Dance movement psychotherapist takes steps on world stage


A dance movement psychotherapist at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has presented her research worldwide after being chosen to speak at an international conference in Milan.

Following a rigorous selection process, Mary Coaten, who is currently studying for a PhD looking at the impact of dance movement psychotherapy in psychosis at Durham University, was invited to present at the annual European Association Dance Movement Therapy Conference 2016.

The conference, titled “Crisis, creativity and society: dance movement therapy embodying interdisciplinary pathways”, aimed to bring together dance movement psychotherapists from around the world.

Mary works within the Trust’s adult psychological therapies service, and runs dance movement psychotherapy sessions on inpatient wards in Calderdale and Kirklees.

Her research hopes to build on a recently published randomised controlled trial (Martin et al, 2016) which demonstrated the positive effect of dance movement psychotherapy on the negative symptoms in schizophrenia.

She will be researching the therapeutic effects of dance movement psychotherapy in psychosis.

Mary said: “It was fantastic to be able to share my work at the conference and I especially enjoyed sharing ideas with my colleagues from around the world. My presentation generated a great deal of interest and the possibility of collaborating internationally with others working in the field.

“It’s very exciting to be able to present my work to key stakeholders and highlight the innovative approaches the Trust takes towards recovery.”

Mary is set to start her next phase of research on the Trust’s Ashdale and Elmdale wards – two inpatient units based at The Dales in Calderdale. Her paper from the Milan conference is due to be published shortly in Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy – International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice.

To find out more about Mary’s work, email

Dance movement psychotherapist takes steps on world stage

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