Dance Movement Therapy: Small Effectiveness

Small effectiveness: 0.42

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

1. Uses movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of etienne-boulanger-305086-unsplashthe body.

2. Theorizes that there is a correlation between movement and emotion.



Step 1: moving with eyes closed

Step 2: therapist encourages going into subconscious, open-ended imagery used to encourage symbolic movements

Step 3: Client uses self-reflection and dialogue with therapist to uncover and resolve subconscious motivations and encourages self awareness.



0.35 small effect: reduced perceived stress, pain severity, and pain interference in radiotherapy breast cancer patients (Ho, Fong, Cheung, Yip, & Luk, 2016)

Under 0.20 no effect: not effective on reducing anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and quality of life in radiotherapy breast cancer patients (Ho, Fong, Cheung, Yip, & Luk, 2016)

0.71 moderate effect: reduced depression symptoms at follow-up 3 months after therapy (Pylvänäinen, Muotka, & Lappalainen, 2015)



Ho, R. H., Fong, T. T., Cheung, I. M., Yip, P. F., & Luk, M. (2016). Effects of a short-term dance movement therapy program on symptoms and stress in patients with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy: A randomized, controlled, single-blind trial. Journal Of Pain And Symptom Management, 51(5), 824-831. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2015.12.332

Pylvänäinen, P. M., Muotka, J. S., & Lappalainen, R. (2015). A dance movement therapy group for depressed adult patients in a psychiatric outpatient clinic: Effects of the treatment. Frontiers In Psychology, 6.

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