2nd Online Science Café –DMT in times of war / april 18, 5pm CET

2nd Online Science Café –DMT in times of war

Date: Easter Monday, April 18 at 5 PM CET

Place: Zoom

The 2nd Online Science DMT Café has been dedicated to the support of our colleagues who are involved in war events,

who work with refugees and those who support all related work.

There has been a long tradition of Peace walks and marches in several European countries in the past during the Easter weekend.

With this event, we intent to contribute to a peaceful collaboration between European DMT colleagues and to build a circle of support

for those who are working in the midst of the events, or with those who fled the war zone.

The programme covered an introduction on humanitarian emergency in Ukraine, followed by parallel sessions in breakout rooms,

guided by experienced DMTs.

Event summary

Full Programme in Detail:

Moderator: Rosemarie Samaritter

Zoom manager: Terje Kaldur


Elena Cherepanov, PhD

Responding to humanitarian emergency in Ukraine: Key considerations when offering help

Elena Cherepanov teaches at the Graduate school of psychology and counseling in Cambridge college (Boston, MA). Her expertise is in global mental health, multicultural integrated care, and systems of trauma which includes cultural trauma and response to humanitarian emergencies. She has over 20 years of humanitarian work experience and is the author of over 60 papers and books.

Her presentation will address some important aspects in humanitarian work in times of crisis, such as the importance of interprofessional collaboration, the role of local and the role of external people, tailoring services to specific situational context, self-care as an integral aspect of ethics and the importance of culturally relevant interventions.

watch the presentation here


 1. A safe place. Inside and outside of us

Antonella Monteleone and Ana Coimbra Oliveira

Antonella is a senior DMT (ATI, APID), teacher and supervisor, Authentic Movement trainer and researcher, Jungian Analytical Psychologist (A.I.P.A, I.A.A.P.), clinical psychoterapist in the public National Health system and in private practice. She has extensive work experience with children, adolescents, individuals, couples and families in counseling and clinical work, psycho-social health programmes, prevention care systems and programmes, multidisciplinar teamwork. She is a member of the public national health Unit for crisis and emergency intervention.

Ana´s DMT clinic and PhD research focuses on DMT during development/life crisis, trauma, complicated grief or severe disease. She is a clinical and health psychologist and specialist psychotherapist of the national psychologist association working in Lisbon for the last 20 years in a private and institutional setting with children, young people, adults and families. She integrates DMT with psychoanalysis also while teaching (Rehabilitation and Psychology) and developing health and artistic projects.

Antonella and Ana will share different models of preventive, support and post crisis expressive group interventions for babies, children, adolescents, families, and other groups. The discussion will address questions regarding the specific contribution of DMT and Arts Therapies in the field of trauma and stress management.

  1. Creating resilient and embodied narratives through DMT

Silja McNamara

Silja McNamara graduated from Roehampton University in 2011 with an MA in DMP specialising in Bereavement and holds a BA in dance theatre. She has worked with many client groups within the UK and Finland. McNamara works with people with cancer, bereaved, people with memory deseases, immigrants and refugees in Finland.

McNamara will discuss, explore and focus on some of the key themes discovered whilst working for many years with refugees. This presentation will explore the themes of safety and building resilience through symbolic play. The focus will be on how to address the work with families and young children in times of crisis.

For this breakout room presentation, please have some paper and crayons in hand.

  1. Dance Therapy for Social Change: Cross-Cultural Encounters and Empowerment Through Movement

Sevin Seda Güney, RDMP

Seda is a registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist trained at Roehampton University in London. She is currently based in Istanbul. Over the past 12 years, she has facilitated trauma-informed and movement-based trainings and workshops for refugees and disadvantaged youth, also in support of those working in the field. She has been co-authoring book chapters on her work. She is developing trainings and programs internationally for the trauma rehabilitation of refugee children and is currently the president of the Arts Psychotherapies Association in Turkey.

Seda will speak about her experiences with various populations through her trauma-informed work as a Dance Movement Therapist. The focus of her contribution will centre on Dance Movement Therapy as an integrated model for social change, the creation of safe spaces in sessions during international work, and the use of Dance Movement Therapy with PTSD, displaced and disadvantaged populations and mentoring caregivers and psychosocial support workers.

  1. Guidelines to navigate in chaos

Elli Kita, PhD, GADTsr

Elli is an accredited Dance Movement Therapist and Psychologist. Her DMT work has been informed by a broad diversity of DMT models and supervision courses. She combines the DMT work with elements form systemic therapy. Elli is currently working as a supervisor and teacher in DMT and in systemic therapy training programs. She supports/supervises professionals who are working with refugees and works with trauma-informed methods with individuals, families, and groups.

We will witness our own body-selves’ reactions and needs while approaching war trauma and we will draw upon this experience in order to explore the adequate use of developing-resources tools and de-escalation techniques. Discussion will focus on how to use kinesthetic experience and adapt our procedures effectively in the midst of urgency and chaos. Please, bring some paper and colors.

download notes of this presentation


5. Embodying the body: Reflections on working with refugees and asylum seekers

Christina Gougouli

BA Psychology, RDMP, KMP Trainee, has worked in various clinical settings in Greece and in the UK (Sheffield Mind, SYEDA, Chilypep, Terre des hommes). Christina is currently working as a dance movement therapist at Amna (formerly known as Refugee Trauma Initiative), an organization that provides psychological support to refugees affected by the recent crisis in Afghanistan. She co-facilitates online creative group sessions with a music therapist.

People who have been forced to leave their homes carry those stories within themselves across the borders. Identities can be blurry, and the sense of time and space may no longer make sense. Yet, memories, dreams, bodily sensations, somatic dissociation, and disorientation make their new reality. How does it feel to be non-present? How can we, as dance movement therapists, include bodily work in our practice without being intrusive? How can war survivors/refugees/asylum seekers start recognizing and befriending their bodies again? The discussion will focus on observations from her work with refugees and provide insights on interventions and tools used throughout this period, as well as allow participants to reflect and share their thoughts on that.

  1. How to integrate injustice in our sessions. The role of the therapist from DMT

Javiera Gazitua Charnes, DMT, theater director, actress.

Javiera is a dance movement therapist, theater director and actress.

She has been collaborating with various nongovernmental organizations (NGO) for more than 10 years. Her work with adult immigrant victims of violence covered issues such as torture, refugees, relatives of victims and sexist violence. Javiera is currently collaborating with the NGO “Exil” and working in a private clinic.

Working on trauma, and even more on issues related to wars, dictatorships or forced migrations, means that in addition to the unique situations of each person, we will work with the world events that are the cause of these traumas. This implies that in our sessions we will find situations of injustice that are beyond the reach of therapists and that have repercussions on the sessions themselves, for which it is fundamental in the work approach to be able to integrate this reality by channeling it through the body and the relationship between patient and therapist.