Change in body image among depressed adult outpatients after a dance movement therapy group treatment
Pylvänäinen, P., & Lappalainen, R. (2018). Change in body image among depressed adult outpatients after a dance movement therapy group treatment. Arts in Psychotherapy, 59, 34-45. doi:10.1016/j.aip.2017.10.006
Published inArts in Psychotherapy
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Pergamon Press. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This study reports on the body image of depressed psychiatric outpatients, and the impact thereon of a dance movement therapy (DMT) group. Body image is perceived as a tri-partite construct consisting of image-properties, body-self, and body memory. Depressed patients in an outpatient mental health service participated in a DMT group treatment consisting of twelve 90-min long sessions in groups of 4–7 patients. Patients (N = 18) responded to a structured Body Image Assessment (BIA) before and after the treatment. Initially, the depressed patients’ body image was characterized by fragmentation, distortions, and shallowness of body awareness. The DMT group treatment aimed to offer the patients a safe space for exploring their embodied experiences in a validating social setting. This produced positive changes in the body image: finding a better sensation of one’s body, tolerating the sensations, settling in the body, finding pleasure and meaningfulness in the experiences. BIA scores indicated large effect sizes in the change between pre- and post-treatment assessments. Change for more positive body image during the treatment predicted fewer depressive symptoms at the follow-up measurement. ...