DMTC Celebrates 30 Years
The Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling department at Columbia College Chicago marks its 30th anniversary this year, celebrating 30 years of dedication to providing students with a solid foundation of internships, fieldwork and coursework in counseling/psychotherapy, dance/movement therapy, movement assessment and principles of group therapy, facilitating healing and growth.
Today, Columbia's program is one of only six programs in the United States approved by the American Dance Therapy Association, which recently granted renewal of Columbia’s approval status following a six-year program review. From the first graduating class in 1984 of five students, the department has grown dramatically, to nearly 90 students enrolled today. And the program continues to evolve just as the field does, adding the word “Counseling” to Dance Movement Therapy in the department title in 2005 to reflect an important aspect of the field not previously represented.
"Thirty years ago, this was a relatively new field with significantly less job prospects. Many people were still unaware of the benefits of movement therapy and counseling,” explained Susan D. Imus, Chair of the Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling Department. “Today, Columbia has one of the largest programs in the country, and we’re continuing to add groundbreaking programs, such as the Movement Pattern Analysis Certification starting in 2012, which is the first of its kind in the world."
In addition to classwork and research, DMTC students complete 900 hours of practicum during their time at Columbia, providing therapy and counseling at youth guidance programs, hospitals, schools, rehab centers, prisons, Alzheimer’s and dementia clinics and more. When students leave Columbia’s program, they are qualified to sit for the state licensure as counselors, and can apply to be board certified as a dance movement therapist after two years in the field.
In celebration of the department’s 30th anniversary, the 13th annual Student/Faculty Benefit Dance Concert takes place on July 26. The performance features students, faculty, and clients from the Anixter Center’s New Focus Program and Keshet’s GADOL Program as they showcase research, practice and performance as therapy. These programs use dance and therapy to help with rehab and treatment for brain injuries and/or intellectual disabilities.
Tickets for the Student/Faculty Benefit Dance Concert can be purchased online through the Dance Center website or by contacting the Columbia College Ticket Center at 312.369.8330. The suggested donation for the ticket is $20 per person or $10 per students with I.D. Donations support two departmental scholarships – the Jane Ganet Sigel Award, to assist students in becoming dance/movement therapists, and the Warren Lamb Award, which assists individuals in completing the Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis.