Many people lose touch with how the body can be expressive and help release feelings or tension. We work with the healthy parts of people and often impart a sense of fun and joy in their lives, whether for a few moments or lasting long-term. It is so gratifying to see the changes in people’s ability to express themselves and communicate more fully. I know I have made a difference in many people’s lives—patients, babies and parents, and students—which has made my life so full and rich.
Received her MA degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Goddard College. A board-certified member of the American Dance Therapy Association and a National Certified Counselor, she serves as a member of the ADTA Approval Committee as has served: as co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy (2011-2014), Chair of the Education Committee for the American Dance Therapy Association (1995–1999), and on the editorial board of The Arts in Psychotherapy (1996-2011). She directed the Creative Art Therapy Department at Billings Hospital’s psychiatric unit; worked with infants, toddlers, and parents at the Center for Parents and Children; and also worked with adults at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. A Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP) Analyst and considered an expert on the system, she worked closely with Judith Kestenberg for eight years, chaired four conferences on the KMP, has written numerous articles and co-edited three books, including, “The Meaning of Movement: Developmental and Clinical Perspectives of the Kestenberg Movement Profile.” She currently teaches the KMP system at Antioch University New England and taught the system at the Laban/ Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies in New York City for fourteen years. She has lectured and conducted KMP workshops in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, England, Scotland, South Korea and the Netherlands, as well as throughout the United States.
In December 2014, the ADTA gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong commitment to the field of dance/movement therapy. She received the award during the ADTA’s National Conference in Susan’s hometown of Chicago, and celebrated with an evening of accolades and – of course – dancing.
During her spring 2015 sabbatical, Susan developed a series of videos which shows examples of movement patterns in the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP) as observed in children six years of age and younger. As the project continues to develop, it is expected to result in a wide range of real-life examples of KMP movement patterns, seen in both children and adults, and will serve as a supplemental learning tool.