Developmental movement therapy

Play is your child’s first way of learning

Children love to move. Your child’s first learning comes through his relationship with you and his little world, as he moves, touches and senses. 

Developmental movements of early childhood create primary neural networks that organize a child’s brain.  These neural connections are vital bridges between your child’s body and mind. While in utero, in his birth journey, during infancy, and through the early years your child develops her mind, brain and body in developmental movement.

Movement with purpose

You can foster every arena of your child’s development through movement, and fill in any gaps in milestones if your child has challenges or has skipped them. 

Support for your child’s journey 

Your session begins with assessment and therapy activities. We will begin building a home program, which changes over the course of sessions. Learn what you can expect in a session for your child

Foster every arena of development

Children want to move, and are intrinsically motivated to fulfill their own development. Developmental movements support your child in fostering:

  • Emerging sense of self – grounded confidence
  • Emotional & social intelligence – create connection and compassion
  • Learning readiness – build attention asset vs attention deficit
  • Physical integrity – coordination, strength, and postural alignment

Fill in the gaps

Many children don’t fulfill their developmental movements in their first years so may need help to fill in the gaps. Every child has innate intelligence in his body-mind. I help your child awaken these inner capacities, so that development can take off on its own. With access to his own somatic resources of body and mind, your child can embark on his own journey in his evolving spiral of development. If your child has skipped earlier developmental activities, we can adapt activities for playful, engaged games and hands-on help that are appropriate to her age and stage.

When a child experiences developmental delay or profound challenges, therapy meets your child in her current capacity and paces activities to move development along, one baby step at a time. 

Find more about how the developmental movements form a child’s emerging mind.  Learn just what these early developmental movements are.

Developmental play

Baby Quinn came at 5 months to relieve very painful breastfeeding after a difficult birth and C-section. Resolving this, we helped her get comfortable in tummy time, rolling and coming in and out of sitting to move along in her developmental activities.

Development naturally unfolds

Parents Annie and Nick started tummy time from the beginning that enabled Desmond to easily build his own developmental movement skills and explore his little world. 

Help for your child’s journey

Assessment & therapy

We start with your concerns and desires for your child. During developmental movement sessions, I assess which specific movement patterns and sensory systems may be lagging for your child.  Poorly organized sensory and movement systems undermine children’s ability to fulfill their own development.  Unfulfilled developmental movements, including immature reflexes, can stall out areas of a child’s development.

Catherine’s early intervention and well-child services support well rounded child development, drawing on a somatic approach to both bodywork therapies and developmental movement therapy, all specific to early childhood.

Developmental movement sessions are engaged playtimes which help babies and young children do simple, innate activities that grow well balanced brains and bodies.

Home program – Developmental movement therapy

We begin building a home program in the first session. Developmental movement therapy is the source of the powerful home program that activates developmental drivers. Parents learn to carry out simple, early movements that tap into inner resources within your child to awaken his emerging mind.  

Your day to day activities with your child is the most effective approach to help your child’s mind develop.  We can help your growing baby and young child fulfill his natural development, so he can reap lifelong body-mind benefits of ease in learning, a secure sense of self, as well as strength and grace. 

  • Individualized to your child
  • Playful movement activities for you and your child to take part in
  • Your child’s nervous system learns best from consistent, daily experience of helpful activities
  • Simple to start, building to full developmental home program as needed
  • Learn specific hands-on and movement activities that make a difference
  • Parenting connection and support
  • Effective day to day help by you for your child
  • As your child reaches milestones, your home program is revised
  • Home program means fewer therapy sessions for your child, so is more affordable for your family 

What to expect in a session

Catherine provides responsive care with priority for your child’s trust and comfort.  We follow your child’s lead in session with your guidance and goals. The therapy space is set up for play.  Bring your child’s favorite toys, books and activities. We will be seated on the floor for engaged play and bodywork. 

Your child’s first session includes a comprehensive intake, assessment, therapy, and beginning home program. Session length is dependent on your child’s capacity for attention. Usually developmental movement therapy sessions are 1:30 hours, but may run longer or shorter for subsequent sessions. Developmental movement therapy child sessions are all held at Catherine’s therapy space in Minneapolis.

My objective in session is to provide therapy for your child and a home program for you, so that together we can help your child move forward.

What Catherine brings to support with your family