Moments of Meeting in DMT: Characteristics and Implications from the Subjective Experience of Therapists

Victoria de la Parra López, Heidrun Panhofer

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Moments of meeting (MoM) are characterized by instances of special intersubjective connection between the therapist and patient which causes a change in the implicit relational knowing (IRK) of both individuals. MoM have been widely described for non-creative arts therapies, but there is little information about their characteristics in dance/movement therapy (DMT). This study seeks to explore and characterize the MoM in DMT from the perception of professional therapists. Nine dance/movement therapists (dmts) were consulted using a multimodal approach that travels between writing and movement (Panhofer, 2011) and data were examined using qualitative content analysis. The results show that the characteristics of MoM can be grouped into three categories: (1) relationship (shared experience, experience of fusion, security and kinesthetic empathy) (2) emotion (emotional intensity and genuine affection) and (3) movement (physical closeness, eye contact, emergency, irruption of the present and release of the flow). These results are contrasted with what was originally proposed by the Boston Group (Lyons-Ruth et al in Infant Ment Health J 19(3):282–289,<282::aid-imhj3>;2-o, 1998) and recently by Duarte et al. (Psychother Res 31:1–14,, 2021) and Lauffenburger (Am J Dance Ther 42(1):16–32,, 2020), finding similarities and new elements exclusive to DMT. This work contributes to a deeper understanding and conceptualization of MoM in the specific field of DMT and its clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Dance Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023


  • Dance movement therapy
  • Implicit relational knowing
  • Kinaesthetic intersubjectivity
  • Moments of meeting
  • Subjective experience of therapists


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