Singapore University of Social Sciences

Mind and Body Work in Expressive Arts Therapy

Mind and Body Work in Expressive Arts Therapy (XAT507)


In XAT507 Mind and Body Work in Expressive Arts Therapy, students will explore how the mind and body are connected, how we can influence how we feel by working with our bodies, and how our physicality impacts on our emotions. Students will explore the theories of Neuro-linguistic Programming alongside recent research on cellular memory, and the impact of trauma on the body as well as the mind. They will explore the importance of body perceptions and body schema on how we relate to the world and other people. Through the work of Rudolf Laben, they will explore how dance and movement impacts on learning and development, and explore their own physicality through body work. They will also explore traditional Asian dance forms and martial arts that may inform their professional practice with a range of clients. Tying in with movement, they will explore the role of rhythm and music.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • Exploring connections between thoughts, feelings and the body
  • Laben dance and movement theory
  • Working with trauma and understanding stress
  • Musicality, rhythm and healing
  • Body work skills and their importance in social development
  • Asian dance and movement practices
  • Speaking through the body practicum
  • Role-plays on communicating through the body
  • Assessing non-verbal behaviour
  • Neuro-linguistic Programming
  • Cultural and gender issues in working with the body
  • The role of body schema in human development changes over the life-span

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss therapeutic concepts and frameworks within the context of dance therapy, recognising how movement can be a medium for emotional expression, self-discovery, and healing
  • Examine case studies and/or real-life examples to understand dance therapy interventions in healing trauma and facilitating well-being.
  • Propose culturally sensitive strategies to manage clients’ concerns, taking into account the nuances of the local Asian cultural context.
  • Explore the intricate connections between the mind and body through the exploration of intentional movements.
  • Apply fundamental dance therapy techniques and understand how these contribute to the therapeutic process.
  • Select appropriate intervention approaches based on assessments of individual needs and contextual factors within the dance therapeutic setting.
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