The circle in dance movement therapy: A literature review

Elena Karampoula, Heidrun Panhofer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2018 Elsevier Ltd The circle represents a powerful symbol with perceived characteristics of totality, wholeness and completeness. Forming a circle is used frequently in Dance Movement Therapy (DMT), emerging on several occasions during a DMT session, especially when working with the model which originated with Marian Chace. The therapeutic factors of the circle formation are fascinating but are rarely documented. This article explores the circle as a symbol and documents the ways in which DMT works with groups, by comparing the essential elements of circle DMT with group therapeutic factors. It reviews the pertinent literature on the subject and summarizes three basic elements of working within a circle, namely, containment and holding, multi-mirroring, and physical contact through the holding of hands.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-32
    JournalArts in Psychotherapy
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


    • Circle
    • Circle formation
    • Containment
    • Group DMT
    • Holding hands
    • Multi-mirroring
    • Therapeutic factors


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