This is the course description for April 2015 in Bucharest
The psychodynamic model of family therapy attempts to incorporate the ideas of psychoanalysis and object relations theories within the family systems. Pathology is initiated by developmental failures of the individual in his/her family of origin, leaving him/her having unconscious absurd expectations from the behaviour of self and others, which are projected in his/her present family relationships. These projective systems are not experienced as inner processes projected outwards, but as reality. Thus, spouses or parents try to overcome or be relieved from inner conflicts deriving from their family of origin within their present family. Aspects of their inner conflicts are projected to other members of the family. Subsequently, a member of the family showing a symptom, serves an intrapsychic function of another member. Even an unresolved mourning regarding past losses can influence the separation or closeness management of members of the present family (Anderson, C., Stewart S., 1983).
Dance Movement Psychotherapy belongs to the category of creative arts therapies along with music therapy, drama therapy and art therapy. The notion of transitional space offers an excellent description of the environment created during a therapy session through creative arts therapies. It is a space where the means of the art is used creatively and expressively. It is a space of metaphoric and symbolic imagery where the internal and the external, the self and the other mingle (Johnson, 1998). Within this transitional space, family members interact with the therapist and with one another and the transference/countertransference relationship develops. The children are provided with the opportunity to express themselves through their natural expressive way which is the play. The physical movement as one trait of playing portrays conscious and unconscious fantasies and desires. During the first years of a child’s life, play is primarily a body expression, but while the child moves on to the oedipodean phase, it starts playing on a symbolic level.
The therapist participates in the play with the family creating and maintaining the therapeutic alliance and enhancing empathy and understanding within an environment of ‘holding’ and ‘containement’ which meets the needs of the whole family. Similarly, the way the family members play and interact with one another reveals to the therapist whether or not the family as a whole has the ability of holding and containment towards its members.