Dance Movement Therapy



 Dance/Movement Therapy Studies

Berrol C, Ooi W, Katz S. (1997). Dance/movement therapy with older adults who have sustained neurological insult: A demonstration project. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 19(2), 135-160.

Cohen S, Walco G. (1999). Dance/movement therapy for children and adolescents with cancer. Cancer Practice, 7(1), 34-42.

Dance/movement therapy is introduced as a holistic approach to children’s health issues, incorporating an array of medical, psychological, social, and spiritual issues. Dance/movement therapy, with its unique emphasis on nonverbal communication in assessment and treatment, is presented as an innovative therapeutic approach to address the comprehensive needs of children and adolescents with cancer. Dance/movement therapy assessment and intervention strategies are discussed in the context of cognitive, emotional, and social developmental processes, as well as models of stress and psychological adjustment in pediatric cancer. The inclusion of dance/movement therapy as part of the interdisciplinary team addressing the psychosocial needs of children and adolescents with cancer facilitates greater integration of factors related to coping. By its very nature, this modality offers constructs that promote holistic approaches to cancer care.

Dibbel-Hope S. (2000). The use of dance/movement therapy in psychological adaptation to breast cancer. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 27(1), 51-68.

This article aims to address the psychological effects of cancer and how dance/movement therapy can play a role in improving the psychological frame of mind of these female patients. The author focuses on three main criteria, including fear of death and grief over multiple losses, anxiety over bodily disfigurement, and worry about alienation from others. These concerns may be expressed through somatic, interpersonal or psychiatric symptoms. More specifically, the author looked at disturbance of mood, increased level of distress, distorted body-image, and diminished self-esteem.

Erwin-Grabner T, Goodill S, Hill ES, Von Neida K. (1999). Effectiveness of dance/movement therapy on reducing test anxiety. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 21(1), 19-34.

Investigated whether dance/movement therapy  is an effective intervention for reducing symptoms of test anxiety.

Goodill S. (2005). Research Letter: Dance/Movement therapy for adults with cystic fibrosis: Pilot data on mood and adherence. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 11(1), 76-77.

This study explores the how dance/movement therapy can improve quality-of-life for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). This disease can affect one’s body image, quality-of-life, mood, and adherence.
Hartshorn K, Olds L, et al. (2001). Creative movement therapy benefits children with autism. Early Childhood Development and Care, 166, 1-5.

Heber L. (1993). Dance movement: A therapeutic program for psychiatric clients. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 29(2), 22-29.

Assessed the effectiveness of dance movement therapy  on 204 psychiatric clients (aged 18-60 yrs) diagnosed as underactive or depressed.

Hokkanen L, Rantala L, et al. (2003). Dance/movement therapeutic methods in management of dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51(4), 576-577.

Examined the use of dance/movement therapeutic methods in the management of dementia.

Koshland L, Wittaker J, Wilson B. (2004). PEACE through dance/movement: Evaluating a violence prevention program. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 26(2), 69-90.

This pilot research evaluated the use of a 12-week dance/movement therapy-based violence prevention program with 54 multicultural elementary school children.  The program used a dance/movement therapy group process that focused on socialization and engagement of children in creative, problem solving experiences. Pro-social behaviors and methods of self-control were introduced using movement, children’s stories and discussion.

Rainbow T. (2005). Effects of dance movement therapy on Chinese cancer patients: A pilot study in Hong Kong. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 32, 337-345.

This study aims to investigate the benefits of dance/movement therapy on coping with the effects of cancer in Hong Kong.

Sandel S, Judge J, Landry N, et al. (2005). Dance and movement program improves quality-of-life measures in breast cancer survivors. Cancer Nursing, 28(4), 301-309.

A pilot research study was conducted at 2 cancer centers in Connecticut to determine the effect of a dance and movement program on quality of life and shoulder function in breast cancer survivors treated within the prior 5 years.

Serlin I, Classen C, Frances B, & Angell K. (2000). Symposium: Support groups for women with breast cancer: Traditional and alternative expressive approaches. The Arts In Psychotherapy, 27(2), 123-138.

This article offers an overview of the history, development, and current state of the profession of dance/movement therapy. Information is presented on educational training for dance/movement therapists, practice issues, and assessment tools. Reviews of some of the research, research applications, and resources for learning more information about dance/movement therapy are included.

Shennum W. (1987). Expressive activity therapy in residential treatment: Effects on children’s behavior in the treatment milieu. Child & Youth Care Quarterly, 16(2), 81-90.

Examined the effects of an art and dance/movement therapy program on the behavior of 42 emotionally and behaviorally disturbed 6-12 yr olds in residential treatment.

Straton D. (2000).  The Phoenix Club: A Programme for Adults Who Were traumatized in Childhood. Traumatology, Volume v1, Issue 4, Article 6

Westbrook B, McKibben H. (1989). Dance/movement therapy with groups of outpatients with Parkinson’s disease. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 11(1), 27-38.

Hypothesized that dance/movement therapy (DMT) would be more effective that exercise in outpatient treatment of Parkinson’s disease patients.


Apter A, Sharir I, Tyano S, Wijsenbeek H. (1978). Movement therapy with psychotic adolescents. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 51(2), 155-159.

Brooks D, Stark A. (1989). The effect of dance/movement therapy on affect: A pilot study. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 11(2), 101-112.

Cervasco A, Kennedy R. (2005). Comparison of movement-to-music, rhythm activities, and competitive games on depression, stress, anxiety, and anger of females in substance abuse rehabilitation. Journal of Music Therapy, 42(1), 64-80.

Cruz R, Sabers D. (1998). Dance/movement therapy is more effective than previously reported. Arts in Psychotherapy, 25(2), 101-104.

Dosamantes-Alperson E, Merrill N. (1980). Growth effects of experiential movement psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 17(1), 63-68.

Goodill, SW (2005) An Introduction to Medical Dance/Movement Therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.

Grodner S, Braff D, et al. (1982). Efficacy of art/movement therapy in elevating mood. Arts in Psychotherapy, 9(3), 217-225.

Hamburg J, Clair A. (2003). The effects of a Laban-based movement program with music on measures of balance and gait in older adults. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 28(1), 212-226.

Kim C, June K, Song R. (2003). Effects of a health-promotion program on cardiovascular risk factors, health behaviors, and life satisfaction in institutionalized elderly women. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 40(4), 375-381.

Kuettel T. (1982). Affective change in dance therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 5, 56-64.

Loughlin E. (1993). “Why was I born among mirrors?” Therapeutic dance for teenage girls and women with Turner Syndrome. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 15(2), 107-124.

Low K, Ritter M. (1998). “Dance/movement therapy is more effective than previously reported”: Response to Cruz and Sabers. Arts in Psychotherapy, 25(2), 105-107.

Malley S, Dattilo J, Gast D. (2002). Effects of visual arts instruction on the mental health of adults with mental retardation and mental illness. Mental Retardation, 40(4), 278-296.

McComb J, Clopton J. (2003). The effects of movement, relaxation and education on the stress levels of women with subclinical levels of bulimia. Eating Behaviors, 4(1), 79-88.

Ritter M, Low K. (1996). Effects of dance/movement therapy: A meta-analysis. Arts in Psychotherapy, 23(3), 249-260.

Rosler A, Seifritz E, Krauchi K, et al. (2002). Skill learning in patients with moderate Alzheimer’s disease: A prospective pilot-study of waltz-lessons. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17(12), 1155-1156.

Rossberg-Gempton I, Dickinson J, Poole G. (1999). Creative dance: Potentiality for enhancing social functioning in frail seniors and young adults. Arts in Psychotherapy, 26(5), 313-327.

Rousseau C, Drapeau A, Lacroix L, et al. (2005). Evaluation of a classroom program of creative expression workshops for refugee and immigrant children. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 46(2), 180-185.

Schut HA, et al. (1996). Cross-modality grief therapy: Description and assessment of a new program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52(3), 357-365.

Stewart N, McMullen L, Rubin L. (1994). Movement therapy with depressed inpatients: A randomized multiple single case design. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 8(1), 22-29.

Straton D. (2000).  The Phoenix Club: A Programme for Adults Who Were traumatized in Childhood. Traumatology, Volume v1, Issue 4, Article 6

Wilkinson N, Srikumar S, Shaw K, Orrell M. (1998). Drama and movement therapy in dementia: A pilot study. Arts in Psychotherapy, 23(3), 195-201.
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