DTAA PM Sessions

Aesthetic ‘sense’ in play objects for vulnerable infants and their mothers 


Ngarra: Indigenous connection and our human qualities

Aesthetic ‘sense’ in play objects for vulnerable infants and their mothers 

In the first year, babies have a different neurobiological endowment with more neural pathways than adults (Gopnik, 2009). From birth the infant is especially adapted to perceive, respond to, and influence how others feel and act (Trevarthen, 1997). Babies copy family early facial games of tongue poking, raising eyebrows (Meltzoff & Moore, 1983). They attend to a new object for a surprisingly long time, and notice movement, gestures, and sounds, sometimes before their mothers who have depression and anxiety post birth.

The workshop will inquire into the ‘sense’ characteristics of the play objects in mother-infant dance therapy and their important treatment role in the long-standing therapeutic playgroup ‘Community HUGS’.

Enrolled workshop attendees are asked to bring two possible simple play objects for an imagined DMT mother- infant population.

Learning objectives:

To learn a way to structure the use of the play ‘sense’ objects to attract the infants in easy play, and to observe and follow each infants’ movement gestures
To learn ways to involve the mothers gently in the play with the same ‘sense’ objects through arousing mother’s surprise, memory and curiosity
To learn to follow the mother-baby evolving movement shaping and movement dialogue together

Event Presented by:
Elizabeth Loughlin
Elizabeth Loughlin, DTAA (Prof DMT) registered dance movement therapist, creative dance teacher and social worker has worked for over 25 years with mothers who have experienced postnatal depression and anxiety. The contexts include both public and private hospital clinics and one psychiatric residential Parent-Infant program. She has published on this work in Dance movement therapy and Psychotherapy journals. Elizabeth teaches in the International Dance Therapy Institute of Australia.


Ngarra: Indigenous connection and our human qualities

Therapy training and practice often focusses on research, theory and skills development with minimal attention given to our human qualities and self-reflection. As humans we are the tool which facilitates connection and therapy for those we work with. Ngarra is a Darug word from the Sydney area in NSW meaning to listen. To truly connect with Indigenous people in a meaningful way we need to firstly listen to ourselves, reflecting on our beliefs, values, qualities and responses so we are open to listening to and authentically connecting with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Learning objectives:

To understand the importance of listening to ourselves
To develop increased understanding of the need to connect in a meaningful way
To understand the importance of learning to reflect on our own beliefs and values

Event Presented by:
Sharon Carpenter
Sharon Carpenter was born and raised in Sydney on Darug Country. Sharon is Clinical Counsellor, Dance Movement Practitioner and Clinical member of PACFA with 18 years` experience. Sharon specialises in mental health and utilizes creative therapies in her practice such as dance movement therapy and sand play. Sharon currently works for Flourish Australia mental health service. Sharon is also an accomplished singer and dancer, having trained at renowned Indigenous dance school, NAISDA

These two events will count towards 3.5 hours of category A CPD.

To register for the combined event, please see here. 

30/10/2021 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
AUS Eastern Daylight Time

Sign In