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Creative Arts Therapies Department

Dance and Movement Therapy Program

Jill Comins, Drexel Dance/Movement Therapy Program Alumna '07

Jill Comins

What is your current professional role?

I am program coordinator for the children's unit at Friends Hospital working as a dance/movement therapist. Friends Hospital is an acute in-patient psychiatric facility that provides behavioral health and mental illness programs for children, adolescents, and adults. I work as an active member of the clinical staff on the children's unit, which includes providing individual counseling and group sessions and collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team to design and implement treatment plans. Additionally, I conduct DMT group sessions on the adolescent and adult units.

Why did you choose the Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy Program at Drexel University?

I chose Hahnemann for its reputation as well as its academic rigor. Because the Creative Arts Therapy Program resides within the School of Nursing and Health Professions, it is held to the same high standards that are assumed in other healthcare disciplines. The integrated curriculum was also a plus, as I felt it would be beneficial to attend core academic courses with both art and music therapy students along with the dance/movement students. Also, because the school is located within a major metropolitan area, there is a well-developed network of healthcare facilities and alumni in place.

What is the best thing about your job?

When the kids ask with enthusiasm, "Ms. Jill, are we doing dance/movement today?" Even though working on the children's unit can be very challenging, I feel privileged to be given an opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of these kids, many coming from very difficult circumstances. When a connection is made and I am momentarily allowed into their world, it's hard to not be moved by the resiliency they reveal. Of course, it's also very fulfilling to be a part of a client's discovery of something new about him/herself through the dance/movement therapy experience!

What was the best part of the program?

The integration of clinical experience with academics was most valuable. While the academic expectations were more challenging than I initially anticipated, Hahnemann's faculty provided a helpful and encouraging environment that took me far beyond what I thought I was capable of. Also, a component of the program is self-directed study. This was an essential piece in allowing me to grow personally as well as professionally as a therapist. Enrolling in the program also gave me the opportunity to form valuable connections and friendships with other creative arts therapy colleagues that will last a lifetime.

What has Drexel University contributed to your career?

The experience and education provided by Drexel has enabled me to become a confident and viable practitioner in the mental health field. As a member of a multi-disciplinary team, I work alongside nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, and other allied therapists. Attending a program that is housed within the School of Nursing and Health Professions enabled me to feel secure in my professional relationship with others in the medical and mental health fields. I also believe that Drexel's high standards for the profession of DMT assisted in my acquiring a job immediately upon graduation.


Sabine Koch, Drexel Dance/Movement Therapy Program Alumna '97photo of Sabine Koch

What is your current professional role?

I am a researcher in social and personality psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany (one of the Ivy League universities in Germany). With respect to DMT, I am interested in how the body shapes the mind and psyche. In one of my projects, I focus on embodiment, particularly on the impact of dynamic movement and movement qualities on affect, attitudes, and cognition. Another project we are just starting will focus on body memory. I am trying to attain funding for DMT projects, to support the European professional process and on bringing DMT in Germany to an academic level.

Why did you choose the Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy program at Drexel University?

I chose the Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy Program because of the integrated concepts in teaching the creative arts therapies and because of its strong grounding in the medical field, particularly reflective medicine.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job are the smiling faces of patients after they had an embodied experience that took them further in their healing process. The patients who get to the place of authenticity for the first time, the patients who find a movement metaphor for the unspeakable and starts to work with it, the patients who involve in a nonverbal dialogue with me that transforms and inspires both of us.

What was the best part of the program?

Everything! Well, the very best part was my practical experience in the institutions I worked at: with dissociative identity disorder patients at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, with autistic children at the Developmental Center for Autism, and with older adults at Einstein/Belmont. I had wonderful advisors and a most wonderful program director. They all took care that my and our learning experience was as good as can be. They knew where we were and what the next step for our optimal professional development needed to be. Everybody on faculty was very invested in this process.


Jennifer Abernathy, Drexel Dance/Movement Therapy Program Alumna '06photo of Jennifer Abernathy

What is your current professional role?

I am a clinical specialist in a school based behavioral health program in Philadelphia.

Why did you choose the Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy program at Drexel University?

The program seemed like the best program that matched my interests and abilities. Speaking with Dr. Goodill and learning about the program from her was very helpful; as well as speaking to an alum who spoke very highly about the program.

What is the best thing about your job?

My clients are usually pretty long-term, a full school year or more. It is very nice to really be able to establish therapeutic rapport and be able to see the changes that the child is able to make in the way they perceive themselves and the way they behave, over time.

What was the best part of the program?

It’s very comprehensive. I felt like there was a great blend of psychology theory, dance/movement therapy theory and practice. I also really benefited from the exposure we had to art and music therapies.

What has Drexel University contributed to your career?

It gave me a very firm foundation as a psychotherapist. When I left here, I felt confident about my abilities to succeed and at the same time, I felt very open to continue learning and growing, to add to the knowledge that I had gained here. Even though it's been years since I graduated, I still feel supported by the instructors I had when here - they have helped me to feel a part of the wider community of creative arts therapists.