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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2989

Title: A Dance/Movement Therapy Clinical Model for the Treatment of School Aged Children Who are Victims of Sexual Abuse: A Literature Based Study
Authors: Converse, Tara Elisabeth
Keywords: Dance Therapy;Sexual Abuse;Children
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2009
Abstract: This literature based study was a review of theoretical, practice, and research literature regarding the effects of sexual abuse on children and their subsequent treatment. The review was focused on psychotherapy literature that addressed the trauma of sexual abuse specifically and other forms of childhood trauma. Foundational models for using dance/movement therapy (DMT) to treat abuse in children were developed in the 1980’s during an increased societal awareness of this problem. An explosion of research and literature in many fields since the 1980’s, was directed toward understanding and treating this population. In addition to the work done in DMT, much of the literature by other professionals recommended using body-based treatment approaches. However, there were updated DMT models for treating sexually abused children that incorporated recent literature and research in other psychotherapy fields. The objective of this research study was to create a comprehensive DMT clinical model for therapy with children who were victims of sexual abuse. Based on preliminary literature review, the model was directed toward a long term, group therapy format for school aged children, approximately 6-12 years of age. The literature review was focused on the past ten years however foundational sources were reviewed to provide a context for recent developments in the field. Relevant information from all sources was abstracted and organized into four review matrices (Matrix 1-3 non-DMT, Matrix 4 DMT): 1) Effects in sexually abused or otherwise traumatized children, 2) Treatment concerns and overall guidelines for therapy, 3) Specific treatment models and methods, and 4) DMT methods for treatment of sexually abused or otherwise traumatized children and adult survivors of trauma including childhood sexual abuse. An analysis of matrices 1-3 identified the central effects observed in therapy with this population and the key treatment techniques used. The selected effects and treatment techniques were synthesized into eight essential treatment categories. An analysis of Matrix 4 was completed to summarize supporting DMT techniques for use with abused children. These DMT treatment concepts and other DMT theory and practice information were used to create a clinical DMT model to address the eight treatment categories within a three phase format; beginning, middle and ending treatment phases. The model was presented as full text and in a summarized table format. The model can be adapted for short term therapy and specific categories can be selected based on the needs and progress of children in therapy. This model can be effectively used by dance/movement therapists and other psychotherapists. This literature review and completed model provides strong support for DMT as a primary tool to help sexually abused children regain their sense of self and progress toward becoming healthy adults.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2989
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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