Graduate Diploma of Somatics and Dance-Movement Therapy

This course is an AQF Level 8 post graduate qualification in Somatics, Counselling and Dance Movement Therapy. Upon completion of the learning program graduates will be eligible for membership to the Dance Therapy Association of Australasia and registered as Dance Movement Therapists.

This course is intended to provide participants with the following general educational outcomes:

  • Movement and anatomical terminology
  • Body-oriented approaches in working with survivors of trauma & nervous system regulation through movement
  • Theoretical frameworks for delivering Dance Movement Therapy to a broad range of populations
  • Psychotherapy and counselling techniques in Somatics and Dance Movement Therapy
  • Movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional and motor functions

Entry into the course requires a qualification in movement/dance/bodywork/education or other Allied Health disciplines

Our Pilates and Somatics Training Courses are recognised by:

Who Should Attend
This Course?

Anyone interested in becoming a versatile, conscious and flexible therapist who understands that the ‘somatic body’ is where healing and the integration of mind and body occurs. Students will be guided in applying treatment techniques based on the principles of somatic exercise, expressive movement, touch, nervous system regulation, psychotherapy and client-centred counselling.

Graduate Diploma of Somatics and Dance-Movement Therapy

The therapeutic use of movement assists us to change within and in relationship to others. As we change our mode of action, our image of ourselves also changes.

  • Who am I?
  • How do I move?
  • Which parts of me work to express myself?
  • Where does my movement initiate?
  • Does my mind lead or follow?
  • Do I trust my body?

Most of human interaction is non-verbal and therapy is lacking if we don’t utilise this information, therefore we must enhance our skills in observing the non-verbal; generally presented to us in movement, gesture, posture, and expression.

In this course we introduce students to a framework and vocabulary for grasping this non-verbal data.

There are 5 Modules associated with the course. Each Module consists of smaller individual subjects some can be studied as independent short courses for Professional Development.

  • CPLMAT401 Apply anatomy and physiology to movement:
    • Skills and knowledge required to apply anatomy and physiology for movement to a range of target groups in a safe, effective and contemporary manner
    • Apply the foundations of structural kinesiology
    • Identify and describe neuromuscular fundamentals
    • Apply knowledge of basic kinesiology and anatomy when working with clients
  • NAT11068001 Plan and Facilitate Dance-Movement Therapy Sessions:
    • History, principles and practices of Somatics & Dance-Movement Therapy and cross cultural applications as a healing practice
    • Structure of a Somatics and Dance-Movement Therapy session
    • Design and facilitation of a Dance-Movement Therapy session
    • Evaluation processes in Somatics and Dance-Movement Therapy
    • Ethical practice with clients
    • Documentation of movement observations using  Observation Record Sheets
    • Knowledge of contemporary Movement Therapy theories
    • Working with the phenomenology surrounding mind/body connection
  • NAT11068002 Apply Laban Movement Analysis in Somatics and Dance-Movement Therapy:
    • Documentation of movement observations using Laban Movement Analysis 
    • Practicing the language of observing and describing movement 
    • Applying the tools necessary to understand and analyse movement
    • Documenting movement observations using a Movement Analysis Matrix
    • The initial focus will be on understanding and describing students’ own movement and how this relates to other internal and external aspects of Self and other
  • NAT11068003 Apply Developmental Movement concepts when working with clients
    • Incorporation of developmental movement patterns into working with clients and to 
    • Understanding how developmental movement influences physical, psychological and emotional development
    • Applying specific interventions including working with contact boundaries, symbolism, use of props and the power of metaphor
  • NAT11068004 Apply Counselling & Psychotherapy Interventions in Somatics &Dance-Movement Therapy:
    • Study of psychotherapeutic theories and models underpinning their application in SDMT
    • How to collect client information 
    • Planning and delivery of psychodynamic counselling sessions
    • Delivery of psychodynamic movement therapy sessions 
    • Reviewing and adapting Dance Movement Therapy sessions
    • Identification of clients’ psychological needs
    • Attachment Theory, Object Relations
    • Application of counselling skills and concepts integrating a mind, body and emotions 
    • Application of psychodynamic concepts during Movement Therapy sessions with clients
    • Identifying dysfunctional movement patterns from a somatic awareness perspective
    • How to work from a person-centred approach as a model for working with clients to provide students with a comprehensive model that offers direct practical application to working as a Somatics and Dance Movement Therapist (SDMT)
  • CHCCSL006 Select and Use Counselling Therapies:
    • Analysing clients’ needs, issues and desired changes to be addressed
    • Utilising a variety of counselling therapies and combining techniques and processes
    • Identification and consideration of co-existing issues in selecting courses of action
    • Interpreting information about counselling therapies and determining their application, benefits and limitations in addressing clients’ needs
    • Client referral, reporting and review
    • Reflection and review of one’s own role as a therapist/counsellor 
    • Maintaining and enhancing knowledge of emerging trends
  • NAT11068006 Work with the nervous system to regulate emotional, psychological and physiological states:
    • This unit enables graduates to work with the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems
    • Students will develop skills to assist clients address the psychological, emotional and physiological relationships in their nervous systems; and view applications through a Poly Vagal lense
    • Understanding the Nervous System through sensing the body and the actions affecting the function of the body aids client healing
    • Anatomy and function of the Nervous System is explored in depth
  • NAT11068005 Kinaesthetic and Tactile Applications in SDMT:
    • This unit is a hands-on, practical approach 
    • Students develop useful tactile skills and methods for application with clients
    • The therapeutic relationship can be enhanced through kinaesthetic and tactile interventions, which can be a significant contribution towards enabling a client to effect change
    • Safety is also foundational to any SDMT work, and this is addressed on both physical and other levels to support the therapeutic process
  • NAT11068007 Plan and deliver Somatics and Dance Movement Therapy sessions for groups:
    • This unit explores further observation and analysis skills, appropriate assessment of client needs in a group context
    • Setting therapeutic goals and successful planning of DMT interventions for working with groups
    • Theory of group dynamics
    • Music and prop selection; and how to establish empathy and shape connection through movement
  • NAT11068008 Apply theoretical concepts of Somatics and Movement when working with specific populations:
    • This unit outlines the role of the therapist and the process of developing empathy and attunement with clients across a range of populations 
    • Students will study and practice many applications of SDMT aimed at developing necessary skills and potential tools of practice as they prepare to facilitate ongoing SDMT sessions
    • Attunement, empathy and the dyadic union
    • The theory of developing a theoretical model including needs assessment, specificity of techniques, goals of treatment and effective planning movement interventions related to the therapeutic process are also covered in this unit
  • NAT11068009 Apply DMT to work with trauma clients:
    • Trauma can contribute to individuals having an impaired capacity for connection to self and others, and the result in a diminished aliveness which may well underlie development of psychological and physiological problems. 
    • Using DMT as an intervention with clients living with trauma aims to assist clients to restore connection both within and with other
    • Theory and affect of trauma on individual development and safety 
    • Tools for guiding clients through the process of freeing internal barriers 
    • Blocks are inherently related to nervous system dysregulation, disruptions in attachment and distortions of identity and can be addressed through movement
    • How to incorporate movement and somatic practices to support the development of a healthy capacity for connection and aliveness
  • BSBINS603
    • Gain an introductory understanding of the professional and ethical requirements to practice as a Dance Movement Therapist
    • Undertake sound research skills and prepare client notes, report, and port folios, including literature reviews, searches and citations in DMT theory & practice 
    • Communicate function and benefits of DMT to other professionals, potential clients, funders, and stakeholders


Subjects may be undertaken individually as Professional Development to meet the requirements of Professional Associations.


Studies in Allied Health Professions and prior experience in movement or exercise

Pre-course Study:

Completion of online anatomy and workplace health and safety units


2 years – 1 ½ years coursework and 6-12 months Clinical Practice

Course Materials

Access to state of the art learning management system housing course content, assessments and extensive reference library


Additional assessment activities and attendance at online student tutorials apply




Finance Available

Government grants and payment plans are available. Find out which option is right for you.

Book a call to go over payment options

Why this Course?

  • It is the only Government Accredited course in Australia for Allied Health professionals in Somatic Movement Therapy that provides a direct pathway to membership of DTAA.
  • Become a more effective therapist by working somatically
  • This course integrates the principles of movement, touch and verbal therapy into one therapeutic method
  • The workshop component of the course is practical– you get to experience the work and in your own body
  • You will gain understanding of possible applications, in individual/group Somatics and Dance-Movement Therapy
  • Develop understanding of various approaches to movement observation & analysis
  • You will be able to identify your own movement preferences, held patterns, restrictions using these approaches to better serve clients’ needs
  • Develop practical skills and understanding the role of the nervous system in self regulation
Trusted trainers for

Praise From Our Students And Graduates

‘….I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Queen St Pilates Studio, feeling
very welcomed and included into a great group of people. Leanne is an
incredible teacher, I admire her passion and dedication to her
students and work place. I felt very supported throughout my face to
face learning time with her….’

Kerryn Mundy Adelaide

I have recently completed my Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology with Tensgrity Training and in partnership with Queen St Pilates Studio and absolutely loved every minute of it!

Leanne kept us all so engaged throughout the course and was able to challenge us, without pushing us over the edge. Leanne was professional, inspiring, supportive and filled with so much knowledge … it was a privilege to do the course with her.  Leanne is so passionate about Pilates, our bodies and our overall health, it created a positive and enjoyable atmosphere to learn in.

Queen St Pilates studio was also the perfect environment to undertake the course, with so much support provided by all the current instructors and reception staff.

Mandy Neller

I feel the practical assessments is allowed me to feel confident in my understanding of the exercises. I thoroughly enjoyed this part!! Practicing how to explain an exercise and personally knowing how to do them was my challenge, that I’ve now overcome. I will confidently use my learning from this course to teach Pilates classes at the studio I now work in. I’m very excited to be ‘officially’ getting started on my journey as an Instructor!!

Lauren Central Coast NSW

‘…Kaz was simply amazing. She explained and demonstrated to us so well
and we were able to pick everything up so quickly…’

Ashlee Huntly Deniliquin, NSW

“All the knowledge and repertoire that I learnt will 100% stay with me and I will pass this knowledge on through my work with clients. I will endeavour to utilise similar explanations when teaching clients how to use any for of Pilates equipment.”

K.M. South Australia

I enjoyed the academic and physical components of the course equally. I am very fortunate to have been offered work in a Studio, so everything I learnt in the Course has proved invaluable. Thank you! I also feel well prepared to teach and confident to ask questions and seek guidance from Tensegrity if needed. They are so supportive of current and past students.

Alana Hobart, Tasmania

“….Caroline (Caz) broke the days up well with a balance of completing the
practical and theory components. She was very flexible in her delivery
and allowed us to ask questions are we went. She also made it specific
and relevant to our needs and experience level e.g. desire for more
Pelvic floor set up etc. We would have loved even more time with her,
the course was incredibly valuable. All team members at Tensegrity
have been very helpful and approachable to help with our questions and
enquiries. Thank You!…..”

Jenna Kaine Deniliquin, NSW

‘…..I was very fortunate to have Leanne Mollison as my teacher who kept me
motivated and engaged the entire time. Given Leanne is so passionate
and knowledgeable about Pilates, she was able to ignite a spark in me,
allowing me to be so excited about being a Pilates instructor.
Leanne’s method of teaching of ensuring we are all totally immersed in
the world of Pilates and the required anatomy knowledge, had the
greatest impact on me as I was able to learn the material so much
quicker and easier. Leanne was so supportive and she was able to
challenge us without pushing us over the edge….’

Mandy Neller Adelaide

‘….I undertook my Diploma of Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology with Tensegrity Training in 2015. For me, it was a total career change having spent the previous 10 years practicing as a litigation attorney. After years of doing Pilates for my own body and experiencing its many benefits, I decided to turn it into a career. The training I did with Tensegrity gave me the skills and the knowledge to work for myself, support my young family, be more present at home and to teach others the joy of Pilates.

The course is well structured, beginning with an understanding of anatomy before diversifying into content that covers both the theoretical as well as practical aspects of the Pilates method, including how to operate a Pilates business. Tracey is a charismatic and passionate teacher whose extensive knowledge is founded in many disciplines, resulting in an educational experience that goes beyond ‘just Pilates.’ In this course you are challenged to think independently, to deduce, differentiate, apply and justify what you are taught. You are required to think critically, logically and thoughtfully in order to successfully and accurately apply what you know to any given scenario. This is how all Pilates courses should be, in order that students enter the profession as self-contained, independent thinkers. The Diploma provides a solid foundation from which to begin your Pilates career.

The learning environment at Tensegrity is relaxed, beautiful and collegiate, and there is opportunity for continuing professional development after you have completed your initial training.

After completing my training with Tensegrity, I worked for a number of studios around the Sunshine Coast before opening my own small, boutique studio. I have a dedicated clientele and delight in what I do every day. For me, witnessing the difference Pilates makes to my clients’ physical and mental health is the greatest reward. I am forever grateful to Tracey at Tensegrity for encouraging me along this path….’

Deborah Commins Sunshine Coast

‘…I valued the presenters hands-on experience, working knowledge and passion of the content. The presenters were very collaborative and encouraged EVERYONE to contribute and express their opinion, which made for a very inclusive learning environment.….’

Louise Osborne Melbourne

The quality of the training provided by Tensegrity Training was excellent. The modelling was impressive, and they demanded and succeeded in getting the best from each of us. I was challenged and encouraged greatly as a result. The requirement to complete observations sessions was greatly appreciated as I learnt a great deal from viewing qualified instructors. I was impressed by my trainer’s knowledge and mastery of her craft. Inspirational!

Marney NSW

I recently completed the group reformer course though Tensegrity training at Queen St Pilates Studio in Adelaide. Over the three fantastic days of face-to-face training, I was able to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the body and the benefits and versatility of the reformer. Being only 1 of 5 people in this course meant that we were very interactive with the teacher and were able to ask frequent questions, create relative conversations, and feed off of each others ideas. It also meant that we could all use each other to demonstrate and create scenarios, and the instructor was almost always available to tend to us.

The online theory was thorough and simple to follow, which prepared me well for the hands on learning. Ample time was provided to complete the assessments away from the studio, and I loved having to put my knowledge to the test using real life scenarios and putting together class plans for different injuries, ages and fitness abilities. I think this type of learning prepares you extremely well for taking on clients. It was only a week after the course that I taught my first reformer class and it was incredible. I felt like I knew how to tend to each participant based on their abilities and knew how to modify/progress them. It felt extremely natural. I am still teaching at this pilates studio in Moonta Bay and over the course of these past few months I feel like the information I was provided with through Tensegrity has sunk in and progressed, and has not only been of high value to myself, but to the studio and its clients as well.

I have also now completed the face to face component of the Certificate IV in Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology.

Lucy Prior

Clinical Practice hours were valuable time spent under supervision getting hands on training in a safe and supportive environment.  I had “lightbulb” moments throughout the training with certain phrases, cues or knowledge that the trainer shared with us.  The dots started to slowly join. I really enjoyed the Cadillac training and feel confident to go ahead and instruct in all aspects of Pilates instruction.

I have taken away the knowledge acquired in the Integrated Diploma and put it into practice at the Pilates & Yoga studio where I now teach. I am seeing better results and from clients in my classes and have had great feedback. I have learnt so much about my own body and now have a deeper understanding of both my personal Pilates practice and teaching.

Kelly Brisbane Queensland

‘…Bruce’s communication style and his ability to enable me to “feel” what muscles were engaging was outstanding…’

Mike Fitsimon Melbourne

‘…..From as young as I can remember my mum has always been bringing me along to Pilates. It wasn’t until I was around 15 that I started taking interest and going myself. I always loved that ‘after class feeling’ and the perfect balance of strength and flexibility.

Along with my new found love of Pilates soon followed a passion for an all round healthy lifestyle. This is where my Pilates journey really began.

Three days before my 16th birthday I started my Certificate IV in my sunny home town of Port Macquarie.

With my teacher and mentor being my mum, it was such an enjoyable experience I gained a deeper awareness of my body. It was through my certification and passion for healthy living that I began my degree of Naturopathy and relocated to Geelong  Victoria. It was here that I fell in love with Hot Pilates and started teaching at Upstate Studios. With the classes having up to 60 students each, every class has such a high vibe and is always nothing but fun.

I feel so grateful to have a job that I truly enjoy and is flexible around my studies. I hope to continue teaching and one day have my own studio. I couldn’t be more grateful!….’

Lilly Howard Port Macquarie

The course thoroughly covered safe movement for various conditions and rehabilitation exercises for various pathologies. As most people have some sort of physical issue, I thought this was extremely valuable. Every aspect of the course was so valuable and had a positive impact on my Pilates teacher learning journey.

Tamsyn Deloraine, Tasmania

‘….The entire day was super informative and working with Bruce was wonderful! He was very good at explaining everything and the day was great! There were a lot of phrases and explanations that Bruce used that have stuck with me since Sunday!…”

Bella Sammut Smeaton Grange, NSW- Western Sydney

‘….Further information around achieving neutral spine through various
exercises. Greater depth of understanding of Cadillac repertoire. I
very much enjoyed learning form Bruce who not only has extensive
knowledge & experience, but has a very inclusive and approachable
teaching style….’

Vanessa Killen Melbourne

I have recently completed Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology through Queen St Pilates Studio and Tensegrity Training. I found the learning environment that Leanne Mollison has created at her studio to be very supportive no matter what background the student may have. The course prepares you to enter your career as Pilates instructor both from a technical and physical perspective with lots of opportunities to practice and perfect your teaching style along the way. Leanne is a wealth of knowledge and keeps the course interesting and engaging for the students. After completing my face to face hours of the Cours I gained work in the industry and that is a testament to the quality of my knowledge and teaching skills gained from the course. I highly recommend the course offered through Queen St Pilates Studio to anyone who is looking at becoming a Pilates instructor.

Jessica Bajic

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