West Coast Dance/Movement Therapy (WCDMT) welcomes mental health professionals such as counsellors, social workers and psychologists who wish to integrate movement, dance and a somatic approach into their practice. Our students have also included graduate students (currently enrolled in counselling, social work or expressive arts therapy training), doctors, Psychiatrists, Naturopaths, movement facilitators and some educators working in a psychological context.

Our curriculum engages curiosity and passion, dynamic discussion, lecture, video, body and movement-centered experiential learning, creative arts, mindfulness and reflection, and clinical case studies. We honour and explore cross-cultural diversity. We draw from evidence-based practices, as well as teach our students to trust and honour their unique intuitive knowing and body-mind intelligence as they engage in the art and science of Dance/Movement Therapy.

In addition to welcoming serious students interested purely in professional development, our courses are also accredited by the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) for those interested in Alternate Route credentialing to become a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT). At WCDMT we can offer 28 of the 30 credits needed for Alternate Route Dance Therapist credentialing.

Our 2.5 to 10 day intensive courses are generally offered every 6-8 weeks in Vancouver B.C., Canada. We have some courses available for online learning taught through Zoom. The registration process is simple and begins with filling in the online WCDMT Application Form, followed by a scheduled phone, Skype or in-person interview with one of the WCDMT instructors to see if this training is a good fit for you.

Our unique curricula draws from research in the fields of Body-Centered Psychotherapy, Dance Therapy, Movement Science, Movement Analysis, NeuroBiology, Attachment and Developmental Psychology, group development and family systems theory, and new advances in the treatment of trauma and addictions.

“Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines Dance/Movement Therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual for the purpose of improving health and well-being.” -ADTA

The A.D.T.A. Alternate Route path

Training to become a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist is a rigorous process, spanning usually between 3 and 5 years, and involves the completion of all ADTA Alternate Route coursework (approximately 28 credit hours), plus Anatomy and Kinesiology courses, completion of a Masters degree in Counselling or Social Work, completion of an additional 700 hour supervised internship, 70 supervision hours with a BC-DMT, writing a theoretical orientation paper, providing evidence of study and mastery in a variety of dance or movement forms (five years worth of training), and demonstrating overall clinical competency in Dance/Movement Therapy which is reviewed by an Advisor.

Students pursuing the Alternate Route path are required to complete the Alternate Route Intention Form by the completion of 8 credits and be familiar with the R-DMT Handbook. The Intention Form is to be sent to the ADTA office:

Note: * WCDMT does not offer training in Kinesiology or Human Anatomy/Kinesiology (30-45hours worth). You will need to seek this course someplace else like a community college, university, massage school or other institution recognized by the ADTA.

In addition to the 30 credits hours of Alt Route courses, your General Counselling Training Coursework must be taken at an academic institution at the graduate level. These courses may be taken as part of related Master’s degree program.

* Research Design and Methodology: 45 hours or 3 credits
* Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology: 45 hours or 3 credits
* Developmental Psychology: 45 hours or 3 credits
* Group Processes: 45 hours or 3 credits

Plus at least two additional advanced psychology or counseling courses to total 90 hours or 6 credits.

Three months full-time or its equivalent in part-time hours to total 200 hours of basic clinical exposure supervised by a licensed mental health professional. This clinical exposure may occur prior to dance/movement therapy training and may be part of the applicant’s Master’s degree program.

700 hours or more in a clinical setting following or concurrent with education and supervised by a BC-DMT. Prior to starting internship, 9 credits of dance/movement therapy coursework must be completed. In addition, 9 credits of general training coursework must be completed prior to internship. WCDMT can support with you supervision during your internship, as needed, but does not set up the internship for you. This is something you do yourself, with guidance from instructors.

Dance Training and Experience
Five years concentrated study in at least one dance form such as modern, ballet, jazz, tap, ethnic or folk, leading to competence in the basic fundamentals of dance. Dance training can have occurred at any time in an applicant’s lifetime, but some of it should be recent.
For more details on what is required to accredit with the American Dance Therapy Association, visit: and search for Alternate Route requirements and the most current Alt Route Student Handbook can be downloaded.