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Letter to the New York Times Magazine Editor

Re “Let the Body Do the Talking” (page 46, May 21):

I wanted to bring to light a troubling reality in the therapy world. Through my public service working on Bellevue Hospital Center’s adult inpatient psychiatry unit, I led daily Dance/Movement Therapy (D/MT) sessions to help patients connect body, mind, and spirit. D/MT promotes accessing emotions through body use, dance forms, and use of space. Oftentimes patients experienced an inability to communicate verbally due to altered mental states and complex trauma wounds. With D/MT we witnessed patients’ tremendous improvements to self-advocate, self-care, and heal in community alongside Licensed Creative Arts Therapists.

This care has existed in the Western mental-health care model since the first wave of PTSD treatment in 1942. Unfortunately, our licensure is ignored by most insurance companies and this article. Despite the article’s title, Dance/Movement Therapy was not included. We have taken actions to lobby our government to include coverage for Medicare and Medicaid. New Yorkers are some of the most creative people in the world and their therapy could be too.

Rebecca D. Lermsider

New York

The writer is the president of the New York State Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association, a Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist.

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