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Durham e-Theses
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Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) in Acute Adult Psychiatry: A Mixed Methods study

COATEN, MARY,ELLEN (2020) Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) in Acute Adult Psychiatry: A Mixed Methods study. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This study explores the therapeutic mechanisms of Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) in an in-patient setting for acute adult psychiatry through the qualitative dynamics of movement and the symbolic and metaphoric processes expressed during DMP sessions. Previous research has focussed on efficacy of DMP in relation to psychosis spectrum disorders, but there is little research on the mechanisms of DMP or the specific role of the moving body.

The practitioner-researcher delivered weekly group DMP sessions of 90 minutes over ten weeks on two single gender in-patient wards in an NHS hospital. The dynamics of movement were evaluated using two aspects of Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP), a movement notation instrument, related to complexity of relationships and ability to cope with the environment. The exploration of symbolic and metaphoric processes drew on self-reported questionnaires, case vignettes and psychotherapy process notes.

Participants in the sessions echoed previous work in demonstrating an altered sense of space and time. Movement analysis, however, complemented previous work by indicating a specific imbalance in engaging with the future and the past. The study revealed several gender differences in the use of space and sense of self. Both men and women’s movement in the space lacked structure, a lack compensated through the movements of the practitioner-researcher. Participants expressed their sense of self differently by gender, such that men engaged more with one another as a group and women focussed more on the individual bodily self. Symbolic and metaphoric communications indicated a relationship between an altered sense of space and time, and the movement dynamics present that acted in synchronicity with the symbols and metaphors.

The study draws out several implications for practice and practitioners of DMP including how to tailor intervention to help re-balance the altered sense of space and time with potential impacts on improved sense of agency.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Dance Movement Psychotherapy(DMP), Kestenberg Movement Profile, Symbol and Metaphor, Acute Adult Psychiatry, Phenomenology, Jungian Psychotherapy, Trauma, Psychosis Spectrum Disorder
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 May 2020 12:31

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