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Dance / Movement Therapy and Counseling Program

Established in 1974, Drexel University’s 2-year Master’s Program in Dance/Movement Therapy  is approved by the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA). Dance/movement therapy is defined as the psychotherapeutic use of movement in a process that furthers the emotional, cognitive, social, and physical integration of the individual. The profession is positioned to meet an increasing interest in mind-body approaches to mental and physical health that has emerged in health profession circles and in the general public. 

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Educating students for creative, responsive, and effective therapy practice.

A balance of clinical and classroom education develops a foundation for skilled dance/movement  therapy practice informed by knowledge and theory. The dance/movement therapy program addresses both the art and science of dance/movement therapy.  The program develops students’ personal, creative, cognitive, and movement resources so they can effectively engage in therapeutic movement relationships that facilitate access to these resources in their clients.  Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) provides a framework for observing and understanding movement. 

Integrating dance and movement into a whole-person approach to mental health.

Students learn to apply this movement understanding to the evaluation of individual and group functioning and to the design of therapy interventions. Students may structure a movement process to foster group cohesiveness and interaction or to guide an individual through a personal conflict or issue. The program also recognizes the importance of the therapist’s function on a treatment team and fosters students’ abilities to communicate valuable knowledge that may not be available to the team through strictly verbal treatment approaches.

Graduating therapists prepared to serve diverse populations with knowledge, skill, awareness, and multicultural sensitivity.

Graduates work in schools, early intervention programs, community mental health, inpatient psychiatric, medical, social service, and wellness settings. The profession attracts people who want to “make a difference” and who continue to pioneer new frontiers of dance/movement therapy application. The job market has been favorable to our graduates.

Program components

• Collaborative education in a small dance/movement therapy student cohort.
• An educational environment vitalized by faculty member involvement in clinical practice, scholarship, and professional service.
• Supervised dance/movement therapy clinical education experiences in three different settings, with both children and adults, beginning in the first term of study
• Ongoing integration of theory and practice in classroom and clinical education settings.
• Specialty elective coursework in medical applications of dance/movement therapy
• Introduction to recent developments in neuroscience as relevant to the mind-body discipline of dance/movement therapy.
• Learning enrichment derived from interaction with students and faculty from other creative arts therapy disciplines.
• Dance/movement therapy research guided by a multidisciplinary advisory committee.
• Many opportunities to participate in Philadelphia's rich dance community.