Ways of Seeing International Webinar

Theoretical Focus

Ways of Seeing is a creative arts therapy approach primarily based on dance/movement psychotherapy. The word Seeing in the title is used to emphasize that there are many ways to look, to assess, and to receive information about self and other. The intricate relationship between the developing brain and mind, body and emotion are emphasized in Ways of Seeing. The information is gleaned through nonverbal observation and activities that support attuned listening and interaction. Ways of Seeing highlights the essential roles of the moving body, multi-sensory embodied experience, and nonverbal communication across the lifespan. Ways of Seeing focuses on how infant and early childhood experience influences individual development throughout life. The aim of Ways of Seeing work with babies, young children and families is to understand the role of movement, multi-sensory experience, and the nonverbal exchange in the growing attachment relationship. Drawing from Dr. Tortora’s international teaching, the Ways of Seeing program provides extensive ethnic, cultural and racial diversity.

Ways of Seeing Method

Ways of Seeing’s creative arts therapy approach utilizes dance, movement, art, music, motor development, body awareness, visualization, mindfulness and relaxation activities, and play to provide assessment, intervention and educational support for children and their families. It is based on the nonverbal observational analysis principles of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), neuroscience, infancy and early childhood developmental theory, movement and motor development, research and practice, and dance/movement therapy principles.

Ways of Seeing Activity Highlights

The specific individual, dyadic and group activities enhance the young child’s growing sense of self, physically, socially, emotionally, expressively, and cognitively. Babies will explore the brain-mind-body-emotion connection as they move through each stage of motor and movement development from pre-rolling, crawling, creeping, pulling-up, walking, and running. The activities strengthen regulatory capacity linking body states to emotional states and include mindfulness-focused experiences adapted to be age appropriate. The dance and movement based parent-child activities are specifically designed to support the attachment relationship. A central element of the programs is to develop parents' understanding and ability to read their child’s nonverbal cues. These activities are suitable for wellness, prevention and intervention programs.

The idea of the Ways of Seeing international webinar-based training program came out of Dr. Tortora's teaching engagements around the world over the last 25 years. She has met many students that are deeply interested in continuing to work with her and are dedicated to supporting families and children. Dr. Tortora's vision is to enable students to take the Ways of Seeing advance level training while simultaneously having the opportunity to meet each other, developing an international network of Ways of Seeing professionals.

The Ways of Seeing training is structured as a discussion and experiential webinar that meets for 1-1/2 hours, two times a month for 4 semesters. The full training is 2 school calendar years. It is designed to provide the students to process and review the information with supplemental readings, homework assignments and meeting together in small online groups between the webinar meetings. The primary goals of the Ways of Seeing training are to:

  1. Understand the powerful expressiveness of nonverbal communication in the infant, young child and the family dynamics.

  2. Enhance nonverbal observation skills in individual and multiple person exchanges.

  3. Learn specific nonverbal assessment and intervention tools to address the specific needs of young children and families with a variety of difficulties.

  4. Learn how nonverbal embodied experiences can be used as a therapeutic tool to support the capacity to develop attuned secure relationships.

  5. Learn appropriate movement-based activities that support the baby’s development on all levels – social, emotional, cognitive, communicative, motor.

  6. Explore specific activities that nurture the baby’s motor/movement development; stimulate the sensorimotor system; connect visual, auditory and motor processing; promote nervous system regulation; and inform the development of a sense of self.

  7. Learn activities that support new parents and provide playful ways for parent and baby to develop their attachment relationship.

  8. Deepen knowledge of infant mental health research, theory and practice as it relates to the attachment relationship.

  9. Discuss how the emerging neuroscience research supports the embodied experience and influences development along the whole life span.

  10. Create an international network of practitioners interested in the role of the role of embodied experience in typical and challenged development along the life span with a specialization in infant and early childhood development.

Topics and Populations

Topics include issues of attachment, early trauma, anxiety, postpartum depression, adoption, attention deficit and hyperactivity (ADD, ADHD) medical illness and children with developmental issues including sensory processing, communication delay, the effects of early medical illness and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Learning Experiences

The course meets live for one-and-a-half hours, two times a month, ten class semesters. The full training is in four semesters, over two school calendar years. Students meet in small groups online in-between the full class meetings to work on group homework assignments. Individual supervision through a video chat program such as Zoom can be arranged for an additional fee. The unique international focus of the training will allow students from around the world to work collaboratively throughout this training program.

Course Credits

120 hours for continuing education (CE) credits for the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) for dance/movement therapists: R-DMT and BC-DMT

8 credits earned for allied professionals pursuing the ADTA Alternate Route Certification

60 In-Person New York state LCSW, LMSW, LCAT or LMHC Continuing Education (CE) credits over the 2-year training program


  1. Lecture

  2. Discussion and processing small and whole group

  3. Video tape examples

  4. Group analysis of video tapes

  5. Dyadic, small group and whole group hands-on learning

  6. Worksheets using the Ways of Seeing tools

  7. Dialogue about strategies and application of theory into practice

  8. Student case study presentations for group discussion

  9. Personal experiential exploration

  10. Reflective activities for personal and professional growth

Year 1

Focus on the Ways of Seeing Dance/Movement Psychotherapy Method


How to observe and understand the communicative elements of an individuals’ nonverbal personal movement style through a WOS dance/movement therapy lens; work with WOS observational tools: Interactional Behavioral Log (IBL), Behavioral Descriptions Worksheet (BDW), Daily Notes Form (DNF), Movement Signature Impressions (MSI); the essential role of the moving body, multisensory embodied experience, and nonverbal communication across the life span; the intricate relationship between the developing brain and mind, body and emotion; dance/movement therapy tools e.g. mirroring and attunement, breath and other body awareness activities; exploring embodied countertransference during the treatment experience; introduction to infant mental health theory and research including attachment theory.


Case study material from Dr. Tortora’s clinical practice and from each student’s work including but not limited to: birth trauma; developmental delays; sensory processing disorder; attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) medical illness; speech and language communication delay; autism spectrum disorder (ASD); parent- child interaction dysfunction; disorders of attachment; learning disorders.

Year 2

Sharpening Skills with Infants, Young Children, and Families


The second year of the program focuses on applying the Ways of Seeing Dance/Movement Psychotherapy Method to create a deeper understanding of Infant Mental Health (IMH) and Early Childhood Development. Students will learn the Ways of Seeing assessment tool D.A.N.C.E., a nonverbal analysis tool that incorporates key points of IMH within the context of observing and assessing core nonverbal qualitative cues and styles of the infant and parent-infant dyad.The unique nonverbal style of each parent is observed individually as well as within the context of the parent-child relationship to determine self-regulatory and dyadic co-regulatory patterns. Invited guests in the field of Infant Mental Health (IMH) that will teach within each 10-week semester.


Training for Dance/Movement Therapists:

This training is for dance/movement therapists that are interested in advancing their understanding of young children, families and infant mental health within the context of dance/ movement psychotherapeutic treatment. They must have completed a Masters level degree in dance/movement therapy or higher in the USA or a comparable program in another country. Priority will be given to those therapists who have experience with Ways of Seeing through a workshop or previous training*. Participants will need to have at least one child/ family that they can observe and work with so they can apply and participate in group discussions using the Ways of Seeing principles.

Training for Allied Professionals:

This training is for allied professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, other medical professionals, occupational therapists, physical therapists, infant mental health, teachers, mind-body professionals and early childhood specialists who are interested in enhancing their nonverbal observation skills; understanding the role of embodied experience in development; and using creative arts – based activities to support the infant–parent relationship and early childhood development. Participants will need to have at least one child/ family that they can observe and work with so they can apply and participate in group discussions using the Ways of Seeing principles.

Training Objectives:

  • Basic knowledge of the theoretical concepts of the Ways of Seeing dance/movement psychotherapy program

  • Understand the role of movement in all areas of development from typically developing to special needs children ages infant to teens

  • Learn specific age appropriate movement, dance and play activities that support attuned parent-child engagement; and enhance physical, cognitive, communicative and social/emotional development

  • Basic knowledge of attachment theory and current neuroscience as it relates to mind-body-emotion relationship

  • Strengthen nonverbal observation skill using Ways of Seeing tools

Training Program Content Overview

  • Synthesize dance/movement therapy (DMT) practice, infant mental health research, attachment theory, neuroscience, Laban movement analysis nonverbal observation, sensory processing and early childhood development and learning

  • Provide a Dance/Movement Psychotherapists-based system to work with family dynamics through the use of nonverbal observation, movement, body awareness, verbal and music-based activities

  • Focus on early childhood development and as it relates to typical and special needs

  • Learn how to create a program that covers the spectrum from wellness group classes – to individual and parent-child dyadic therapeutic sessions

  • Application of the Ways of Seeing program with a variety of populations including: children with special needs and physical disabilities; autism spectrum disorders (ASD); early childhood trauma; postpartum depression; sensory processing disorder (SPD); medical illness; and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders (ADD/ADHD)

  • Learn how this early childhood understanding informs therapeutic practice into adulthood

  • Explore counter-transference through a 3 part embodied self-observation process

  • Maintain a journal throughout the course to support self- analysis focusing on prominent personal childhood themes

  • Students will develop a personal understanding of this material as they explore these themes through their own nonverbal styles of relating.

Required Reading

Tortora. S. (2011). The Dancing Dialogue: Using the Communicative Power of Movement with Young Children.  Baltimore, MD; Paul H Brookes Publishing Co.

Tortora. S. (2011). The Dancing Dialogue: Using the Communicative Power of Movement with Young Children. Baltimore, MD; Paul H Brookes Publishing Co.

My experience with Ways of Seeing 2017: What sticks out to me the most about my experience of WOS is that in our very first class, Suzi had us all take a deep breath together. In that moment, I felt connected. In that moment, I felt seen and supported by DMT’s all over the world. And, I was sensing and seeing them too. We were in this together, not just visually through our computer screens, but in our bodies too. It is rare to have an educational experience as rich as the one I had in WOS. Because we are working with body wisdom, it is inevitable that we all not only grew professionally but also personally. And, we knew we were being deeply understood throughout the process. Anyone can learn new approaches at any time in their professional development, but to have the work connect you to your soul’s way of working and a beautiful community of professionals is an amazing gift that WOS authentically brings to its students.
— Candy L. Beers-Kim, M.S., R-DMT Pediatric Sleep and Attuned Families Consultant, candybeers-kim.com