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iDEA: Drexel E-repository and Archives > Drexel Theses and Dissertations > Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations > A survey of professional dance/movement therapists regarding the relationship between nonverbal attributes/movement qualities and leadership styles, therapeutic effectiveness, and patient populations

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1097

Title: A survey of professional dance/movement therapists regarding the relationship between nonverbal attributes/movement qualities and leadership styles, therapeutic effectiveness, and patient populations
Authors: Frank, Cheryl Lee
Keywords: Dance Therapy
Issue Date: May-2003
Abstract: This study investigated nonverbal attributes of leadership in dance/movement therapy and the relationship between leadership styles and patient populations. Three hundred dance/movement therapists with advanced certification (ADTR) were sent surveys; 144 replied and 136 responses qualified for the study. The findings generally supported the leadership style - patient population "match" theory in that a dance/movement therapist's nonverbal behavior, movement qualities, and management practices were specific to meeting the traditional needs of particular patient populations. Laissez-faire leadership was more associated with normal neurotic patients who were described by survey respondents as having the ego strength to tolerate a loosely structured therapy session. Task-oriented and authoritarian leadership styles were largely associated with patients who require a more structured approach, such as groups of children/adolescents and mentally ill hospitalized patients. Descriptive tests (chi-square and frequencies) provided evidence of statistically significant relationships between laissez-faire leadership and free flow, an indirect use of space, and lightness, whereas task-oriented and authoritarian leaders were generally characterized by a direct use of space, use of vertical and horizontal planes, gathering, and bound flow. The predominant "goal" of therapy, as indicated by 79.4% of the dance/movement therapists surveyed, was for the patient to experience a relational process/connection with the therapist. Job satisfaction was high regardless of leadership style - patient population "match." Respondents stressed that the effectiveness of dance/movement therapy depends on the therapist's ability to be flexible, centered and grounded, and kinesthetically empathic/present. The prominent emerging theme of this study was that one's leadership style is essentially guided by one's personality. Moreover, the dance/movement therapists who responded to the survey stressed that a wide-ranging movement repertoire enables them to modify their therapeutic approach to meet the needs of their patients, and that the ability to "meet the patients where they are at" is fundamental for the work. Implications of this research might be relevant for increasing awareness of nonverbal attributes of leadership in traditional verbal psychotherapy and other social services, as well as enhancing the training of dance/movement therapists.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1097
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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