Dance & Arts Therapy New Zealand was founded in 2011 and since then has grown into a vibrant team of therapists, assistants and volunteers and admin. We are a team of Professionals who value Creativity, Connection, Nurturing, Growth, Integrity & Collaboration.
We are advocates of the creative arts and utilise these forms; such as dance, movement, and art within a psychoanalytical framework. Our experienced therapists utilise a child-centred approach and are qualified in being able to provide creative art therapy programmes with a rationale to help and support children develop their social, emotion and communicative skills in a fun, expressive and accessible way. With around 15 different programmes in Auckland, we are currently providing a range of creative arts therapy programmes to hundreds of children and vulnerable individuals in our community each week!
Our ethos is that creative arts therapies have the power to provide vulnerable individuals with the space to create, express and develop into the best versions of themselves. DTNZ’s creative arts therapy programmes aim to meet the children’s needs and provide an environment where they have a sense of positive participation, inclusion, and a strong sense of belonging. We aim to bridge this gap in the community by supporting all its members from children and their parents as well as their teachers.
We also offer supervisory, training, and professional consultation services to Professionals working in related areas, including Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Teachers, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Special Education services, Disability services and other Health Professionals.
Our Team consists of senior therapists who have been trained as Dance Movement Therapists Internationally, therapists who have completed or are completing Clinical Arts Therapy training in New Zealand specialising in Dance Movement Therapy, and Dance Education Specialists who specialise in the area of disability and dance.
DTNZ provides fifteen group programmes each week across seven locations throughout the Auckland region.
- Dance 4 Us (Dance Therapy for Adults with disabilities & special needs);
- Arts 4 Us (Arts Therapy for children from low income areas in Oranga and Otahuhu/Mt Wellington);
- STARS (Dance Movement Therapy for children and young people with Autism, and other special needs) in North Shore, Mt Albert, Pakuranga & Onehunga;
- Arts 4 Us Specialty (Art Therapy for children and young people with Autism, and other special needs).
Our programmes provide an emotionally safe space for children with special needs and disabilities. Through the medium of Dance Movement and Art therapy we provide creative tools that help to breakdown social barriers, improve confidence and resilience, grow strong positive relationships and above all a fun and natural environment.
- Improvisational and structured dance/movement activities, to support the children's overall development (social, emotional, cognitive, motor, sensory).
- Movement games that involve turn taking, memory development, and gross motor skills are played and specialized movement equipment is used to support sensory integration and movement development. These include ‘body sacs’ (lycra sacks the child can crawl inside and move inside),
- Providing positive sensory experiences for these children who often find social contact difficult, leading to increased tolerance and willingness to make social contact.
ART 4 Us programmes
- Sessions will involve both open studio art activities and more directed art activities that will introduce children to a wide range of materials and media.
- Artmaking helps with self-regulation and soothing and can provide positive sensory experiences for these children who often find social contact difficult, leading to increased tolerance and willingness to make social contact.
- Art-making is a safe method of communicating, and the Arts Therapist is trained to understand and make sense of this communication. The next step is then to bring this non-verbal expression into words, and to help the client to understand their troubles in a cognitive way, so that they can take action, make change, develop skills etc.
- Therapeutic community art-making is also a language of connection, of creating a cohesive feeling of being together, sharing and understanding, and being accepted however the client is.
Parent and Community Workshops
DTNZ offers community groups, parent support groups and parents/caregivers of Auckland local communities workshops on how to meet the needs of their children.
Workshops provide practical ideas, interactive strategies and ultimately tools on how to attune to your child and develop a strong and boundaried relationship where you can start to understand the behaviours of your child and what they are trying to communicate.
Workshops use strength-based approaches through Art and Dance Movement therapy and creatively you will begin to explore and discover in a safe and supportive environment. These workshops also advocate:
- Opportunities to ask qualified and experienced therapists questions around challenges/issues at home
- The opportunity to learn and explore creatively through Dance and Arts therapy
- The Opportunity to meet and share with other parents and caregivers who have had similar experiences
DTNZ is proactive within its local communities of Auckland, providing support and guidance for parents who have children with behavioural, social and emotional needs. Our mission is to create a holistic community where parents and caregivers are able to effectively support and guide their children, ultimately developing and nurturing them into confident young people, after all…It takes a village to raise a child…’
Programmes are delivered in Community centres around Auckland. We make sure we have appropriate rooms (low sensory) that cater for special needs as well as good parking and disability access.
Not only are our staff fully qualified and accredited therapists, they are experienced in understanding difficult emotions and approach clients with warmth and empathy.
Anything else you would like mentioned to parents
We endeavour to provide services to the community regardless of access to financial resources. We rely on a variety of funding sources, such as grants, donations, and fundraising, as well as session fees. We assist clients and families to access funding sources directly to subsidise our services.