Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Healthcare Informatics

First Advisor

Glenn Mitchell

Abstract

In recent years, Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) has been increasingly mentioned in the field of mental health counseling. Despite the progress of DMT in terms of studies showing its efficiency for various forms of mental health conditions such as depression and trauma, the implementation of DMT amongst mental health therapists is still not as widespread as other forms of therapies such as verbal and art therapies. In this project, we aim to determine the underlying causes of its low implementation by surveying a set of populations, specifically mental health patients, mental health therapists that do not specialize in dance/movement therapy, and dance/movement therapists. In our survey, we explore several factors, such as perceived usefulness, perceived feelings, popularity and difficulty in implementation, that may be causes for its low implementation. From our results, we observe that all population groups perceive that dance movement therapy has high usefulness in terms of its effectiveness in mental health sessions, which should intuitively result in a higher implementation rate. However, the impact of the other 3 factors could describe its low implementation; First, the patient group rated a negative feeling towards trying out dance/movement therapy in part due to the nervousness involved. Second, the popularity of dance/movement therapy, as viewed by all population groups, is low. Third, the dance movement therapists themselves rated a high difficulty level in implementing this therapy method. From these results, the implementation gaps and barriers in DMT can now be better understood, allowing us to recommend steps for the widespread implementation of this relatively young yet highly useful therapeutic technique.

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