Professional membership of the DTAA
The Dance-Movement Therapy Association of Australia Inc. (DTAA) invites applications for Professional Membership.
DTAA Professional Membership: The Advantages
The DTAA encourages all those currently working as dance-movement therapists, or who have the intention of working in the field, to work towards Professional Membership. There are advantages both for the individual, and for the future of dance-movement therapy in Australia.
For the individual:
- being awarded this level of membership is a valuable and substantial professional credential and significant achievement. It is only granted after achieving stringent criteria set by the Professional Membership Committee;
- Professional Members can supervise Associate Members aiming at a higher level of membership;
- the right to use the letters Prof. Member DTAA after the therapist's name is earned.
Through the DTAA being a member organization of PACFA, Professional members can also:
- use the letters "PACFA M.A." (Member Association) after their names;
- use the PACFA logo on their letterhead;
- have the right to be listed on the National PACFA Register.
For the future of dance-movement therapy in Australia, we need to:
- Strengthen of the organization by having more members achieve this status.
- Establish a place for dance-movement therapists within the context of a therapeutic team in institutional settings. Having this level of membership of one's professional association is probably the only way of doing this.
- In private settings, it is just as important and valuable professionally.
- Overall, considering taking this step forward is the best possible means of strengthening the dance-movement therapy profession and your own personal professional credentials.
After you have read this, if you need further information re Professional Membership, please contact Anna Ganz on 03 9470 2673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
All dance-movement therapists (including those applying for Professional Membership) are required be able to demonstrate that they meet the following competencies:
- Knowledge of dance movement therapy theory and practice.
- Knowledge of dance theory and practice
- Skills in application of dance movement therapy theory and practice.
- Expertise in movement observation, assessment and evaluation.
- Knowledge of therapeutic processes in individual* and group work* as related to dance movement therapy.
- An understanding of the nature of the therapeutic intervention; its intention and related responsibilities.
- Skills and experience in counseling and psychology
- Knowledge of human anatomy and physiology.
- Ability to fulfill professional role and responsibilities within various settings and therapeutic situations.
- Knowledge of a variety of client groups, i.e. range of ages, issues, settings, and an understanding of relevant therapeutic approaches and goals.
- Practical experience with at least two populations.
- Understanding of research design and methodology as relevant to dance movement therapy.
- An understanding of the responsibility of professional documentation and evaluation of dance-movement therapy practice.
- An understanding of need for continual professional improvement through ongoing professional development.
In addition to demonstrated evidence of meeting the dance-movement therapy competencies (as per page 1), applicants for Professional Membership of the DTAA are required to demonstrate that they also meet all of the following:
- Minimum standards of dance-movement therapy training (see Part A);
- All requirements within their specific category of application (see Part B below);
- Minimum requirements for supervision (See Part C below);
- Compliance requirements with the 'Code of Ethics' and 'Rules of Professional Conduct' (see Part D below).
Part A: Minimum Standards of Dance-Movement Therapy Training:
All Professional Members are required to provide documented evidence of successful completion of an integrated dance-movement therapy training program. The program must include a minimum of 250 hours* of theoretical and practical components.
The training program must have included:
- Counselling and psychological theories and practice including interpersonal communication skills, accurate observation and listening techniques, development of the therapeutic relationship and group therapeutic processes, and assessment and evaluation skills as applied to dance therapy.
- Psychological theory that includes humanistic, developmental and psychodynamic models as applied to dance-movement therapy.
- Evidence of clinical knowledge and skills regarding client needs, conditions and / or pathology as relevant, to ensure high standards of practice within the field of work.
* Applicants may be required to provide evidence of course content.
Part B: Categories for Application:
Applicants for Professional Membership apply under one of the following categories. All requirements for the chosen category need to be met as well as the minimum standards of dance movement therapy training.
- Evidence of successful completion of a recognised qualification in dance, plus evidence of systematic study of Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology or any other subject that the DTAA Professional Membership Committee deems equivalent (minimum of 30 hours).
- A recognised qualification in the human sciences, for example, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, social work or other allied health profession, plus:
- evidence of a strong foundation and experience of dance, that includes improvisation.
- evidence of capacity to provide a high standard of clinical practice within their chosen field. For example, psychologists may need more knowledge/skills about physical conditions, and physiotherapists might need further study/experience in the field of mental health.
- A recognised qualification in education, special education or other relevant degree or studies, plus:
- evidence of experience in dance, for example number of years and style/s of dance, or any evidence that can be provided to shoe commitment to dance.
- evidence of systematic study of anatomy and physiology, kinesiology or any other subject that is deemed equivalent by the review panel (minimum of 30 hours).
- evidence of knowledge of special education /client conditions and / or pathology to enable high standards of practice within the special education field.
- Successful completion of an overseas post-graduate qualification (Masters Degree or higher qualification, in dance-movement therapy), that fulfills the competencies in dance therapy required by the DTAA. For example, BC-DMT/ R-DMT from the American Dance Therapy Association or equivalent, plus evidence of continuing involvement within the field of dance-movement therapy and the criteria required in 1, 2 and 3 above.
- Applicants who do not meet the criteria listed in 1, 2, 3 or 4, but believe they can provide evidence of equivalent knowledge and experience in dance-movement therapy may submit additional written information. Each application in this category will be assessed individually. Applications must be supported by comprehensive documentation and evidence, as requested by the Professional Membership Committee.
Part C: Practical experience and supervision
Practical experience with at least two different populations in the field of dance movement therapy needs to be documented. This should include a minimum of 250 hours of supervised dance movement therapy practice. At least 50 hours of this should be with a second clinical population - one that is different from the first population.
Supervision provides an opportunity to reflect on, and receive feedback on therapeutic work for the purpose of professional growth and accountability. All applicants are required to demonstrate that they meet supervision requirements in dance-movement therapy.
To become a Professional Member, a dance movement therapist is required to obtain supervision that includes but is not limited to:
- A minimum of 70 hours of documented supervision.
- Supervision by more than one person over the 70 hours, unless any particular supervisor is considered by the PMC to have been able to provide appropriate professional development extension for the applicant.
- A minimum of 30 hours supervision needs to be with a Professional Member of the DTAA, or dance therapist of equivalent qualifications.
- 40 of the documented 70 supervision hours can be obtained from a relevant professional (not necessarily a dance-movement therapist) in the candidate’s workplace who can extend and enhance the dance therapist’s skills. The choice of supervisor in this circumstance is dependent upon the individual’s professional development needs.
- Supervision provided as part of professional training may be included in these hours.
- Group supervision is acceptable and may be included as part of the 70 hour requirement, providing:
- that the groups are small (no more than five people per supervisor),
- that the candidate is participating and presenting within the group,
- that the group is supervised by a leader who is deemed acceptable by the Professional Membership Committee.
- Ideally there should be an appropriate balance between individual and group supervision. However, the Professional Membership Committee has the discretion to consider individual needs and situations relevant to the applicant’s overall experience.
- Up to ten supervision hours can be obtained by attendance at courses approved by the Professional Membership Committee; eg. a course that is specifically on supervision, designed by a specialist in this area, that allows opportunities for participation and presentation
Note: At least one report from an approved supervisor needs to be provided. (A pro forma document, P. 16/17 could be used for this purpose.)
A candidate needs to have had at least two on-visits to their dance-movement therapy program by an appropriate supervisor. For long distance supervision, video, skype and telephone are acceptable.
Examples of appropriate supervisors
- a Professional Member of the DTAA
- a professional person experienced in the therapeutic application of dance
- a professional person who can extend the knowledge and expertise of the therapist
- a professional person who has strong skills and knowledge of the client population
Examples of issues for supervision
- the therapist’s ability to assess, evaluate, and document the client’s current state and needs (physical, emotional, psychological)
- the therapist’s interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with other professionals
- the therapist’s appropriate use of the materials of dance in any given dance-movement therapy situation
- the therapist’s ability to develop and implement progressive treatment programs
- the therapist’s ability to evaluate treatment and modify it accordingly
Applicants are responsible for seeking out supervision relevant to their own professional development. The DTAA maintains a list of Professional Members who provide supervision.
Dance movement therapists are expected to obtain ongoing supervision throughout their careers. At least ten hours of supervision per year is required on an ongoing basis. This may be obtained in a range of ways, for example, peer, group or individual supervision.
A form is available from DTAA website that can be kept by practitioners, along with supporting documentation (certificates of attendance, receipts, etc). These need to be kept for a period of seven years as they may need to be made available to the DTAA, on request, when Professional Membership audits take place.
Part D: Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct:
The following Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct set forth ethical obligations of Professional Members of the Dance-Movement Therapy Association of Australia. This defines rules of conduct for individual practitioners and the profession of dance-movement therapy, to protect the public and safeguard professional standards.
Code of Ethics
A Professional Member shall at all times:
- Fulfill the requirements of professional practice laid down by the Dance-Movement Therapy Association of Australia.
- Maintain a high standard of personal conduct in professional practice.
- Practice under appropriate supervision.
- Not misrepresent their level of training completed.
- Safeguard the needs of the client physically, mentally and emotionally and respect the rights and dignity of the individual, serving all in a non-discriminatory manner.
- Treat all client information confidentially and only discuss it with other professionals involved in the care of the client concerned. Keep records of the therapeutic process with the client and secure confidentiality throughout.
- Co-operate and liaise with colleagues and members of related professions for the benefit of clients and the profession at large.
- Consult with the DTAA Committee before speaking or writing on behalf of the Association. The title of the Association must not be used to support any member’s private advertising.
Rules of Professional Conduct
The requirements for Professional Practice involve maintaining high standards of personal conduct both within and away from the workplace, in relation to the following rules:
1. The professional client-therapist relationship
1.1 The therapist is required to take responsibility to maintain standards of accepted professional behaviour between themselves and their clients and professional boundaries must not be crossed. It is therefore not advisable to provide therapy to family, friends or near acquaintances.
1.2 The therapist should not undertake unsafe practice by offering treatment that is beyond their competence. Clients should be referred on to practitioners who do have that competence. The exception to this rule is when the therapist is working under the supervision of practitioner who has this expertise, with the purpose of developing their own skills.
1.3 Dance therapists must not misrepresent their level of training or enter into deep psychological issues with individuals that are beyond their level of competence to deal with. Opinions should not be offered on anything outside of their area of expertise.
1.4 The dance therapist is required to safeguard the needs of the client physically, mentally and emotionally and respect the rights and dignity of the individual, serving all in a non-discriminatory manner.
1.5 Referral should take place before treatment proceeds. In the instance of a formal professional referral, the dance-movement therapist is required to respond / report back in the appropriate manner. Referral may also be from a parent, guardian or appropriate authority, or a self-referral. In these instances the therapist is required to take the responsibility to screen for the appropriateness of dance-movement therapy. The screening procedures should be sensitive enough to identify that dance-movement therapy may be contra-indicated or that alternative professional advice may be necessary prior to sessions proceeding.
1.6 All therapy should have the aim of improving some aspect of independence or client well-being. Continuation beyond this could render therapy ineffective or harmful to the client.
1.7 Clients must not be exploited by therapists in any way that involves prolonging therapy, charging over recommended fee levels, or participating in any form of unethical behaviour that could constitute sexual or emotional involvement and cross professional barriers.
1.8 Dance-movement therapists are required to also ensure that exploitation does not occur after therapy ceases. If the possibility of a relationship arises between the person who was the client and the therapist, then the therapist is required to seek supervision.
2. Client confidentiality and privacy
2.1 All personal information relating to the client or relevant others, must be treated as confidential. Any documented information or other form of the same must be protected under secure conditions. Measures must be taken to ensure that verbal discussions are always strictly confidential.
2.2 Where appropriate and only with the client’s approval, background information about pre-existing conditions may be obtained from other health professionals.
2.3 Informed consent for the release of information must also be obtained when seeking advice or discussing a client’s case, personal records or videotapes with colleagues or other health professionals.
2.4 Case material for use in teaching, publication and/or research can only be released by the client and only providing that adequate precautions have been taken to disguise the identity of the person involved.
3. The therapeutic contract
3.1 A therapeutic contract should be established between the client (where possible), or parent, guardian or appropriate authority. This contract should be mutually agreed between the client and therapist and contain therapeutic goals, procedures, contract length and conditions of termination.
3.2 The therapeutic goals within the contract should be clear and achievable, and understood by the client or parent, guardian or appropriate authority.
3.3 The client, parent, guardian or appropriate authority is required to clearly accept the contract before therapy proceeds.
3.4 Treatment should be terminated when the client no longer benefits from dance-movement therapy, or when onward referral to a more appropriate agency may be indicated.
3.5 Dance-movement therapists should not misrepresent in any form their level of skill and expertise and what may be achieved within the course of treatment.
3.6 Dance-movement therapists should disclose any conflict of interest that may exist.
4. Safe practice
4.1 An appropriate setting for therapeutic work needs to be provided, taking into account issues of safety and privacy.
4.2 Due regard should be given to issues of appropriate client access and client comfort.
4.3 Dance-movement therapists are required to take the responsibility to plan for possible emergencies, by implementing or ensuring a fire plan exists, and keeping their first aid skills current.
4.4 Dance-movement therapists should work within the law at all times and keep abreast of changes in relevant legislation.
4.5 Dance-movement therapists should make themselves aware of the Association’s Complaints Procedures, for use in the event of complaints of unethical behaviour against a practitioner. They should also be aware of the other related procedures and possible actions.
5. Monitoring of self-performance and professional development needs
5.1 Dance-movement therapists are required to take responsibility for their own effectiveness, ability to help clients and ethical behaviour. In this respect, they should attend to their own needs in relation to their health. They should not continue to work in any situation in which they are not able to provide their clients with a high standard of service delivery. They should constantly monitor their own level of functioning.
5.2 A Professional Member of the DTAA is required to maintain the highest standard of competence, by continually striving to update professional skills through ongoing professional development and supervision.
5.3 At least fifteen hours of professional development per year is required. This may be obtained in a range of ways, including; journal and other professional reading, conference and workshop attendance, movement/dance class participation that develops one’s skills and capacity as a dmt, contribution to the professional association DTAA, presentation or lecture to professional audience or development of dmt curriculum.
Specific details about the weighting of each type of professional development is available on the Proforma from the DTAA website.
Dmts should have a current First Aid Certificate at the appropriate level.
Dmts should be regularly participating in dance classes or groups with others, either as a leader or participant.
Professional development activities may be documented on the form available from DTAA website for example, and kept by practitioners, along with supporting documentation (certificates of attendance, receipts, signed acknowledgement by supervisors, etc) for a period of seven years. These may need to be made available to the DTAA, on request, when Professional Membership audits take place.
6. Association with other dance therapists
6.1 Co-operation and liaison with colleagues should occur for the benefit of clients and the development of the profession at large.
6.2 Dance-movement therapists should be committed to the overall development of the profession as reflected through their general conduct in promoting both the profession and work of their peers.
7. Responsibility to the dance movement therapy profession and the Professional Association (DTAA)
7.1 Dance-movement therapists should contribute to the development of their own profession and wherever possible promote awareness of the value of dance-movement therapy.
7.2 Dance-movement therapists should recognise and accept that research is a professional obligation and furthers dance-movement therapy as a profession.
7.3 Personal conduct in relation to awareness of working within the law and responding to changes in legislation is an important aspect of professional practice and should be strictly adhered to by all therapists
Professional Members will be issued with a Certificate of Professional Membership. This certificate acknowledges that they have completed the required level of academic studies and obtained the extensive expertise required for the practice of dance-movement therapy. Professional Members may act as supervisors for Associate Members who wish to attain Professional level.
In accepting the certificate, Professional Members commit themselves to abide by the ‘Code of Ethics’ and ‘Rules of Professional Conduct’ of the DTAA.