By the time you read this, I will have completed my second year in the DMT & C program. I will have already walked across the stage in a cap & gown and “graduated” (I put that in quotes because I am not officially done until I finish my thesis). Of course as things near the end, one cannot help become reflective. So this is it, I have fulfilled my two year commitment in the DMT & C program. Following is my attempt to wrap this up… somehow, anyway. How do you do that? How do you wrap up two very influential years of your life in a short blog post?
I would have to admit that I started this program pretty much clueless. I thought I knew a lot about dance/movement therapy and what it was all about. Very quickly, I realized how little I did, in fact, know or more importantly, what my assumptions about the field were versus actual fact. My learning was all due to the immersive nature of the program. From the beginning of the program, you do a ton of reading, writing, and practicing of dance/movement therapy. Not only that, but you are doing it with a small group of people with whom you share every class. People (your cohort) you begin to know a lot about, for better or worse, whom you begin to love as you travel this path of becoming a dance/movement therapist. I want to take a moment and thank my peers for ultimately teaching me the importance of self-love through their love for me.[flickr id=”6183221809″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
What is most profound about my education in the DMT & C program is not what I have learned about the field and how to become a therapist, but what I have learned about myself. My first year of the program I literally lost myself and my identity, because I so thoroughly examined who I was that I began to take on other qualities to experiment. At the end of the summer in between my first and second year, I reclaimed my self; owning what it was that made me me. Just in time too, as I began my internship at Anixter Center.
I thought I had learned a lot in the classroom (which I did, of course), but I learned even more by practicing dance/movement therapy with real people. My clients, whom I have spoken about in earlier posts, have taught me so much about what it means to be a therapist. I would even go as far as saying they have taught me what it means to be a decent human being. From them I have learned about boundaries, honesty, creativity, and the importance of subtleties in movement and relationships.
In reflecting on my internship experience in an end-of-the-year assignment, I answered the following questions,
- Who am I as a professional? Humility, humor, presence
- Where am I going? I’m letting the universe decide.
- What am I taking with me? My clients’ trust and support, as well as the confidence in myself that I can do this work.
I have to be honest. My experience within the program has been a challenging one. There were days when I literally thought to myself, “What the hell am I doing studying dance/movement therapy?” Some days I would come home so exhausted; other days so inspired. The wisest words I heard during my second year from a third year thesis student (who heard it from a DMT & C alumnus) was, “No one has ever died going through this program.” That was reassuring– no one had died. Because believe me, I began to question it.
Despite its challenges, this program has ultimately changed me as a person, and for the better. Sometimes I wonder how I lived without knowing the things I now know (the importance of mindfulness, especially). I am literally a different person now than I was two years ago. And I think that is ultimately the beauty of this work– that it will always challenge me, that it will always make me grow.
Congratulations to myself and my peers for completing these past two years. We have seriously worked hard.