in both clinical practice and research. This approach aims to embody seminal issues in the couple relationship through joint dance, and to offer a somatic translation of issues like power relations, leadership and dependency. These issues, expressed in and through movement, are processed symbolically and verbally in the course of the analytic session.

The proposed lecture will present a qualitative study of 9 couples who took part in 12 sessions of DMT for couples. The purpose of the study was to understand the couples' expectations from therapy and their perception of the significant moments within it. The couples were interviewed and answered questionnaires before and after the therapy. 

The findings show that diverse experiences in movement introduced the couple to misconceptions about their relationship and elicited individual subjective truths of each partner alongside significant shared truths, which were all somatically embodied and expressed. Moreover, the ‘here and now’ encounter with emotional contents through the body created a safe space for acceptance and internalization of unconscious roles and needs, which only came to the fore through the couple's movement. 

In the lecture, we will elaborate on how the combination of verbal discourse and movement allows the partners to get acquainted with latent knowledge that resides in the body and cannot be consciously reached through language alone. In addition, based on the results of the study, we will present a protocol for diagnosis and intervention with couples. 

The purpose of the protocol is to assist in the practical implementation of the findings and enhance the training of dance/movement therapists by expanding the focus of this approach onto adult population and expanding the scope of this approach beyond pathology.

 

הקליני והמחקרי. בטיפול זה, תמות מרכזיות בשיחה עם הזוג, משמשות כדימוי להמשך עיבוד של החוויה בקשר, בריקוד משותף. כך, שיח על הובלה, כוחניות ותלות, מבוטאים באופן קינסטטי בשעה האנליטית.

בהרצאה נציג מחקר איכותני בהשתתפות  9 זוגות, שלקחו חלק  ב-12 מפגשי טיפול בתנועה לזוגות. מטרת המחקר היתה להיחשף  לציפיות של הזוגות מהטיפול ולתפיסה שלהם את הרגעים המשמעותיים בו. הזוגות רואיינו וענו על שאלונים לפני ואחרי הטיפול. במחקר נמצא כי התנסויות מגוונות בתנועה הפגישו את הזוג עם תפיסות מוטעות בקשר והציפו אמיתות סובייקטיביות של כל אחד מבני הזוג ואמיתות משותפת, המבוטאת בגוף. עוד נמצא כי, המפגש עם התכנים הרגשיים, ב'כאן ועכשיו', באמצעות הגוף, ייצר מרחב בטוח לקבלה והפנמה של תפקידים וצרכים שצפו בתנועה הזוגית ושלא היו במודעות של הזוג לפני כן.

בהרצאה נעמיק באופן בו השילוב בין השיח לתנועה מזמן היכרות עם ידע סמוי, מגולם בגוף, שלא ניתן להיות עמו במודעות באמצעות השפה בלבד. בנוסף, בהתבסס על תוצאות המחקר , נציג פרוטוקול לאבחון והתערבות עם אוכלוסייה זו. זה יסייע ליישום הממצאים בפרקטיקה ולהטמעה של תחום זה בתוכניות הלימוד בטיפול בתנועה ומחול, אשר עד כה מתמקדות בעיקר בטיפול בילדים ובעבודה עם חולי ופתולוגיה

 

Einat Shuper Engelhard (Ph.D) is a dance movement therapist and a psychotherapist. She is the Head of the Dance Movement Therapy training and research associate in Haifa University’s School of Creative Art Therapies. Prior to that she served as the Head of the Dance Movement Therapy training at Kibuzzim college (2013–2017). She worked as a therapist with Holocaust survivors and in various kindergartens and high-schools in Israel, with children who suffer from emotional difficulties and developmental problems. Her research focuses on DMT with couples, DMT with Adolescents, DMT interventions, movement as emotional expression, Body image and DMT training.
 

Recent Publications & Presentations
Shuper Engelhard, E. (2018). Being together in time: Body synchrony in couples’ psychotherapy. The art in psychotherapy, 60, 41-47.

Shuper Engelhard, E. (2017). Somatic Mirroring: Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Mental States without Representation. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy. Doi:10.1080/17432979.2017.1408685

Shuper Engelhard, E. & Vulcan, M. (2018). Introducing Movement into Couple therapy: Clients' Expectations and Perceptions. Contemporary Family Therapy. Doi:10.1007/s10591-018-9474-x

2018: Shuper Engelhard, E. & Vulcan, M. (10.2018). Can movement bridge multiculturalism between couples? 3rd EADMT Conference, Athens. Lecture.

2017: Shuper Engelhard, E. Learning about adolescence through the experiential movement of dance/movement therapy students. Movement: Brain, Body Cognition Conference. Oxford University, Oxford, UK. July. Poster.
 

Maya Vulcan (Ph.D) is a dance movement therapist. She is the Head of the Dance Movement therapy masters training programme at Kibuzzim college, Tel Aviv. Her clinical experience includes working as a therapist with infants and their caregivers, psychosomatic disorders and medically unexplained symptoms, and with children who suffer from emotional difficulties and developmental problems such as ASD. Her research focuses on DMT education and training, DMT with couples, DMT with infants and caregivers, DMT interventions, and professional identity in the field of DMT.

Recent Publications & Presentations

2018: Shuper Engelhard, E. & Vulcan, M. Can movement bridge multiculturalism between couples? 3rd EADMT Conference, Athens. October. Lecture.

Shuper Engelhard, E. & Vulcan, M. (2018). Introducing Movement into Couple therapy: Clients' Expectations and Perceptions. Contemporary Family therapy. Doi:10.1007/s10591-018-9474-x

Vulcan, M. (2016). I’m a Translating Body: Therapists’ Experiences Working with Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Psychotherapy Integrationhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1037/int0000026

Vulcan, M. (2013). Crossing the Somatic-Semiotic Divide: The Troubled Question of Dance/Movement Therapists (DMTs) Professional Identity. The Arts in Psychotherapy. 40, 6–19.

Vulcan, M. (2009). Is there anybody out there? A survey of literature on somatic countertransference and its significance for DMT. The Arts in Psychotherapy36(5), 275-281.