Healing Intergenerational Trauma with Dance Movement Therapy

Dance movement therapy (DMT) is a relatively new form of mind/body psychotherapy that builds on the use of nonverbal communication and symbolic movement (Serlin, 2010). Although it has been used in psychiatric and medical settings, its use with challenges of cultural dislocation and trauma is relatively new. DMT can be an effective method to treat trauma. Working with the body as well as the mind can reduce compassion fatigue, build resilience and posttraumatic growth, and increase self-care. This article describes its use with Syrian refugees in Amman, Jordan, first describing the setting within a conference on Intergenerational Trauma in Amman, and then presenting vignettes of the work with widows and children in a refugee center.