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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3097

Title: The Use and Function of Altered States of Consciousness within Dance/Movement Therapy
Authors: Woods, Amberlee
Keywords: Consciousness;Altered States;Dance/Movement Therapy
Issue Date: 24-Aug-2009
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to research trance and altered states of consciousness (ASC), within dance, psychotherapy and anthropological literature, so that dance/movement therapists may practice with an informed understanding of the altered state experience, its potential therapeutic benefit, and methods for working with altered states in the practice of dance/movement therapy (DMT). The question guiding the study was: “How can different forms of ASC in DMT and dance therapeutically inform the practice of DMT?” The study aimed to answer this question through a literature based study utilizing grounded theory methodology. The study analyzed the identified literatures through open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. Eleven core themes were recovered through the process of open coding and axial coding and eventually related to one overarching theme relevant to the nature of ASC in DMT. These eleven themes were the following: community and group, healing potential, spirituality and religion, ritual, rhythm, experience of the self, body action and rapid motion, catharsis and abreaction, energy and revitalization, recovery of play and creativity and focus, attention and absorption. The overarching theme derived through these eleven themes answered the initial research question through the finding that different forms of ASC therapeutically inform DMT through providing healing qualities that are similar to the therapeutic processes and goals in DMT. While specific DMT approaches such as Authentic Movement and Experiencing cultivate and utilize ASC, ASC are also an integral part of the DMT process through their shared fundamental components of DMT such as breath, body action, imagery, ritual, and rhythm. The study also suggests that ASC can therapeutically inform DMT through providing a comprehensive multicultural lens. The themes of ritual and spirituality provided this multicultural lens through the suggestion that dance/movement therapists should support and facilitate these processes within DMT. The research implied that there was need for more research concerning the “grounding process” after ASC and how one may be brought out of the altered state. The study also suggested that there be further research into the physiological and neurological changes that occur during ASC and its implications regarding the physiological and neurological changes that occur during DMT.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3097
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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