Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is an established treatment in mental health care for clients with a personality disorder (PD). Literature on DMT and personality disorder shows that self-regulation, interpersonal relationships, and cognition are key objectives to focus on during the clinical application of DMT for PD. To date, no systematic descriptions of DMT interventions for PD are available. A systematic review of the literature concluded that DMT interventions in PD mainly covered body-oriented approaches and cognitive strategies. This study aimed to collect opinions from expert dance movement therapists on applications of a DMT intervention for PD, and more specifically, the use of dance-informed procedures, such as improvisation and choreography. A Delphi approach was used to arrive at a consensus between five participants (DMT experts). From these findings, a systematised intervention description is presented for clinical application of DMT for PD clients that can be implemented and used for efficacy research. The intervention consists of three phases, with a focus on (I) embodied presence and somatic/sensory awareness, (II) dance improvisation and (III) choreography. These foci could enhance (body) self-efficacy beliefs, emotion regulation, the integration of experiences and healthy interpersonal functioning.
The first author SK wishes to thank the five dance movement therapists for participating in this study and for sharing their valuable time and expertise. Thanks to Dr. Daphne Karreman and Ewald de Bruijn (M.Sc.) for their guidance in organising the data.
© 2022 The Authors