Yael Schweitzer, LCSW, BC-DMT: Mindfulness-Based Therapy in Portland, Oregon

Courses and Trainings that I offer

The following programs are offered as 7-8 week courses, 4 day workshops or in other variations and adaptations as needed. They are psycho-educational, self-development and therapeutic in their nature, and are offered to healthcare and other professionals as well as to the general public.

MB-DMT — Mindfulness-Based Dance/Movement Therapy - Basic program
MB-DMT level 2 — Cultivating Compassion, Acceptance and presence
Training Program in MB-DMT — An applied course for integrating mindfulness and movement for professionals
IMP — Interpersonal Mindfulness Program
Creative Dance — Mettler-Based approach to Dance Improvisation

* Course materials are modular and a variety of combinations can be offered, e.g. four day workshop of Interpersonal Mindfulness with emphasis on movement experiences.


Interview about MB-DMT in Beijing (2014)

About Single Mothers workshop (2016)

Mindfulness-Based Dance/Movement Therapy Basic program

Mindfulness-Based Dance/Movement Therapy is an approach to human psychology, wellness and growth that integrates mindfulness principles and practices with dance/ movement therapeutic approaches to the body and the mind.

Dance/movement therapy (DMT) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual. Dance/movement therapy works with the whole person integrating movement, creative process, and verbal communication. In DMT, movement is used as a vehicle for self-expression, insight, and behavioral change in an affirming, non-judgmental environment. Everyone can dance, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, dance experience, physical ability and body shape.

Mindfulness is defined as a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, without judgment and with compassion and acceptance.

Mindfulness has become a popular practice and therapy approach in recent years. Both DMT and mindfulness are anchored in the body and aim at improving people's life and well-being. One encourages movement and expression and the other is mainly practiced in stillness. Since stillness and movement are two sides of the same coin, when we bring movement to the mindfulness approach and mindfulness to Dance/Movement Therapy we deepen, expand and enrich the value and experience of both practices.

The program brings together the principles of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), Interpersonal Mindfulness, Creative dance (Mettler approach) and Authentic Movement.

At the workshop participants are presented with theory and practice of MB-DMT. Sessions include theory, meditations, exercises/movement/dance and sharing that includes examination of relevance and implications to everyday life.

Benefits from participating of the workshop:

Self-growth and development:

Effective interactions, communication and leadership:

Skills for wellness of self and the community:

Improved workplace performance and interaction:

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MB-DMT level 2
Cultivating Compassion, Acceptance and presence

Compassion, acceptance and presence are integral parts of the mindfulness approach and practice. In this workshop we focus on these aspects while strengthening mindfulness in all other aspects as well.

There is an increasing recognition in recent years of the role and importance that compassion plays in the well-being of people, and subsequently it became an important component in therapy and self-development programs. Self-compassion and compassion for others serve people in their work towards self-acceptance, growth and healing. It supports our emphatic, caring and demanding relationships with family, social circles and at work. Compassion helps us all to open the heart with acceptance and tolerance of our human differences and uniqueness.

Being present and centered helps us meet life challenges with mindfulness and calm, respond skillfully rather than react automatically, and gain confidence and stability.

Cultivating compassion, acceptance and presence takes place in this workshop through integration and embodiment of a variety of mindfulness practices with individual and interactive dance/movement improvisations. Sessions include theory, experiential exercises, dance/movement experiences, sharing and discussion about integration of the practices and learned qualities in everyday life. The movement comes from deep listening to the body and from awareness to others and since it derives from such attention it means it is done without music. No previous experience in dance is needed and everyone is welcome to attend regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, physical ability or body shape.

Through participation in this workshop participants will gain:

  1. Tools to cultivate compassion for self and others
  2. Deeper sense of self-acceptance (body & mind)
  3. An ability to recognize and honor the 'inner critic' without taking-on its messages
  4. Mindfulness skills for everyday activities
  5. Enhanced centeredness and inner stability.
  6. Developed empathic attunement
  7. Expanded feeling of relatedness and connectedness
  8. Improved relationships with self and others
  9. Enhanced sense of joy and openness
  10. Freedom of movement, creativity and expression.

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A Training Program in Mindfulness-Based Dance/Movement Therapy (MB-DMT)
An applied course for integrating mindfulness and movement for professionals

The MB-DMT training is designed for professionals - mainly therapists in various health and mental health settings and approaches. It is also suitable for group facilitators, teachers in various fields, including meditation and mindfulness, team administrators/managers, and anyone interested in incorporating mindfulness and movement into their work. MB-DMT is mainly suitable for group-therapy/group-work, but parts of it can also be suitable for couples and individual work. The intention of the training is for participants to understand theoretically and experientially the principles and benefits of MB-DMT and acquire tools to implement this knowledge and experience in their professional work.

Methods of teaching

Topics that are included in the program:

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the workshop participant will be able to:

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Interpersonal Mindfulness

Workshop Description

Human relationships are the most profound source of our happiness as well as our source of suffering and pain. "Interpersonal Mindfulness", as the name implies, brings mindfulness to relationships. It focuses on mindful speaking and listening, and teaches how to stay centered and attentive in the midst of interactions.

The program provides opportunities to explore causes of interpersonal stress and to transform reactivity in relationship to mindfulness and calm. Becoming more relaxed and accepting of themselves and others, participants learn to listen deeply and speak with awareness and integrity.

Participants learn the basic principles of mindfulness, its effects on brain activity and how to apply mindfulness to their personal and professional interactions.

The workshop is structured around six core guidelines that help participants become aware of their emotional reactivity, modify it to employ mindful response and enhance authentic communication. The guidelines are introduced and practiced in dyads and small groups, accompanied by a variety of topics for conversation/contemplations that are based on Buddhist and western psychology and the shared human experience. All guideline practices emphasize awareness of body language and non-verbal communication and are interwoven with periods of silent meditations and meditative movement.

Interpersonal Mindful is based on "Insight Dialogue" — a program developed by the meditation teacher Gregory Kramer (PhD).

Outcome objectives:

In completion of the workshop the participants gain:

Working methods:


Health-Care professionals (or in-training professionals) such as therapists, coaches, nurses physicians.

Teachers, managers, facilitators, and any professional whose work involves interaction with people

Anyone who wants to improve relationships with others — between family members, with friends, colleagues or neighbors.

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Creative Dance
Mettler-Based approach to Dance Improvisation

This workshop presents the pioneering work of Barbara Mettler of bringing people together through dance improvisation and the integration of this approach’s principles in a variety of settings. Barbara’s all-inclusive approach - Creative Dance - invites exploration of the tension between self-expression and group demands, finding creative solutions to navigate between the two.

A variety of studies of the basic elements of force, time and space are introduced and experienced within the progression of moving individually in duos, small groups and a whole group dance improvisation. The workshop emphasizes specific elements according to the requests and needs of the organizers and participants – it may highlight the therapeutic elements of Mettler Based work or be woven with mindfulness practices.

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