Residents can take part in Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP), which involves movement of the body as an expressive instrument of a person’s communication, feelings and thoughts. This creative process is only used by a handful of trained therapists in the UK - at Christchurch Group, Occupational Therapist Kiera Stephenson delivers the sessions. There is no set structure during therapy sessions - it's is led by the participant to identify and explore their current needs.
Sessions include the use of movement, music, artwork and props such as balls, metronomes, scarves, parachutes and Octabands. The therapy allows participants to express themselves creatively, foster relationships, work through their difficulties and develop their strengths. Using movement and dance, participants can communicate their personal thoughts and feelings in their own instinctive way, where other therapies may not be appropriate particularly if verbal communication is an issue. DMP is not about teaching a dance technique and participants do not need any dance skills or training to take part. The sessions encourage creative expression through use of the body and movement, working with rhythm, storytelling through motion, vocalisation, posture, gesture, mime, movement patterns and shape.
Also available is music therapy, which is provided by Attune Music Therapy at Woodlands only at the moment. Music therapists encourage individuals to share in creating sound and making music to express themselves using their own voice and instruments. It's not about learning an instrument, but about using music as the main focus of interaction between a therapist and an individual. Sessions can be 1:1 or in a group and music therapy can help individuals with brain injuries to support their emotional expression, social skills, planning and behaviour, communication and physical functioning. Music therapists are HPC registered professionals who have a Masters Degree. They are regulated by the British Association of Music Therapists.