Job type

Dance movement psychotherapist

£32k - £48k

Typical salary

37 – 39

Hours per week

Dance movement psychotherapists use dance and movement to help people deal with emotional, psychological and physical issues.

More info

  • Help others overcome psychological problems by using dance as a therapy
  • Long training period and can be physically and emotionally demanding
  • Very rewarding work with the potential to change lives

As a dance movement psychotherapist you'll work with individuals and groups to improve self-esteem, self-awareness and perception of body image, improve communication skills, gain insights into patterns of behaviour, create coping strategies and find new ways to manage life.

You may work with clients who have physical disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional or behavioural problems, mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, addictions or eating disorders.


  • Observing and assessing your clients' movements
  • Planning individual or group movement sessions
  • Finding suitable music
  • Creating props for sessions
  • Creating a safe environment to promote communication
  • Writing reports
  • Updating client records


Work closely with other professionals like psychologists, social workers, teachers and other therapy specialists. 

You may need to work over the weekends and evenings. You could work in schools, hospitals, prisons and day centres, depending on your role. The work can be physically and emotionally demanding. 

You'll need

This role requires the ability in at least one form of dance and movement, excellent observational skills, creativity, intuition and a good imagination, the ability to inspire and motivate clients, excellent communication skills and the ability to listen, plus report writing skills

You'll need a postgraduate master's degree (MA) in dance movement psychotherapy recognised by the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK. To do an MA you'll need a degree in a relevant subject like dance, performing arts, psychology, medicine or nursing, or an equivalent professional qualification, 2 years' background in at least one dance form, as well as experience of other forms of dance and movement and the ability to improvise and use movement as a form of expression.

You'll need paid or voluntary experience of working in the community, in youth work or with people with disabilities or mental health issues. You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice. Do-it has more information on voluntary opportunities.

It may be helpful to join the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK for professional development and to make industry contacts.

You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.


With experience you could teach dance movement psychotherapy, or provide clinical supervision to less experienced colleagues. You could also be a consultant, set up in private practice or work on a self-employed, freelance basis.