Within the Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling MA program there are three electives available to us throughout our journey. These supplemental courses are available intermittently throughout fall, j-term and spring semesters, allowing us to conveniently fit them into our schedules at our own personal leisure. Each course is unique and offers yet another layer of depth to our education and experience here at Columbia College Chicago.
Intro to Creative Arts Therapies is a one credit class which begins to introduce the other modalities of the arts in healing. These include music, art, drama and dance. The class focuses on the creative process of diving into these new areas of study while also learning new creativity theories and principles. Students get the opportunity to experience first-hand lectures from professionals within one of the fields of study as well. I am personally very excited to take this class in the future as I know it will greatly add to my knowledge of the arts in healing while also providing me with more insight on possible future colleagues.
Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapies is also a one credit course that focuses on the integration of expressive arts therapy with dance/movement therapy. The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association states that “The expressive arts combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development.” I truly feel that this course encapsulates Columbia College Chicago’s mission and would be a huge benefit to any student willing to expand their repertoire. Students will be introduced to both the theory and application of expressive arts therapy, and begin to understand how the integration of different expressive arts media reveals the universality of the creative process.
Performance as Therapy is the last one credit elective available to us within the DMT&C program. I personally have just recently had the opportunity to take this course, and let me tell you—it was life changing. As dancers now aspiring to become dance/movement therapists, it is an amazing experience to take what we are now learning and bring it to a new level of performance. The class was deeply personal and focused greatly on the creative process throughout the emerging and on-going creation of our “choreography.” Within this process there is a continual reflective dialogue between process and product, while simultaneously delving into this idea of the “self.” The performance aspect includes both rehearsals and a final performance in front of an audience of witnesses. The therapeutic impact of the performance is then examined further and discussed with the audience. It truly was one of the best experiences I have had this semester and I highly recommend this supplemental course when you get the chance!
I mentioned earlier that all three of these courses are available to us through the Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling MA program however I should also mention that these courses are also open to all students at CCC, including undergraduates. This provides yet another classroom dynamic which I personally appreciate; it’s nice to have another point of view in the room. All of these courses are usually jam-packed with an abundance of information within an average of 2-3 days during a weekend. It’s a whirlwind, but I can promise you it is worth it!