Dr. Nancy Gerber is pleased to announce the publication of Dr. Jacelyn Biondo’s dissertation research entitled “Single‑Session Dance/Movement Therapy for People with Acute Schizophrenia: Development of a Treatment Protocol” in the American Journal of Dance Therapy. Dr. Gerber was the chair of Dr. Biondo’s dissertation committee and honored to be named as a co-author of this important and innovative research publication. Dr. Biondo’s experiences in clinical practice led her to observe that Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) group sessions with people suffering from acute psychosis and schizophrenia were effecting changes in the participants’ emotional expression, interpersonal connections, and sense of belonging. Noting the current healthcare trends towards crisis intervention and brief hospital stays, Dr. Biondo was struck by the impact of a single session intervention with these individuals within this limited time frame. She decided to conduct her doctoral research on this phenomenon. The study was a mixed methods feasibility study.
The results of the research inspired Dr. Biondo to systematically review her detailed field notes taken during the 14 single-session DMT sessions that were conducted as a part of her original research for those individuals struggling with acute schizophrenia. The results of this review, as reported in this article, highlighted the precise components that contributed to the four phases of a DMT session–warm-up, thematic development, cool-down, and verbal discussion. The outcome of this systematic review inspired Dr. Biondo to develop a single-session DMT treatment protocol that emerged from the analysis and integration of the qualitative data. Active factors of the four phases of group DMT treatment for this population that emerged from the study and are outlined in the manuscript. The qualitative data, in particular noted that through these phases in the group the participants in the study reported becoming more grounded, connecting to others and becoming visible members of a community. You can find more on the publication here.