Course Structure and Content

Course Structure

Modules Mapped to Units of Competence

Modules Units of Competence
Module 1: Introduction to Dance Movement Therapy DMTHIS501A
Module 2: Principles of Body Movement DMTLMA501A
Module 3: Dance Movement and Healing DMTINT501A
Module 4: Person Centred Dance Movement Therapy DMTHUM501A
Module 5: Therapeutic Relationship in Dance Movement Therapy DMTTHE501A
Module 6: Counselling Skills in Dance Movement Therapy CHCCS514B
Module 7: Dance Movement Therapy Application DMTETH501A
Module 8: Diverse Client Groups DMTAPP501A
Module 9: Advanced Counselling Skills in Dance Movement Therapy CHCCSL509A
Module 10: Ethics and Professional Practice CHCCSL512A
Units of Competence:  Diploma of Dance Movement Therapy
Unit Name Unit Code
Recognise and respond to individuals at risk CHCCS514B
Develop, facilitate & monitor all aspects of case management CHCCM503C
Work within a structured counselling framework CHCCSL501A
Apply specialist, interpersonal and counselling interview skills CHCCSL502A
Facilitate the counselling relationship CHCCSL503B
Support clients in decision-making process CHCCSL507B
Apply legal and ethical responsibilities in counselling practice CHCCSL508B
Reflect and improve upon counselling skills CHCCSL509A
Determine suitability of client for counselling services CHCCSL509A
Explore the history and philosophy of dance movement therapy DMTHIS501A
Analyse and apply the fundamental interrelationship of body and psyche to dance movement therapy DMTINT501A
Apply the fundamentals of dance movement as a vehicle for human expression and communication DMTHUM501A
Apply the principles of Laban Movement Analysis as an essential tool of dance movement therapy DMTLMA501A
Facilitate the embodied therapeutic relationship in dance movement therapy DMTTHE501A
Utilise ethical and effective dance movement therapy practice DMTETH501A
Apply dance movement therapy as appropriate with a diverse range of clients and settings DMTAPP501A

Module 1. Introduction to Dance Movement Therapy

This Module explores the history and philosophies underpinning the professional practice of dance movement therapy. It covers:
• the history of dance movement therapy, with particular reference to early American pioneers and to the development of dance movement therapy in Australia
• philosophies of dance movement therapy, including the therapeutic qualities of dance, and the mind-body relationship
• the importance of the aesthetics of dance in dance movement therapy
• Dance movement therapy within creative arts therapy practice.

Module 2. Principles of Body Movement

This Module introduces the student to Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) as an essential tool of dance movement therapy.  Skills and knowledge needed to understand and classify human movement according to Laban’s principles will be introduced. It covers:

• the interface between functional and expressive movement
• analysis of the LMA system
• utilisation of the LMA system to assist in expansion of clients’ expressive range
• movement observation and description
• application of LMA to inform interventions that meet client needs
• analysis of individual movement preferences

Module 3.Dance Movement and Healing

This Module analyses and explores the fundamental interrelationship of body and psyche in dance movement therapy. It covers:
• investigation of theories from psychology and psychotherapy that inform dance movement therapy, including Jung’s ‘Active Imagination’ as an approach to psychological healing through dance movement.
• investigation of influences from dance movement therapy pioneers
• exploration of key concepts in dance movement therapy including somatic empathy as expressed through attunement and mirroring.

Module 4. Person Centred Dance Movement Therapy

This Module enables students to explore dance and movement as a vehicle of human expression and a mode for learning, healing and growth. It covers:

• exploration of the materials of dance and movement
• awareness and experience of embodiment, through the student’s experience as a mover and in a dance movement therapeutic context
• awareness of self and others as embodied beings in the therapeutic context
• identifying client requirements and addressing these through dance movement therapy

Module 5.Therapeutic Relationship in Dance Movement Therapy

This Module explores aspects of the therapeutic relationship in dance movement therapy from initial engagement through to termination of the relationship.It covers:

• bodily expression of interpersonal skills effective in helping build and nurture the therapeutic relationship.
• assisting clients to identify and enter into personal work using the body as primary instrument
• assisting clients to work through identified issues of concern
• facilitation of the therapeutic process
• termination of the therapeutic relationship

Module 6. Counselling Skills in Dance Movement Therapy

This Module begins the more detailed and in-depth work on the person-centred counselling process. It deals with counselling at a more theoretical and practical level. It covers:

• person-centred counselling
• practical counselling techniques
• deepening the counselling relationship
• working with complex client issues.

Module 7.  Dance Movement Therapy Application

In this Module students have the opportunity to commence supervised practice in the field, and to develop experience working with individuals and client groups. On completion the learner will have a basic understanding of how to design, develop, deliver and evaluate a dance movement therapy program ethically and effectively. It covers:
• information about organisations and services that host dance movement therapy programs
• fieldwork placement
• analysis of the needs of client groups
• designing dance movement therapy programs for particular client groups and contexts
• delivery of dance movement therapy programs
• utilising methods of reflective practice.

Module 8. Diverse Client Groups

This Module introduces the knowledge and skills required to use dance movement therapy with clients from diverse backgrounds and in a range of different settings. It covers:
• appropriate use of verbal and non-verbal communication
• effective and specialised communication with clients
• culturally sensitive interaction with clients
• effective relationships across cultures and life experiences
• exploration of the impact of the context on dance movement therapy practice
• the design and application of dance movement therapy in diverse contexts.

Module 9. Advanced Counselling Skills in Dance Movement Therapy

This Module teaches students about case management in order to provide the best appropriate care for the client. It covers:
• case management
• appropriate interventions
• managing client care
• counselling different populations.

Module 10. Ethics and Professional Practice

This Module informs students of a range of practical issues concerning legal obligations, professional practice and ethical issues, setting up a professional practice and mandatory reporting. It covers:

• setting up a practice
• ethical decision making and working ethically
• legal obligations and mandatory reporting
• professional development
• working in organisations and agencies.

Requirements to achieve a qualification

  • Attendance at all lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Where attendance is not possible through circumstances beyond the student’s control, then suitable makeup work, if possible, must be completed according to a set schedule. Minimum attendance, allowing for valid reasons [e.g., medical certificates] is 80% of all class sessions and 80% of the total course.
  • Completion on time of all written assignments
  • Completion of all case studies related to both work with individuals, clinically, and work with groups.
  • Demonstration of appropriate interpersonal skills and mental health status in class and clinical sessions, which allow competent professional practice.
  • Completion of agency placement [practicum: 50 hours]

  • Demonstration of appropriate interpersonal skills and mental health status in class and clinical sessions, which allow competent professional practice.


Participants will be advised of the assessment requirements at the beginning of each module. As this is a competency-based program, assessment continues throughout the program and the student achieves competency in the assessment tasks in each module or further training is identified and addressed.

Particular to this qualification is the requirement that you must demonstrate your competence over time and in different contexts.

The assessment process may include:

  • Written questions
  • Observed facilitation/training sessions
  • Case studies
  • Discussion papers/assignments
  • Presentations
  • Role plays
  • On line
  • Oral examination

RPL (Prior learning)

This is conducted on a case-by-case basis in which the content of prior learning, whether it is formal academic or other industry training, is assessed and can be translated into course credit. This based on detailed transcripts, curriculum statements, course notes and readings and job descriptions as well as examples of workplace reports produced. This must be approved prior to commencing the course.

Credit Transfer

This is available on application and on a case-by-case basis.
Students must complete a Credit Transfer & RPL Application Form. This must be approved prior to commencing the course.