Restorative Movement Psychotherapy

Body as Voice:

Polyvagal-Informed Movement Therapy for Trauma

Instructor: Amber E. Gray, MPH, MA, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC

This intensive trauma and polyvagal-informed course series for clinicians and alternate route students provides a thorough introduction and strong attentional skill refinement for the clinical use of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) with survivors of complex and interpersonal trauma. This course is an amalgam of structured practices, somatic and movement processing, and grounded theory, based on the instructors 25 years of ongoing work with survivors of war, torture, and political, racial, ethnic, historic and collective trauma who seek refuge. This course is an in process evolution of a moving, breathing, engaged approach to DMT and soma-movement therapies organically developed through a reciprocal alliance with clients who come from globally diverse socio-economic, socio-political, geographic, socio-cultural and socio-spiritual contexts.

This embodied human rights framework integrates the latest neuro-scientific wisdom with ancient traditional dance and rhythm-inspired healing practices from the instructors ancestral lineage. This approach to facilitating the restorative process for survivors of complex interpersonal and violence-based trauma has been described as “truly accessible for all cultures, with deep respect for all people” as shared in “a compassionate, humanitarian trauma-informed DMT course”.

Part I can be taken as a stand-alone course that provides DMTs (both experienced DMTs, and alternate route students) with the foundational skills to address the unique clinical needs of survivors of trauma. It also serves as the first in a three part series on working with trauma. The series emphasizes dance/movement therapy and soma-moving therapies as a self-compassion practice for DMTs working with trauma; DMT practices to support safety, stability and reconnection, and embodied depth trauma processing, all based on a contemporary, evidenced-based approach to working with complex and interpersonal trauma.

NOTE: Part I pre-requisite is required for parts II & III.


Amber Elizabeth Gray, PHD, MPH, MA, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC brings Dance/Movement Therapy to areas of social trauma, disasters, and complex humanitarian emergencies. She has established clinical programs for refugees and survivors of torture in Colorado and New Mexico, and a program for victims of violence in Haiti. Amber provides training and consultation nationally and internationally on somatic and creative arts psychotherapies with survivors of war, torture, and natural disasters. One of the primary focuses of her work is staff care and support programs for humanitarian workers in complex humanitarian emergencies. She has taken her work to almost forty countries. She is the Western Region MAL for the ADTA Board of Directors, and was the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient. 

Visit her website here