Professor Susan Loman, director of the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Program, is crossing language barriers to teach the interpretation of the language of movement, bringing the work she does at Antioch University New England to countries around the world.
For fifteen years, Professor Loman has spent summers traveling to Germany, Argentina, South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands running workshops on the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP). Developed by Judith Kestenberg, under whom Professor Loman studied, the KMP can be used to interpret the movements of babies, children, mentally and emotionally challenged individuals as well as high functioning adults who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally.
Professor Loman’s most recent trip took her to Munich, Germany, where she led two groups of students from eight countries. She ran four-day experiential learning intensives where participants had to work with movement patterns, create their own choreographies, dance, move, and learn how to notate movement. This was the first year of a three-year training program.
Students of Professor Loman’s workshop have applied the KMP to clinical practice, dissertations, and creative work. A recent participant from Germany, studying the interactions between mothers with post-partum psychosis and their babies, found success using the KMP to describe and understand the movement patterns between parent and child. She used this information to help the mothers better relate to their babies.
“You can observe the movement behavior of people of any age and interpret their movement patterns developmentally and psychologically,” Professor Loman says of the KMP. “You can work with people who don’t have any verbal language and connect through body rhythms and gestures.” The KMP has been used to broaden the range of psychiatric patients’ movements, to help create treatment plans, and as a research tool for studying depression, learning styles, leadership styles, sleep patterns, and attachment behavior.