Meeting of European Network for the Professional Development of Dance Movement Therapy in Tallinn 18.-19.9. 2007

On  September 18-19th, 2007 the European Network for the Professional Development of Dance Movement Therapy met in Tallinn, Estonia for its 10th gathering since the first meeting in 1995.  There were 24 participants who represented 13 countries (Netherlands, Spain, Germany, UK, Estonia, Latvia, Greece, Russia, Finland, Sweden, France, Poland and the Czech Republic).  There were apologies from Italy, Austria and Norway.

The meeting moved forward very swiftly to action: a previously agreed mandate to establish an official European Association for DMT.

The first day – 18.9. 2007

On the first day of the network meeting participants were divided into 5 groups and spent the afternoon rotating subjects for discussion.  Each group reported back to the large group later in the day and in each case someone took on the role of writing up a brief report.
(these documents about the discussion in working groups also contain coordinators/ reports from the second day related to the themes)


1. National Associations and EU Association ( by Alexia Margariti)


I. Members of European Association:

  • National Associations

– disagreement whether only DMT or also e.g. psychomotor therapy and somatic therapy would be involved. Then we decided to focus only on DMT.

  • Single persons, pioneers, who represent countries without association
  • Training programme members

     Membership status should be updated every 3 years.

We keep both:
1) European association consisting of National Associations plus Single members
2) European Network for every subject.

II. Voting:
Voting for a president and board: in future depending on number of members within national association. For now we decided to vote 1 per country depending on countries present.

III. Relationship between professional body and training programmes.

IV. Funding:
Financial issue concerning establishment and development of European DMT Association.

V. Working groups
We decided to change steering group into working group and make several working groups, working on the web, PR, research, training etc. Plus structured feedback.

2. Training programmes
Presentation and discussion led by Heidrun Panhofer  (by Zuzanna Pedzich)
Tallinn, September 18th 2007

Heidrun presented the following main points that had been highlighted by the working groups:

  1. The importance of recapturing training criteria, which had been established in Sardinia in 1997. Not all participants were aware of their existence.
  2. There was agreement on the need for working parties to further the work done by Heidrun on comparing different training programmes. Heidrun had prepared a summary of programme criteria in 2003 in Madrid, and last year again a questionnaire had been sent to every national association to update the information. Associations were asked about entry requirements, the length of the course, teaching hours of dmt and psychology, clinical contact hours and supervision, as well as personal therapy. An internet search had also been done to identify other dmt training programmes. Fourteen countries had responded to the questions: Germany, Finland, France, Greece, UK, Israel, Italy, Holland, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Spain.Heidrun presented the situation in 2006:
    Countries could be divided into 3 groups:
    – where all dmt training programmes were academic (France, UK, Israel,
    Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Spain)
    – where programmes were either academic or private (Holland, Finland)
    – where all programmes were private (Poland, Greece, Germany, Austria,
    and Italy).
    In total 54% of all European dmt training programmes were academic.
    The highest number of students studied dmt in Italy (70), Germany (52) and Spain (50).
    There was a request for sending an update of information about trainings, containing information on how many students are in each country, on each level: introductory, B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.
    Heidrun went on to compare the hours of training between the countries. The programmes with the least teaching hours were Austria, Spain, Sweden and Poland. Penelope Best pointed out that how countries calculate hours differs considerably and should be explained and taken into account. Annelies Schrijnen-van Gastel suggested that the working group develop very precise guidelines, enabling a more accurate comparison of information across countries.
    Heidrun also compared the proportion of direct client contact hours and supervision, noting that in some countries for each hour of clinical practice there was an hour of supervision. There were also differences between the proportion of clinical practice, dmt teaching hours and psychology hours across countries.
  3. A question had been raised as to whether we should follow ADTA standards, with a strong feeling voiced that we ought to create European ones, reflecting the European tradition of DMT.
  4. Questions were raised whether we were all LMA-oriented, whether personal therapy should be a requirement or recommendation, whether courses should be academic or private and what should be the criteria for a supervisor in dmt.
  5. There was a consensus as to training programmes being accredited by national associations, and not by the European Association.
  1. Vicky Karkou mentioned UK standards which have been published on the ADMT UK webpage. These are called benchmark statements and may be relevant not only to the UK. She stressed the need for developing similar standards at a European level. Heidrun supported the idea of using the UK benchmark statements which she considered a very useful model, containing a good description of the requirements for the professional, which could be adapted to the European level. The need for translating them into evidence was mentioned, so that procedures are developed for showing that one meets these standards. These criteria are to be met by qualified professionals, so they inform training programmes. Anna Dijkstra suggested that we first develop the profile of the dmt profession and then gear training programmes towards them. Sabine Koch concluded by suggesting that a working group prepare an overview of standards in all the countries, compare them and develop criteria for the EA

2a. Training programmes working group (by Ina van Keulen)

The goal of the existing working group is:

1) to give advice for the educational standard
2) to create a set of minimum requirements to be a professional Registered DMT practitioner in Europe. (importance of definition of requirements)
-DMT skills
-Psychotherapeutic knowledge
-Movement observation
-Clinical practice

-Personal therapy

European standard can help to develop or recognise programmes by national associations. It will also give an opportunity to pioneers from countries without national association to become a registered member of EU Association.  (President of  network PB adds 8.10.07: This is a proposal being looked at by this working group and was  not decided at the Tallinn meeting. At that meeting it was proposed  that only national associations can professionally register DMT practitioners. Only when a national association has successfully completed all the requirements of the EA can all those DMT registered with that national association be accepted at EA registered.  The issue of membership for those practitioners in a country without a national association was one of associate membership, not professional registration)


1) Ina van Keulen is now collecting whole material about training programmes in countries. She will compare this material with Penny/s and Annelie/s reports from previous network meeting and discuss with active members of working group (Helena, Nicky and Maarit) the needed updating and definitions.  (PB adds: And connect with Heidrun’s lists from 2003 and 2006)

2) The team will look for similarities, difference between programs etc.;
H. Smeijsters / KenVak will help and has already given info about his work on educational standards for Ecarte another group that worked on educational standards on European level in the field of music therapy.

3) results will be reported to the board

3. Research (by Vicky Karkou)

Research Discussion (day 1):

There are existing databases that can already be used:
DMT specific database; in English – more accessibility
Publications in international journals, e.g., Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, the Arts in Psychotherapy etc.

How to start with and continue with research:
University training, collaborations between Universities, Institutes and other professions for research supervision and generation of research funding

Development of a European research group including a working group and research supportive information (e.g., resources about research).

Research supervision for Masters students, looking for fellow students – connected through databases, creating forum within website, ERASMUS programmes between Universities

Agreement of having an open internet model as a possibility to open it for other professionals and the public

How to use research for clinical practice through:

  • integration of research in training programmes
  • development of guidelines for clinicians – evidence based practise
  • links with health professionals
  • public relations and ways of advocating the field

3a. Research Working Group:   (Vicky Karkou)

Dr. Vicky Karkou,

Active Members:
Sabine Koch
Hilda Wengrower
Nanon A. J. Janssen

Supportive Members:
Alexia Margariti
Birgitta Harkonen
Indra Majore-Dusele
Annelies Schrijnen

Agreed Tasks:
1. Criteria for research database
Action: Vicky to circulate criteria by the end of the day to the working group

2. Distribution of Access form to all members of the working group
Action: Sabine to circulate this by the end of the week to the working group.

3. Conversion of old research studies from word to Access
Action: Nanon to act on this and have it completed by end of December

4. Inclusion of research recourses, research books and research websites, and theoretical papers
Action: Hilda to take this forward finish preparatory work/agreement by end of January

5. Collection of studies and relevant information sent to National research reps
Action: Indra to send form and guidelines to all research reps in January with a deadline for completion of collection of research studies in June.  Follow this up before the end of June and after June with request to send all collected studies back to Indra

6. Quality check of all collected studies
Action: working group to do this by September 2008

7. Development of database in a user friendly way and in a google accessible manner
Action: Sabine to act on this in collaboration with webmaster

8.  Make links with Universities and other websites

9. Find a way of maintaining a constant update of research studies and material.;

4. Group Work on Publicity and Communication (by Sabine Koch with additions from J.Dusbabkova)

Questions and discussion themes:

1. Who do we address? Professionals, professional associations, general public, anybody who is interested, mental health institutions and workers)

2. What kind of information do we put out?
Website: News, European Association, Training, Research, Links; discussion about events like workshops, conferences; should they go on there? Yes (Website Team); in case of doubts we get back to the board (for “filtering” info);

3. Communication among ourselves: Listserve! Was agreed upon (instead of internal web pages). Sabine sets it up; Irina checks with her University whether it can also be run in Russia.

4. 10 Euros per association to run the website for about 4 years were collected.

5. Our domain: was found on the first page of Google if “European Network of Dance Therapy” was put in (even with a typo). Related domains will be googled and checked for “lost souls”.

6. This group works on websites and listserv only; active press work is so far not included (anyone interested?)

7. Renate and Ingrid will write text about network meeting in Tallin to be put on the web pages

8.From each working group one person will be selected (now the co-ordinator of the group) to supply content of the section for the web pages (research, education, legislation)

9.Promoting DMT within the healthcare field through publication, internet and conferences, massmedia as a form of psychotherapy

10.Art as a mean of letting people know about DMT, films, publications.

The second day – 19.9.2007

The possible structure of the European Association of DMT as presented by Penny Best
(by Zuzanna Pedzich)

The functions of the European Association of DMT:

  1. Regulatory body for profession
  2. Advisory and Development Body (as in the European Network)

Membership within the European Association of DMT:

  1. Full – for National Associations fulfilling all requirements. All professionals registered with those national associations would become EA DMT practitioners.
  2. Associate/ Supportive (as in the European Network), open to all national associations, training programmes and individual dmt pioneers if there are no associations or training programmes in the country.

The purpose of the EA DMT would be to establish and maintain professional standards for DMT in Europe.
The EA DMT tasks would be to set requirements for national associations to become full members:

1. see evidence of national associations
– registration process for professional practitioners
– accreditation process for training at post-graduate level
– code of ethics

2. set minimum requirements for professionally registered dmt practitioner concerning
– dmt skills,
– psychotherapeutic knowledge
– movement observation skills
– research
– clinical practice
– supervision
– personal therapy

3. set application procedures and cost

4. act as an advisory board for the profession

5. agree membership

In this model a European Association would be created which would continue the advisory and developmental function of the European Network. Another function would be added to enable professional registration on a European level. For this reason two levels of membership would be distinguished: full membership, open to national associations fulfilling the minimum criteria for registration established by EA DMT, and supportive membership open to all national associations working towards meeting those criteria, as well as training programmes and individual pioneers in countries where there were still no associations or trainings.

The participants of the meeting accepted this model and voted for founding a European Association based on this structure.

The following decisions were made:

  1. Updated information about training programmes would be sent to Ina
  2. Updated reports on the state of DMT within each country would be sent to Sabine by September 30th
  3. Listserv would be arranged for all members
  4. The Board would come up with a proposal for resolving financial issues, related to legal processes and the daily cost of functioning of the Board. Vincenzo would assist with figuring out the financial side. It was agreed in Sardinia that all national associations would pay a certain amount to legalise the process.
  5. The next meeting would be in 2 years time, connected to the ECARTE Conference

The EA DMT would not set requirements for training programmes, but for registering
professionals. These would be descriptive, so as not to get stuck on labels.

Minutes of the Voting Procedure on 19.09.07  (by Sabine Koch, Penny Best)

It was agreed upon to vote a preparatory board in order to work towards the European Association of Dance Movement Therapy. Suggestions were collected. Four persons were nominated and agreed to be available to be voted on the board: Heidrun Panhofer, Penny Best, Zuzanna Pedzich and Klara Cizkova; Penny Best requested secret voting in line with usual constitutional voting practice.  Each country present had one voice/vote (13 altogether). Sabine Koch suggested to change the three headed board to a four headed one in order to be able to vote all four willing members in. The suggestion was accepted. It was agreed upon that the voted members distribute the vacant positions among themselves according to skills / availability. All four members suggested were voted unanimously. After a brief consultation the four elected members came forth with their task distribution:

 President :                 Penelope Best

 Vice president:             Heidrun Panhofer

 Internal Secretary :                  Zuzanna Pedzich

 External Secretary :            Klara Cizkova

They further announced that a minimum financial support for their activities will be asked for from the professional associations.

Following elections the whole group of participants again divided, this time into working groups which outlined their main aims, selected 3 people to be ‘active’ consulting members and one person to be the working group co-ordinator.  Each co-ordinating member became a Board member, see list below. Each coordinator committed to writing a brief report to be gathered and circulated.

Training Standards Co- ordinator: Ina van Keulen
(Active team members: Nicki Wentholt; Maarit Ylonen; Helena Ehrenbusch)

Constitutional  / financial issues Co-ordinator: Vincenzo Puxeddo
(Active team members: Suzanne Bender, Susan Scarth, Observer: Penny Best)

Research Co-ordinator: Vicki Karkou
(Active team members: Hilda Wengrower , Nanon Janssen, Sabine Koch)

Website Co-ordinator: Jana Spinarova Dusbabkova
(Active team members: Sabine Koch, Renate Hoensleaar, Ingrid Baart)

The steering/working group looking at vital constitutional and financial issues is meeting in Milan October 25/26th and needs to receive all the reports and minutes well in advance to inform their discussions.  The Board (President, Vice President, Int and Ext Secretaries) will ‘meet’ formally  via the web in 6 months time to check progress in each working group and the whole Board of 8 will meet in person next September 2008 when each group can make presentations.

Minutes from the First Core Board Meeting
September 19th 2007, Tallinn
(by Zuzanna Pedzich)

The meeting started with the division of tasks amongst Board Members:

Penelope Best – President
Heidrun Panhofer – Vice-President
Klara Cizkova – External Secretary
Zuzanna Pedzich – Internal Secretary

We then discussed how to generate funds, whether national associations should pay a fixed amount per person or a percentage of the annual fee.

We agreed to communicate by phone and e-mail, and possibly have meetings via Skype. We discussed whether one of us would go to Milan to join the Steering Group. We decided that this was not essential, but could be helpful at this stage. We would prepare a report for the Steering Group and Penny would link with Susan Scarth.

We agreed Klara would put together a report from this conference, and all minutes would be sent to her by the first week of October.

The next Board meeting would be held in the last week of September 2008. We would look for a place so as to minimise costs.