Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – V Conclusion & Bibliography

Dream  - Pablo Picasso
Dream – Pablo Picasso


Despite relatively wide use and application, the efficacy of the creative arts therapies has not been established through empirical research (Foa 2010 – 586) Case studies, personal experience and interviews is the main source of research in DMT. However, the selection of three DMT techniques and the subsequent support with similar concepts from other
fields of therapy has been a light attempt to explain the effectiveness of dance therapy in the treatment of PTSD.
The exact source of therapeutic benefits of the creative arts therapies, in this case dance therapy is likely to be derived from imaginal exposure, cognitive restructuring, stress management, resilience enhancement, and testimony as well as physiological processes and specific contributions of non verbal and creative elements (Foa 2010 – 602).

As Johnson expressed in his chapter in the Guidelines for treatment PTSD (2000-586), creative arts therapies may improve PTSD clients’ self-esteem, hope, and prosocial behaviour, and reduce feelings of shame and guilt, through the association of traumatic material to adaptive and aesthetic modes of expression. Dance therapy might work, but more systematised research with Random Control Trials and larger studies is prioritary in the field. Moreover, naming of techniques and consensus would help gaining a more systematized work.

How necessary is it to have a protocol in the treatment of trauma related disorders?
Would the systematization of techniques provide a higher recognition of DMT in the
psychotherapy world?
Does the field itself want systematisation and efficacy?
What would that suppose in the creativity, spontaneity, and flexibility of the therapeutic


Johnson R., Lahad M., Gray A. (2009) Creative Therapies for adults. In: Edna B Foa et al (Eds) Effective Treatments for PTSD, Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (pp. 479-508)

MacDonald J. (2006) Dancing with demons. Dance Movement therapy and complext posttraumatic stress disorder. In H. Payne. (Ed) Dance Movement Therapy: Theory, Research and Practice

Ogden P., Minton K. & Pain C. (2006) Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy. Norton.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Articles from Dance Movement Therapy

Devereaux D. (2008) Untying the Knots. Dance Movement Therapy with a Family Exposed to Domestic Violence. American journal of Dance Therapy 30, (pp 58–70)

Ellis R. (2001) Movement metaphor as mediator, a model for the dance movement therapy process. The Arts in Psychotherapy 28, 181–190

Koch, S. C., Fuchs, T., Summa, M., & Müller, C. (2012). Body memory, metaphor and movement 84. John Benjamins Publishing. Book Review.

Koch S., Fischman D. (2011) Embodied Enactive Dance Movement Therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy 33, 57–7

Frank Z. (1997) Dance and Expressive Movement Therapy: An Effective Treatment for a Sexually Abused Man. American Journal of Dance Therapy 19, 45-61.

Meekums B. (2011) Arts with offendes. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 26-4, 247–259

Mills L. J. & Daniluk J. C. (2002) Her Body Speaks. The Experience of Dance Therapy for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. American Counseling Association 80, 77–85

Pierce L. (2013) The Integrative Power of Dance/Movement Therapy: Implications for the Treatment of Dissociation and Developmental Trauma. The Arts in Psychotherapy.Unedited accepted for publication ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2013.10.002

Articles from other fields
Jackupack et al (2007) Anger, hostility, and aggression among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans reporting PTSD and subthreshold PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 20 -945–954

Johnson D. R (2000) Creative Therapies. In. Foa E. B., Keane, T. M. Friedman, M. J., Guidelines for treatment of PTSD. J. Traum. Stress, 13: 539–58

Otto M. W (2000) Stories and Metaphors in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. Cognitive andBehavioral Practice 7, 166-172

Price C. (2005) Body oriented therapy in recovery from child sexual abuse. An efficacy study. Alternative Therapies Health Med. 11(5) 46–57.

Rappaport, Laury (2010) Focus-Oriented Art Therapy Working with Trauma. Person- Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies, 9(2)128-142

Van der Kolk (2006) Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research in PTSD. Annals New York Academy Science 1071 277–293

Wampold, Bruce E. ; Imel, Zac E. ; Laska, Kevin M. ; Benish, Steven ; Miller, Scott D. ; Flűckiger, Christoph ; Del Re, Aaron C. ; Baardseth, Timothy P. ; Budge, Stephanie (2010)

Determining what works in PTSD. Clinical Psychology Review. 30. 8, pp.923-933

American Dance Therapy Association

Haz clic para acceder a DMT-with-Trauma-Info-Sheet.pdf

This is a chapter of a critical literature review: «Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD»

It was an exercise for my second year in the Master in Dance Movement Therapy in Codarts, Rotterdam. Therefore it may have faults in the quotation and not be rigourous or valid for research.