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Master of Arts in Dance and Movement Therapy Counseling

Program

Established in 1974, the Master of Arts program in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling educates students for creative, responsive and effective therapy practice. This unique program addresses both the art and science of dance/movement therapy. The graduate work develops students' personal, creative, cognitive, and movement resources so they can effectively engage in therapeutic movement relationships that facilitate access to these resources in their clients.

Dance/movement therapy is defined as the psychotherapeutic use of movement in a process that furthers the emotional, cognitive, social, and physical integration of the individual. The profession is positioned to meet an increasing interest in mind-body approaches to mental and physical health that have emerged in health profession circles and in the general public.

Upon graduation, students go on to work in schools, early intervention programs, community mental health, inpatient psychiatric, medical, social service, and wellness settings. Students also pioneer new frontiers in therapy application.

The Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program's 90-quarter-credit curriculum is designed to meet the Pennsylvania Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) educational requirements. Be advised, however, that licensure requirements vary widely from state to state, and may change at any time. Therefore, if you are or will be interested in counseling licensure in the future, you are strongly advised to access and check the requirements for any state(s) in which you plan to work and practice. It is the student's responsibility to know and understand the requirements for any type of future licensure.

What you'll learn

The Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program integrates dance and movement into a whole-person approach to mental health.

Students learn to apply the Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) to the evaluation of individual and group functioning and to the design of therapy interventions. The program also recognizes the importance of the therapist's function on a treatment team and fosters students' abilities to communicate valuable knowledge that may not be available to the team through strictly verbal treatment approaches.

Key program components include:

  • Collaborative education in a small dance/movement therapy student cohort.
  • An educational environment vitalized by faculty member involvement in clinical practice, scholarship, and professional service.
  • Supervised dance/movement therapy clinical education experiences in three different settings, with various patient populations, beginning in the first term of study.
  • Ongoing integration of theory and practice in classroom and clinical education settings.
  • Preparation to serve multiculturally diverse populations.
  • Introduction to recent developments in neuroscience as relevant to the mind-body discipline of dance/movement therapy.
  • Dance/movement therapy research and capstone project guided by a multidisciplinary advisory committee.

What makes the Drexel Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program unique?

  • Learning enrichment derived from interaction with students and faculty from other creative arts therapy disciplines.
  • Specialty elective coursework in medical applications of dance/movement therapy.
  • Opportunity to enroll in dance classes and audition for the Drexel Dance Ensemble.
  • You are part of the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions with access to various practice environments and educational facilities.

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

Background checks:
As a student of the College of Nursing and Health Professions you will be required to satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, child and elder abuse checks, drug test, immunizations, physical exams, health history, and/or other types of screening before being permitted to begin clinical training.

You will not need to submit documentation of these requirements as part of your application to the master's program. Failure to fully satisfy these requirements as directed upon enrollment may prevent assignment to a clinical site for training. A background check that reflects a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may affect your ability to be placed in certain facilities, and later, to become board certified and licensed.

Deadline:
February 1, 2021

Degree:
Bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in all previous coursework.

Standardized Tests:
N/A

Transcripts:

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap to Drexel University, Application Processing, PO Box 34789, Philadelphia, PA 19101 or submitted through a secure electronic delivery service to enroll@drexel.edu. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency.
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions.

Prerequisites:

  • Familiarity with at least two dance or movement forms, with a minimum of five years dedicated study to at least one form in a studio or academic setting.
  • Creative dance or movement improvisation experience.
  • Teaching, performing and/or choreography experience preferred.
  • Liberal Arts coursework, including coursework in Social Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Human Development or Anthropology).
  • Volunteer or paid experience in a helping relationship.

References:
Three letters of recommendation required. At least two recommendations should be from current or former academic instructors. Letters of recommendation should be requested and submitted electronically through your online application.

    Personal Statement/ Essay:
    Submit an essay (1–3 typed pages) addressing interest in and aptitude for dance/movement therapy and counseling, with reference to personal, service, and arts experience. Submit your essay with your application or through the Discover Drexel portal after you submit your application.

    Résumé

    Upload your résumé as part of your admission application or through the Discover Drexel Portal after you submit your application.

    Select candidates will be invited to participate in an on-campus audition and interview. International applicants will be invited to submit a recorded audition and participate in a video interview.

    Audition: The movement audition involves a group improvisational experience. We are primarily interested in how you communicate, express yourself and interact through movement. Applicants need not prepare anything. Those living overseas may submit videotape or DVD in lieu of movement audition. International candidates should request instructions about these requirements with admission materials and are advised to begin admission process early.

    Interview:
    Faculty will conduct in-depth in-person interview with applicant consisting of review of personal, academic, interpersonal, and creative aptitudes. For international applicants will be invited to submit a recorded audition and participate in a video interview.

    Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
    A social service work or volunteer history and cross cultural experience is highly valued.

    Dance Experience
    Familiarity with at least two dance or movement forms, with five years of dedicated study to at least one form in a studio or academic setting. Improvisation, teaching, performing, and/or choreography experience preferred.

    Additional Requirements for International Applicants

    • Transcript Evaluation: All international students applying to a graduate program must have their transcripts evaluated by the approved agency: World Education Services (WES), 212.966.6311, Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087, New York, NY 10274-5087, Web site: www.wes.org/.
    • TOEFL: Applicants who have not received a degree in the United States are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An official score report must be sent directly to Drexel University Application Processing. The minimum TOEFL score is 90, and the minimum IELTS score is 6.5. For more information visit the Web site: www.ets.org, then click on TOEFL.
    • I-20/DS-2019 and Supporting Financial Documents (international students only): After confirming attendance to Drexel, students will receive an email from ISSS with instructions for applying for their i-20/DS-2019 and submitting supporting financial documents.

    International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
    P.O. Box 8629
    Philadelphia, PA 19101-8629
    215.222.8454, ext. 603

    Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
    3600 Market St., Suite 400
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
    215.349.8767

    World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
    Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087
    New York, NY 10274-5087
    212.966.6311

    Tuition and Fee Rates:
    Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

    Application Link (if outside organization):
    N/A

    Curriculum

    The MA in Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling is a 90-quarter credit program. The program can be completed in a minimum of two years (seven quarters) of full-time study, although some students may take longer to complete all requirements, or opt for a decelerated plan of study. The majority of classes are taught in-person on Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions campus in Center City, Philadelphia with select classes offered online.

    The coursework consists of both Dance/Movement Therapy-specific and general mental health counseling coursework. Dance/Movement Therapy-specific topics include:

    • Theory and practice with child and adult populations
    • Social and cultural foundations in dance/movement therapy
    • Laban movement analysis
    • Movement perspectives in human development
    • Mental health applications of movement assessment
    • Therapy relationship skills
    • Group dynamics in dance/movement therapy
    • Movement observation

    Mental health counseling coursework covers theories and skills in:

    • Human psychological development
    • Psychopathology and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    • Social and cultural foundations in counseling
    • Behavioral research
    • Group dynamics in counseling
    • Theories of counseling and psychotherapy
    • Career counseling
    • Clinical appraisal and diagnosis
    • Professional ethics
    • Foundations of Creative Art Therapies

    Clinical experience is integrated with classroom learning, with students participating in two practicums and one internship throughout the course of the program. Students receive both individual and small group clinical supervision. For more information on the clinical education component of the Dance/Movement Therapy program, click on the "Clinical Practices" tab above.

    A Culminating Project rounds out the curriculum. Second-or third-year students conduct a Culminating Project that integrates practice with theory and/or research. Under the guidance of their Culminating Project advisor, students design a project that explores aspects of both their respective Creative Arts Therapies discipline and counseling. Examples of Culminating Projects include development of a method, a community engagement project, research thesis or artistic project. Culminating Projects may be connected to a student's internship, but it is not a requirement. At the end of each academic year, students present their Culminating Projects to peers, faculty, friends and family at their respective program's Colloquium. Students are also encouraged to submit projects to regional and national conferences when applicable.

    Accreditation

    The Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program is approved by the American Dance Therapy Association.

    Clinical Practice

    Students engage in dance/movement therapy clinical education in three different settings during the course of the program. Individual clinical supervision is supplemented by small group mental health and dance/movement therapy supervision in the academic setting, a reflection of the program's commitment to clinical supervision as a learning tool.

    In the first year, students are placed in two practicum experiences, with different patient populations and in different types of settings. The student has the opportunity to observe and practice beginning therapy skills with the role modeling and support of an on-site dance/movement therapist.

    Students are actively involved in the selection of their second year internship sites with respect to their individual learning needs and interests. The second year internship offers an opportunity for students to mature and specialize as clinical interns over the course of a full academic year. The student functions as an integral member of an on-site treatment team. Students participate in individual supervision with a dance/movement therapist holding the advanced credential of BC-DMT (Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist).

    News & Events

    11th Street Dance Movement Therapy: A Patient's Story

    06/17/21

    Graphic for the Dance Movement Therapy Service at Stephen & Sandra Sheller 11th St. Family Health Services“You can be at any place in your life, it can work for everyone,” says Ruth Briggs, a patient at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services. As a former ballet dancer, Ruth is quick to say that you do not need to have any background in dance to pursue and realize the benefits of dance and movement therapy.

    After meeting another patient who was receiving care at 11th Street, Ruth decided that she would move forward to see someone to address trauma from her past. From the moment she met Lindsay Edwards MA, BC-DMT, LPC, “I knew she was someone I could trust,” says Ruth. “Lindsay really believed in me, and she allowed me to move forward at my own pace. I felt like it was a partnership, rather than sitting there watching someone pass judgment. I never felt judged.”

    After several months of work together, Ruth had several breakthroughs and was able to see there was real progress being made. “It wasn’t about beauty in the movement – it was about reclaiming my strength.” Feeling that she had the ability to move with freedom, Ruth valued the flexibility and individuality in the approach Lindsay took. “She gave me wings,” Ruth shares.

    This experience inspired Ruth to move all her care to 11th Street. “It’s my primary health center – a safe space for everyone, regardless of circumstances. Coming into 11th street is so welcoming, from the pharmacist, to physical therapy, to primary and dental care, to the very kind security staff, the paraprofessional and administrative staff, and my fellow patients, everyone goes above and beyond.”

    Drexel Academic Tower Updates

    06/17/21

    June 2021

    Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction

    May 2021

    Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

    Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

    March 2021

    Six cement trucks lined up to pour the concrete floors.

    Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

    Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

    Click images to magnify


    January 2021

    Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction 

    Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction 

    Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction


    December 2020

    When the announcement about a new home for the College of Nursing and Health Professions was made in May 2019, no one could have imagined that construction would be delayed by a global pandemic. It was expected that groundbreaking would be in spring 2020 with a substantial completion delivery of mid-2022. Beginning in late July, it is still the hope to maintain the same timeline.

    Google Earth screenshot of the location of the Drexel Academic Tower

    With CNHP being the first occupants of the new facility, some of the College of Medicine’s administrative functions, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies and its first- and second-year medical program will join the College in phases. President Fry, in a message to the University in late 2019, said “at the new academic building, many of Drexel’s health-related programs will be under one roof, enhancing opportunities for interdisciplinary education in a facility that affords health sciences students, faculty and professional staff the best possible environment for continued development and growth.”


     

    CAT Alumni Help Patients Express Themselves When Words Cannot

    05/19/21

    Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be very stressful, and mental health challenges may stay with patients long after treatment. Patients cope with illness, especially cancer, in a variety of ways, but the one thing all people are looking for is support. Thankfully, there are many options. During Mental Health Awareness Month, we are sharing the work of two Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions alumni, both creative arts therapists, who worked closely with people facing the long journey through cancer.

    A person creating a collage during art therapy

    Creative arts therapists are board certified and credentialed healthcare professionals who use an expressive process to improve psychological health and general wellbeing. As with other forms of therapy, clients and therapists work toward growth and change, but specific to creative arts therapies, the process taps into the power of art, music, dance-movement, drama and poetry to make meaning, find understanding and develop skills for stress reduction.

    CNHP alumna Maureen Vita, MA ’09, a board-certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor.CNHP alumna Maureen Vita, MA ’09, is a board-certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor, and worked as an oncology art therapist at Hahnemann Hospital for over ten years. The patients she worked with responded well to success-based art therapy interventions—something she found very rewarding. Traditional psychotherapy-based art therapy reveals underlying psychological issues, but when used in a medical setting, particularly around cancer, patients develop much-needed coping skills. “It helps reduce pain, and alleviate depression and tension caused by their diagnosis. Art therapy can also help cancer patients cope with intrusive thoughts, for example, that their cancer will return even after they are given a clean bill of health,” Vita suggested.

    Making books, jewelry, origami, masks, collage or even just coloring a mandala were a few of the projects she used in her art therapy practice. “During art therapy sessions, many patients would express their fears, especially about dying knowing that they could not discuss this with their families,” she said. Art therapy with cancer patients can be a powerful tool to help them heal from both the physical and psychological effects of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

    Paul Nolan, MCAT ’82, MT-BC, LPC, is an alumnus, adjunct associate professor and retired director of the music therapy program at Drexel University.Music therapy shows similar benefits acknowledged Paul Nolan, MCAT ’82, MT-BC, LPC. An alumnus, adjunct associate professor and retired director of the music therapy program at Drexel University, Nolan offered, “Pain reduction and restoration of the person's mental state and relationships are common outcomes.” He indicated that one of the most powerful transactions in the music therapy relationship is that the patient knows that it is not a medical procedure. This therapy is not used to eradicate the disease directly, but instead works with the person who is undergoing treatment to improve mental and physical symptoms like anxiety, fatigue and diminished quality of life.

    “Like other creative arts therapies, music therapy attracts that which is healthy in the patient,” Nolan described. “These effects seem to re-activate health into the person's awareness and relationships, which helps the person's ego strength in resisting declines in their mental health while also altering the pain experience,” he concluded.Paul Nolan, MCAT ’82, MT-BC, LPC. An alumnus, adjunct associate professor and retired director of the music therapy program at Drexel University.

    Attending to our mental health is essential in living healthier lives. Creative arts therapies offer meaningful ways to manage worry, trauma, depression and a host of other psychological challenges due to a medical diagnosis. Even if you are not facing an illness, creative arts therapist can help you be more successful in navigating the stress of daily life.

    By Roberta S. Perry
    More News & Events