PsychotherapyHELP Newsletter

by Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFCC 


"Music/Dance Therapy for the High Cure"



Question: You use music in therapy to create cures. How does dancing play into all this?

Answer: Years ago, in one of my deep feeling therapy group sessions, a man stood up and started dancing around the room to the music. He requested country music in order to help get him out of his doldrums. He suffered from obsessive-compulsive personality disorder combined with ADD and his marriage was a disaster. In the deep feeling realm, he couldn't feel very much and was highly reactive to his wife. He also have a long-standing successful career in the science field. Somehow, I knew that he had to let his hair down and escape from his locked in situation. In group therapy sessions, I would play country music just for him, while the other group members deeply experienced their primordial emotional pain. His dancing created a transformative and cathartic experience that he couldn't feel in any other way.

Now, mind you, this man had no real dancing experience and he wasn't trying to be cool. Something lit up inside of him and he danced to the music. Thus, a cure was initiated.

Question: Where does this go from there?

Answer: In my program, we would have monthly extended marathon deep feeling sessions. At the end of the sessions, the participants spontaneously would come together and dance. The various combinations and techniques/approaches created what could only be called Peak Experiences that changed lives. These were not just a momentary uplifting experiences, they were life-changing, cathartic and riddled with insight and wisdom.

One of my facilitators considered himself to be not very good at dancing. Thus, entered the self-conscious critical mind. There was a female in the group who experienced the same connection. The only way that they could lose their self-consciousness and get up and dance was to become silly and imitate a retarded dance. It was a breakthrough. They got past the critical mind and ascended into the real self. Thus, was born the Silly Dance. I now initiate it in my workshops.

Every body has music inside of them somewhere. There is also a hidden dancer. On the surface, society seems to reward the smooth operator/cool dancer. That's okay for those of us who can be cool. But for the uncool, they also need to participate in the healing ritual of dance. So, I initiated the Uncool Dance, the Ecstasy Dance, the Self Esteem Dance, the Love Dance and many other dances. Each one of these innovations has a particular growth and therapeutic value when used in the right context with a specific intention. If you dance just to be silly, you can break out of depression and other debilitating disorders. If you dance with the intention of raising self-esteem, you can overcome specific personality disorders. If you do the love dance, you could be expressing love to yourself and to your partner, that you couldn't do in any other way. The dance is a powerful therapeutic ritual and it goes just beyond celebration, party time, aerobics and other uses.

Question: What would you recommend for me?

Answer: Just looking at you and sensing what you need to change, I would recommend that when you get up in the morning, before you get out of bed, turn on some very powerful dance music, take off all of your clothes and dance naked, in the most ridiculous and mind altering way that you can conceive. Do this, while you are approaching the sink and the mirror. If this doesn't put a spark in your step, I don't know what will. I do guarantee that it will help you overcome your inhibitions, fears, shyness and avoidance. Passive dependence could give way to assertive lightheartedness.

Question: How can I put a little spark in my love life?

Answer: You could ask your partner to do a sexy love dance right in front of you. If this doesn't turn you on, call an embalmer. I also recommend that men should also do a sexy love dance for their female partners. They will love you much more for that very pleasant and sensual gift.

Question: What about the use of humor?

Answer: That's for a future seminar!


Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy our newsletter. Please feel free to explore my web site at PsychotherapyHELP at You find articles to download, information on therapy, and links to a myriad of resources.


Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFCC 



voice: 818-882-7404