The Danish Association of Psychomotricity
History and Development
Denmark has the oldest existing tradition in psychomotricity. The first formal education of three years was established in 1943. One school was established by Gerda Alexander, who was internationally known.
In 1994 Danish psychomotor therapists established contact with French colleagues and in 1995 Denmark became a member of OIPR. Subsequently Denmark was a founding member of the European Forum of Psychomotricity in 1996. Students were trained in private institutions and received grants and loans from the state from 1982 and onwards.
In 1989 the Ministry of Education gave its official recognition of private education. Finally in 2002 a promulgation was signed, studies were made 3½ year long and two public institutions with a Professional Bachelor programme were created. One small school remained private and does not have the Bachelor level.
Danish Association of Psychomotricity, DAP, was formed in 1978. DAP became a member of a central union organisation, FTF, in 1993. DAP has since 1998 been a member of the Health Confederation with 10 other health associations and the Confederation is responsible for negotiations concerning salary and working conditions with the public employers.
Education is a 3½ year public professional bachelor programme in relaxation and psychomotor therapy. It is offered by University Colleges in Copenhagen and Randers. The English title is Bachelor in Relaxation and Psychomotor Therapy. Education consists of 210 ECTS points distributed between theoretical and practical subjects, internship and bachelor thesis:
- Subjects on health promotion and changes in lifestyle, prevention of psysical and mental illness, educational communication, individual and groupdynamic processes in psychomotor practice, teaching in body consciousness and movement, manual psychomotor treatment, relaxation and rehabilitation – 150 ECTS
- internship – 30 ECTS
- optinal elements for the individual student – 10 ECTS
- Bachelor thesis – 20 ECTS.
The subjects are: psychomotor development, relaxation, clinical practice, theory and methodology, group dynamics, psychology, pedagogy, ergonomics, ante and post-natal classes and obstetrics, somatic and psychiatric disorders, anatomy, physiology, social sciences and theory of science. Process orientation and the involvement of the entire personality of the student is a distinctive feature of the training. During their studies, students develop personal competencies like body consciousness, empathy and the relational skills. Interest in the study has increased enormously.
About 110 psychomotor therapists graduate every year.
The intervention areas are: movement and relaxation therapy, training, body consciousness and body experience, body therapy, treatment and rehabilitation, promotion of health, prevention, propagation and counselling. The professional intervenes in sectors of prevention, education, re-education, rehabilitation and therapy.
Psychomotor therapists are in public and private employment and work in: adult education, schools, continuation schools, municipal projects, crisis centres, counselling centres, day-care centres, day-care institutions, support teacher-corps, institutions for handicapped, residential home for children and young persons, after school arrangements, adulteducation, education consultant’s organisations, counselling organisations, athletic associations for elderly people, social and health services, psychiatry, district psychiatry, activity centres, treatment institutions, support-contact corps, ergonomic consultant organisations, project manager organisations, back schools, fitness centres.
Evidently, all age groups are overseen. There is no reimbursement by the social security system when one consults a psychomotortherapist in private practice. Psychomotor therapy is not considered potentially damaging to patients; therefore, there is no need for either an authorisation or a medical prescription.
Recognition is given by public employers by the signing of an agreement on working conditions and salary with the professional association. DAP had the first agreement signed in 1997.
Now DAP has an agreement in common with the other associations of the Health Confederation. Contracts with private employers are negotiated individually for the psychomotor therapist by DAP.
Psychomotor therapists working in their own practice can decide their own fees. As a guideline DAP has recommended fees.