Dance/Movement Therapy Courses

Dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.

Therapy is based on the empirically supported premise that the body and mind are interconnected and interact in health and illness. Body movement provides both a means of assessment and a mode of intervention for dance/movement therapists, working with individuals or with groups, in the treatment of developmental, medical, social, physical or psychological impairments.

2018-2019 Courses

Dance/Movement Therapy

Clinical Fieldwork Orientation

Graduate Seminar—Fall

Clinical Fieldwork Orientation combines course work to support fieldwork placements in a clinical setting. This course is designed to provide the student with professional orientation and direct exposure to dance/movement therapy practice, an orientation to health and educational systems, and an understanding of the role and function of the dance/movement therapist within each system. Hours earned in clinical fieldwork placement are not counted toward the clinical internship requirement of 700 hours.

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Clinical Internship Practicum I

Graduate Seminar—Fall

This course will use a group supervision format to oversee and develop the internship experience by strengthening clinical appraisal skills and movement and observation assessment through oral presentation of cases, as well as written diagnostic evaluations that will include the student’s clinical process and interventions.

Academic content related to assessment, diagnosis, interventions and the supervision process will be fluid within the overall structure of the course and weekly classes in order to meet the specific needs of each internship setting.

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Clinical Internship Practicum II

Graduate Seminar—Spring

This course serves as a continuation of Clinical Internship Practicum I and will use a supportive group supervision format to oversee and develop the internship experience by strengthening clinical appraisal skills and movement and observation assessment through oral presentation of cases, as well as written diagnostic evaluations that will include the student’s clinical process and interventions.

Academic content related to assessment, diagnosis, interventions and the supervision process, including the therapeutic termination process, will be fluid within the overall structure of the course and weekly classes in order to meet specific needs of each internship setting.

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Clinical Treatment Planning

Graduate Seminar—Fall

In this course, students will build on concepts learned in Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT I and II, Human Growth, Psychopathology, and Movement Observation I and II to refine their assessment skills in developing treatment plans consistent with DSM-5 criteria and the application of dance/movement therapy principles and interventions. The role of pharmacotherapy will be included. We will also examine clinical and treatment planning, with a focus on developing clinical writing skills as they relate to specific settings and populations, including children, adolescents, adults, and geriatrics.

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Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT I

Graduate Seminar—Fall

This is the first in a four-part series of process-oriented seminars, which function as a laboratory for the study of dance/movement therapy methods and theory. In this course, we combine didactic, experiential and collaborative learning to examine the historical, cultural and clinical aspects of DMT. Students will learn about DMT pioneers, their theoretical contributions and the relationship of DMT to the origins and development of psychology. They will also be introduced to foundational movement-based techniques intrinsic to the practice of DMT as they begin to develop a common conceptual and kinesthetic framework rooted in developmental and integrative movement.

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Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT II

Graduate Seminar—Spring

This is the second part of a four-semester process-oriented course that functions as a laboratory in which to study the methods and theory of DMT. It will combine didactic, experiential and collaborative learning as it builds on the first semester to synthesize dance/movement therapy practice with knowledge of human development, for application in various clinical circumstances. Students will learn techniques of practice specific to clinical populations, such as children, adolescents, the physically ill and/or those coping with aging, physical disabilities, mental illness, addiction disorders, or are survivors of physical and/or emotional trauma.

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Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT III

Graduate Seminar—Fall

This course is the third in a series of four on the methods and theory of dance/movement therapy for clinical practice. Our focus will be on the experience of embodiment and on broadening and deepening the students’ practice of dance/movement therapy as we examine cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic perspectives on dance and healing.

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Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT IV

Graduate Seminar—Spring

This course will examine clinical applications of expressive arts modalities, such as art, music, poetry, and drama for the purpose of understanding their relationship to DMT and how they can be used in conjunction with DMT to enhance and support treatment interventions. We will also examine the use of the artistic elements of dance such as choreography and performance to support a variety of mental and physical health goals. The course will have several visiting faculty with expertise in the arts and the creative arts therapies.

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Graduate Thesis I

Thesis—Fall

Each student in the Dance/Movement Therapy program is required to complete a thesis project. The thesis provides the opportunity to integrate theory from multiple disciplines, existing literature in dance/movement therapy and personal experience using research methods. This course will offer students the structure to apply what they have learned in the Research Methods course toward developing their own research project, with the goal of completing and submitting a research prospectus and outline. Group support, consultation and technical assistance will be provided in the class.

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Graduate Thesis II

Thesis—Spring

Group support, consultation and technical assistance will be provided for this class for students who will be working with their thesis advisors and second readers to complete the final thesis project and continue the work begun in Thesis I.

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Group Work Theory and Practice I

Graduate Seminar—Fall

In this course, students will learn clinical skills and roles needed for the effective practice of group work as dance/movement therapists in varied clinical settings. We will examine theoretical constructs of group work that include Yalom’s Interpersonal approach, Shulman’s Interactional approach, Falck’s Membership Perspective and Steinberg’s model of Mutual-Aid. Students will be expected to identify the central ideas and methods of group work and recognize its emotional, cognitive and behavioral applications as well as behavior that disrupts the work of group process, demonstrate an understanding of the effects of transference and countertransference, discuss group work theory and techniques used to facilitate problem-solving and specific skill building to reduce psychiatric symptoms, and group characteristics including multiculturalism, diversity, dynamics, and stages of development and interventions.

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Group Work Theory and Practice II

Graduate Seminar—Spring

In this course, students will expand their knowledge of the basic theories, methods, concepts and clinical applications learned in Group Work I. We will explore the core elements of systems approaches to group work theory and DMT clinical practice. Specifically, we will examine the contributions of Monica McGoldrick's influential work concerning ethno-cultural aspects affecting families, including the impact of race, class, religion, historical factors and migration experiences; and attitudes about sexual orientation and intermarriage. Other theoretical models will include the relational-cultural paradigm developed at the Stone Center's Jean Baker Miller Training Institute and the principles of Resilience Theory that emerged from the research of Dr. Emmy Werner. These models have implications for the development of therapeutic interventions and will inform our study of the clinical roles and skills needed for the effective practice of DMT group work with children, adolescents, and families in various clinical settings.

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Human Growth and Development

Graduate Seminar—Fall

This course will outline the interrelationships between physiological, psychological, cognitive, and sociocultural factors and their effects on human growth, development and behavior. Students will gain a basic knowledge of brain development and neuroscience, as well as an overview of developmental theories and their relevance to dance/movement therapy theory and practice. In particular, students will explore the developmental basis of mirroring, attunement and kinesthetic empathy, and the implications for functioning in adulthood.

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Movement Observation I

Graduate Seminar—Fall

This class is the first in a series of three on movement observation and assessment skills. The course provides an introduction to Bartenieff Fundamentals and Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and their application in Dance/Movement Therapy. The relationship between Bartenieff Fundamentals, human development, and Effort-Space-Shape will be discussed and explored through movement. Coursework in anatomy and kinesiology will be used to support understanding of these frameworks.

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Movement Observation II

Graduate Seminar—Spring

This course is an introduction to Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) with a primary focus on dance/movement therapy. The class is the second in a series of three on movement observation and assessment skills, and is designed to familiarize the student with the Laban concepts and principles for the observation and description of movement, integrating other relevant perspectives for understanding human movement. Students will learn to embody and observe foundational components of physical action by exploring concepts in the categories of Body, Effort, Space and Shape. LMA provides insight into one’s personal movement preferences and increases awareness of what and how movement communicates and expresses. In addition, through readings, movement experimentation and discussion, students will explore the principles of the Bartenieff Fundamentals, which involve concepts such as movement initiation and sequencing, connectivity, weight transference, spatial intent, effort intent and breath support. These fundamental ideas, when present in movement, develop dynamic alignment, coordination, strength, flexibility, mobility, kinesthetic awareness, expression, and help facilitate relationship.

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Movement Observation III

Graduate Seminar—Fall

Movement Observation III serves as a continuation of the course work in Movement Observation I and II. Movement Observation III introduces the fundamentals of the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP), a theoretically based assessment tool that examines psychological development through body movement. Students’ understanding of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and its application in the therapeutic process is deepened with the addition of KMP as part of the movement development, relationship, learning, and psychological process. Additionally, ways of organizing observations and developing targeted assessments utilizing KMP will be considered. Students will also learn about current theories in neuroscience and their relation to movement observation.

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Movement Observation of Children Fieldwork

Fieldwork—Fall and Spring

Fieldwork provides opportunities for students to be exposed to an early childhood setting and to observe the role of the dance/movement therapist in that setting. Students will observe and interact with children ages six months to five years with the goal of gaining a greater understanding of the physical, social, and emotional development that occurs during this period of growth. Additionally, students will participate in dance/movement therapy sessions, practice group leadership, and receive group and individual supervision of their work. For this first year of placement, students are expected to be participant observers, actively observing and engaging in the process of dance/movement therapy without the full responsibility of a leadership role. Students are required to complete 200 fieldwork hours in the first year of training. Those fieldwork hours must be completed before beginning the clinical internship.

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Professional Orientation and Ethics

Graduate Seminar—Spring

Students will learn the fundamental tenets underlying professional ethics and ethical decision-making in the practice of dance/movement therapy. We will identify and explore ethical concepts, standards, and guidelines that will inform your clinical judgment, and become aware and mindful of the ways your personal ethics relate to your role as a professional DMT. In addition to course readings, we will study the ADTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Practice, and the New York State Education Department requirements for standards of licensure in Creative Arts Therapy, including training in the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment.

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Psychopathology

Graduate Seminar—Spring

This course is designed to provide students with a base of knowledge in psychopathology and to familiarize students with current conceptions and empirical findings in psychopathology research. Beginning with the question of how abnormality is defined, we will explore contemporary perspectives on psychopathology and focus more specifically on psychological disorders, their development and treatment, and controversies within the field. Additionally, this course will focus on the physiologic and motoric manifestations of illness, the role of dance/movement therapy in treatment, and challenges particular to dance/movement therapy intervention. This course will use the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5. Reading of the current manual will include discussion of recent changes and the impact on diagnostic understanding and treatment formulation.

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Research Methods

Graduate Seminar—Spring

This course is an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and techniques. Students will learn to apply research techniques such as data collection and analysis, both as researchers and to enhance clinical interpretation and practice skills.

We will explore issues around the importance of research to the field of dance/movement therapy, particular challenges and opportunities associated with dance/movement therapy research, and the history of research in the field. While this course will provide a base of knowledge for the practicing dance/movement therapist to interpret and evaluate research, the goal is to create not only consumers, but also creators, of research. As such, students will learn about the process of research design, including ethical and legal considerations, and will create their own research proposal.

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