Dance Movement Therapy - & Exercise and Health Psychology
About Marja Cantell, PhD
Marja Cantell is a Finnish born movement researcher and specialist who facilitates self-reflective and creative movement for individuals and groups in Europe and North-America. She has explored movement in different forms as long as she can remember, including dance, yoga, diving, sailing, x-country skiing, slalom, marathon running, hiking, kayaking, rowing, soccer, and volley ball.
In the exercise psychology context she offers consultation related to body image, physical activity, and healthy living. She is also available for body-based supervision for professionals in counseling, education and health care. 
Sointula Beach House, BC
Dr. Cantell is especially interested in the development and experience of physical self-perception and its impact to our relationships and well-being. She has expertise in children and adolescents with developmental challenges, e.g. children with movement difficulties, (sometimes called Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder, see below), and adolescents with body image challenges (e.g., eating disorders or concerns over overweight and obesity). In addition, she facilitates self-exploratory movement sessions for adults and elderly with and without chronic illness. 
On a more personal note, Marja finds it fascinating that gradually also the scientific model recognizes that we human beings are neurologically endowed with the capacity for mutual knowing, understanding and feeling. Recent neuroscientific findings postulate that our social capacity is a product of neurobiology and early interpersonal interactions
(see e.g., Gallese, Keysers, & Rizzolatti, 2002; Siegel, 1999, 2007). A more holistic understanding of body-mind interactions has begun to emerge in neuroscience and neurobiology (Berrol, 2006). It is thus possible to describe the process and outcome of body-mind practices, such as Dance Movement Therapy, using models that emphasize our artistic and creative needs as well as our innate need for mirroring and relationships. To put it simply:
We move to perceive ourselves in a relationship
to others and to our environment.
We move to express ourselves and to be seen
by the accepting other. 

I would like to dedicate my movement
journey to my mentors who have taught me how to be the choreographer of my own life:
Leah Bartal, Rosa Shreeves,
Dawne Larkin, Judith Slimmon and Anita Timmer. I am grateful for the shared paths. Thank you!
I'm also grateful of my family for creating my day to day oasis.
Dank je wel  & Kiitos
Photo: C. Richardson
MA in Clinical Psychology 1991; minor studies in sport science and exercise psychology
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Postgraduate Diploma in Dance Movement Therapy 1995
Roehampton University, UK
PhD in Psychology 1998
University of Lancaster, UK
Postdoctorate Fellowship in Human Movement Science 1999
University of Western Australia, Australia
University teacher training, 2000; 2013
University of Jyväskylä, Finland; University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Specialized movement training in Finland, UK, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands taught by reowned world experts:
Authentic Movement
Thank You to Marcia Plevin, Tina Stromstedt, Judith Koltai, Janet Adler
Movement Observation
Thank You to Penelope Best, Walli Meier, Katya Bloom, Mijna Hadders-Algra, Dawne Larkin, Darcy McGehee
Movement Anatomy
Thank You to Alice Cummins, Linda Hartley, Teija Häyrynen, Judith Koltai
Also courses in Jazz dance, Modern dance, African dance, Ashtanga Yoga, Sherborne Developmental Movement, Body Mind Centering, Contact Improvisation, Gabrielle Roth 5 Rhythms, Jungle Gym, Shindo, Psychomotricity, Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, Marja Putkisto Method, Inclusive Dance Theatre, Meditation, CoreConnexion, DanceAbility, BodyBalance, Energetic Dance, Franklin Methode, Moving Cycle, Dansimprovisatie, Somatic Movement
Specialized courses in creative and expressive arts
Thank You to Leah Bartal, Shaun McNiff and Carmen Richardson 
Work Experience
Clinical Psychology Intern 1989-1990
Occupational Psychologist 1991-1992
Dance Movement Facilitator 1995-
Lecturer in Exercise Psychology 1997-2002
A/Professor in Paediatrics 2002-2010 
Docent, Research Methodology in Psychology, 2011-2013 
A/Professor, Early Child Development, Special Educational Needs 2013-
                                       BC Rocks
Selected Writings about Movement
Developmental Psychology/Human Movement Science
Cantell, M., & Schoemaker, M. (2013). Reliability and validity of the Dutch version of the Little Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 55, Supplement 2, 52.
Cantell, M., Smyth, M. & Ahonen, T. (2003). Two distinct pathways for Developmental Coordination Disorder: Persistence and resolution. Human Movement Science, 22(4-5), 413-431.
Pediatric Exercise & Health Psychology
Cantell, M., Crawford, S., & Dewey, D. (2013). Daily physical activity in young children and their parents: A descriptive study. Pediatric Child Health, 17(3), e20-24.
Cantell, M., Crawford, S., & Doyle-Baker, P.K. (2008). Physical fitness and health indices in children, adolescents and adults with high or low motor competence. Human Movement Science, 27, 344-362.
Dance Movement Therapy
Ylonen, M., & Cantell, M. (2009). Kinesthetic narratives: Interpretations for children's dance therapy process. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 4(3), 1-16.
Cantell, M., & McGehee, D. (2006). Movement quality in children with developmental delay: midline and weight sensing as markers of adaptive movement development. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 1(2), 129-141.
See also McGehee & Cantell, 2009 in Dance Dialogues: conversations across clutures, artforms and practices, Proceedings of the 2008 World Dance Alliance Global Summit.
List of recent publications via the pubmed:
Effortti, Journal of the Finnish Dance Therapy Association can be accessed via:
Cantell, M. (2014). Runoja, Effortti, 8 (1), 39-41.
Cantell, M. (2011). Maailman varjo [The world umbrella]. Effortti, Journal, 5 (1), 24.
Cantell, M. (2010). Witnessing the Unknown Unfold. Effortti, 4(1), 12.
Cantell, M. (2008). Lähtijän ja palaajan aatoksia [Cycle of leaving and returning]. Effortti,2, 5-8. 
Cantell, M. (2002). Golden energy. Moving Journal, 9(1), 8.
See excerpts in the section called Some embodied thoughts"
                                     Venice, Italy
Please feel free to contact me
for a full CV and (electronic) copies of my articles and writings. This can be done with a contact form at the "Events and contact info" section.
Authentic Movement
Ashtanga and Aerial Yoga
Hiking & Cycling
X-country skiing & Downhill skiing
Paddling & Rowing

                                                                                Moraine Lake. AB
Related Links
Syntonics® and The Professional Guild and Masterclass of Embodied Practice®;
Franklin Methode:
Moving Cycle:
Physical activity and mental health:;
American Dance Therapy Association: 
Association of Dance Movement Therapy, UK:
Federatie Vaktherarapeutische Beroepen, NL:
Suomen tanssiterapia yhdistys/Dance Therapy Association, Finland: 
Tanssiterapiaa Jyväskylässä:
Tanssi- ja musiikkiterapiaa Lahdessa:
Authentic Movement:;
The School for Body-Mind Centering:
Contact Improvisation:
Prairie Institute of Expressive Arts Therapy in
Sensory Awareness Foundation:
Developmental movement, Sherborne International:
European Forum of
Calgary Jung Society:
Gabrielle Roth 5 Rhythms:
MoMo Mixed Ability Dance Theatre:
Danceability International:
Amici Dance Theatre Company:
Mindsight Institute:
Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC): 
Developmental Coordination Disorder:
Society for Arts in Healthcare:
                                    Naramata. BC