Ten years in existence – the Master’s programme in Dance Movement Therapy
To mark the anniversary of this unique Master’s programme at SRH University Heidelberg, founders, network partners, students and alumni came together to celebrate their passion for dancing, life and doing good.
A study programme celebrates its birthday: SRH University Heidelberg has been offering the Master’s programme in Dance Movement Therapy – the only one of its kind in the German-speaking world – for ten years. The German Professional Organisation for Dance Therapists (BTD) took this anniversary as an opportunity to hold its annual meeting at SRH University Heidelberg this year.
The degree programme in Dance Movement Therapy was launched by Professor Sabine Koch who, together with her colleague Professor Dr. Elisabeth Manders, is the only professor of dance movement therapy in the German-speaking world. Meanwhile, some 150 graduates now practise this profession; but they still enjoy returning to their alma mater, as they did to mark the anniversary – albeit only online in some cases, due to the pandemic.
Dance movement therapy helps in the relief of many mental and physical diseases such as Parkinson’s, depression, autism, anxiety and schizophrenia. How and why this is the case is something that Koch has been exploring since studying psychology at Heidelberg University, where she already focused on embodiment research. Her evidence-based research approach is of considerable importance for this creative form of therapy, which is still in its infancy in Germany. After all, even though the academisation of the healthcare professions continues to progress, there is often a lack of recognition for subjects such as dance movement therapy or occupational and physiotherapy, also on the part of health insurance companies. This explains why Dr. Marianne Eberhard-Kaechele, board member of BTD, emphasised to Koch: “You are a pioneer. We thank you for fighting this battle for us!”
Practical experience and its scientific foundation – the degree programme in Dance Movement Therapy has rested firmly on these pillars for ten years. The interdisciplinary approach taken at the School of Therapeutic Sciences and its links to numerous practice partners all over the world ensure the degree programme’s broad international scope. In fact, a successful English-language track is also offered. Sherry Goodill, Professor of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA, is currently a DAAD visiting professor at SRH University Heidelberg: “With students from countries from Korea to Brazil, from Latvia to Cyprus, this degree programme is globally networked,” she remarked. “The programme and the research conducted at SRH University Heidelberg are of outstanding importance for dance therapy worldwide.”
Prof. Dr. Sabine Koch
Professor of Dance Movement Therapy