Tina Cockett RDMP MA Cert Ed
Ballet lessons started me dancing at 6 years old. However it was later at secondary school I discovered expressive dance and the creative freedom of listening to my body. This inspired me to study Laban’s Art of Movement and Education at Trent Park College, now Middlesex University.
After qualifying as teacher I taught in a variety of London schools including those for pupils with special needs, before becoming Education Officer for Akademi South Asian Dance in UK. As one of South Asian Dance’s first Education Officers I pioneered theme-based project for schools with dancers, musicians and artists. As my interest in community-based work grew, I worked for a range of cultural and dance organisations, gaining experience with culturally diverse and socially excluded groups.
My love of dance and belief in its power to transform lives has been a constant theme in my life. As I became more interested in dance as a healing art I decided to train as a Dance Movement Psychotherapist. I studied at Roehampton University followed by a course in Medical Dance Movement Therapy at Drexel University, Philadelphia. Since qualifying I have worked in both mental health and palliative care settings facilitating groups with mental health problems, borderline personality disorder and early onset of dementia. I was one of the first dance movement psychotherapists within Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust Mental Health Services. I have also worked for MIND, Recovery Services and Hospice Day Centres within Surrey, and led workshops for clinicians and dance artists as part of their Continuous Professional Development.
In collaboration with Surrey Dance Development Officer I developed the creative movement element of a training course, ‘Seated Dance for Older Adults’ for dance artists, nursing staff and care assistants working with older adults with dementia in day centres and residential care homes.
My own personal practice has continued through working with Daria Halprin, the expressive arts therapist and co-founder of the Tamalpa Institute, and the late artist, author and therapist, Leah Bartel. I worked with Dr Jill Hayes of Chichester University for three years as a member of her Soul Soup group exploring a transpersonal approach to dance movement psychotherapy. Currently I am in private practice offering sessions for individuals, groups, and the mental health services.