DANCE/MOVEMENT THERAPY: USING THE BODY AS A VEHICLE TO MINDFUL, HEALTHY LIVING

Kayla Marie McClellan

Abstract


The purpose of this project was to become educated in the field of the psychotherapeutic practice of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) and implement its techniques into a group within the Tallahassee community. Specifically, monitoring the group for positive behavioral and emotional progressions throughout the project. Originally executed as an IDEA Grant recipient, I conducted the research in two parts: the attendance to a five day workshop in DMT at Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire, and, the adaptation of DMT exercises to work with homeless and at-risk youth at Someplace Else Crisis Shelter in Tallahassee, Florida. Video and photo evidence was strictly prohibited at the shelter because the organization acts as a safe haven for a transient community of 10-17 year olds with varied living situations. Throughout the project I noted and analyzed physical, verbal, and emotional responses from the children before, during, and after the movement exercises. The results of the project support the growing idea in Psychology that DMT can benefit clients in ways that typical Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy) cannot offer alone. Incorporating DMT into Someplace Else Crisis Shelter’s program provided evidence that movement affinities and conscious interventions within those affinities can reflect and alter psychological health. 


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