Case study

Dance movement psychotherapist — Constance Novis

As a registered dance movement psychotherapist, Constance focuses on mental health and overall well-being. Find out more about how to build a successful practice

What degree did you study?

I studied for an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton, graduating in 2019.

How did you get your job?

I approached a private clinic whose work supporting children with developmental issues aligns with mine. I was also recruited by an inclusive creative arts charity for young people and adults with learning difficulties and for those with ongoing mental health issues.

I also have my own website, humanbeinghumanmoving.

What's a typical working day like?

Since the pandemic, I have moved my work online. Some of my clients are children and I see them weekly on a one-to-one basis via a secure telehealth platform. I also run my psychotherapy groups for the arts charity on the same day each week online. Writing up my clinical notes is a daily task.

I see my supervisor every two weeks online and regularly attend CPD webinars to keep up to date with developments in my field.

Other activities include writing and researching, doing peer reviews for e-journals in my area of specialisation and my own dance practice.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with my clients, meeting them where they are in the moment and helping them gain the insights and self-awareness needed to reach their full potential and increase their sense of well-being.

I find it stimulating attending webinars and hearing from other practitioners, often from major global centres.

What are the challenges?

Holding the boundaries of confidentiality means I cannot speak of the triumphs or challenges that arise in client sessions with anyone, except my supervisor and the clinical team. At times, that can be a lot to hold.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My degree is the foundation of everything I do. It gave me the training to use the innate skills, knowledge and curiosity about the human mind and body movement that I already had.

Thanks to my training, I am confident that I work in a safe, ethical way, informed by the latest developments in scientific understanding and research.

How has your role developed?

I have been practising just over a year, so I am still developing a sense of balance and boundaries in how I use my time. I am learning to understand how many clients I can take on and how many groups I can run.

What are your career ambitions?

I am happy to continue deepening my experience and honing my skills for now. I may eventually train to be a supervisor in order to support other practitioners and widen my knowledge further.

What are your top tips for choosing a Masters?

I took my MA as a mid-life career transition, so I would advise becoming fully aware of the financial implications of taking time out of your working life to study, go on placement and then possibly work for free on an honorary contract ­- or build your practice from scratch - as you gain a foothold in your field.

Friends, family and other support networks are crucial. The training is rigorous and requires the ability to take feedback and examine yourself thoroughly and honestly. If you have not done so before, you will need to begin to work with your own psychotherapist.

What advice can you give to others wanting to get into this job?

  • Actively network in your chosen area. Let people know you are training and are keen to learn from them. An excellent way to do this and to build a reputation is to undertake voluntary work.
  • Develop good working relationships with the people you meet on your placements in order to gain recommendations going forward.
  • Don't be afraid to take an entrepreneurial approach. Get out there and create your own work or set up projects on your own or with a colleague.

Find out more

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page