Dance movement therapy processes and interventions in the treatment of children with anxiety disorders derived from therapy logs

Ayala Bresler Nardi, Michal Bat Or, Einat Shuper Engelhard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dance movement therapy (DMT) offers children a space to encounter strengths and experience a sense of vitality to increase their sense of confidence and self-awareness, thereby easing their anxiety and/or helping them achieve more adaptive emotion regulation. While previous studies indicate that DMT effectively reduces anxiety symptoms, such as stress, scant research focuses on the nature of the therapeutic interventions and how they assist in treating anxiety. This study is a qualitative assessment that examined DMT techniques and interventions of one therapist's work through their documentation in therapy logs tracking eight long-term treatments of children aged 8–11 coping with anxiety symptoms. Four intervention axes were identified: (1) action-promoting interventions (2) separation-promoting interventions; (3) interventions for strengthening the sense of self; and (4) integration-promoting interventions. Based on the findings, a therapeutic model is proposed drawing on various “mirroring” interventions as the basis for forming the therapeutic relationship and additional therapeutic interventions involving movement. The model enables the child to explore their experience of the relationship, understand themselves in a new way, and create meaning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101951
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Volume80
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

Keywords

  • Dance movement therapy with children
  • Somatic mirroring
  • The paper chase intervention model
  • Therapeutic interventions in dance and movement therapy
  • Therapy logs
  • Treatment of children with anxiety disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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