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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, 2022

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

    Co-Investigators From CNHP and School of Public Health receive $14.4M NIH Award for Health Disparities Research

    10/14/21

    Deans Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, and Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, are the co-principal investigators on the recently awarded $14.4 million FIRST grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Diez Roux, the Dana and David Dornsife dean and distinguished university professor of epidemiology at the Dornsife School of Public Health, and Gitlin, College of Nursing and Health Professions' dean, a distinguished university professor and executive director of the AgeWell Collaboratory shared that Drexel is one of six institutions nationwide receiving funding as part of the inaugural “Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation” (FIRST)
    cohort, and the sole recipient in Pennsylvania.

    The NIH's FIRST grant will allow Drexel to hire, retain and support 12 diverse, early career researchers whose focus is on health disparities research on aging, chronic disease and/or environmental determinants. Diez Roux and Gitlin's initiative will create a collaborative structure involving University leaders, academic units and faculty to catalyze sustainable institutional change that supports scientific and inclusive excellence in the conduct of health disparities research.

    The grant involves three cores co-led by Drexel faculty who are nationally recognized in their areas of expertise. The administrative core is co-led by Diez Roux and Gitlin while the faculty development core is co-led by Leslie Ain McClure, PhD, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, associate dean for Faculty Affairs and professor in Dornsife School of Public Health, and Stephanie Brooks, PhD, senior associate dean of Health Professions and Faculty Affairs and clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions' Department of Counseling and Family Therapy. Lastly, the evaluation core is co-led by Maria Schultheis, PhD, vice provost of Research and professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant dean for Special Research Initiatives and interim chair and associate professor in the Creative Arts Therapies department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

    The full news story appears in DrexelNOW.

    DMT Alumna Accepts Fulbright Grant to Germany

    08/13/21

    KerryLyn Kercher, DMT, headshotKerrylyn Kercher, DMT ’21, has accepted a merit-based Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The grant allows Kercher to spend 8-10 months engaged in research and academic studies related to Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) at two facilities in Germany.

    At the Creative Arts Therapies Research Institute, she helps to develop projects alongside current graduate students. “While I already hold a master's degree in this field from Drexel, I know that growing and expanding my knowledge and understanding regarding such body-based practices will remain a priority for the rest of my career, and this is only the beginning. I hope that being a part of current research and educational approaches within the international community will help to solidify my personal theoretical approach and spark further interest in creative arts therapy research.”

    One particular focus will be a tri-cyclic arts project investigating the topic of trauma as it relates to bodily experiences. This is closely related to Kercher’s current research, under the leadership of Minjung Shim, PhD, assistant research professor and principle investigator, regarding non-medicinal ways to approach treatment for chronic lower back pain. “The Research Institute in Alfter, Germany, where I will be for some of my time, is at the forefront of research related to the creative arts therapies, aiding in the expansion of studies conducted that look into the specific therapeutic factors of DMT. Since it’s a relatively new psychotherapeutic approach, at least in the United States, any and all research happening can be considered imperative in solidifying DMT as an evidence-based approach in the mental health field,” Kercher explained.

    At the SRH University of Heidelberg, she will observe how American and German dance/movement therapy studies differ and utilize culturally different perceptions of the work. She will audit classes such as neurology and quantitative research methods, movement observation and analysis, clinical psychology and body therapy applications.

    In addition, Kercher will offer community movement classes. “These classes will be for movers and non-movers alike, bridging my love for teaching dance and my passion for helping others,” she said. “I believe that these classes, led by the community and their wants/needs, are the true cultural exchange I am hoping for. The arts have such a way of connecting people to one another and I look forward to using my new therapeutic lens in the process.”

    Kercher is very appreciative to the CAT department, specifically Christina Devereaux, PhD, associate clinical professor and program director for Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling, for helping to create the initial connections with the university in Germany. Additionally, Sherry Goodill, PhD, chair of the CAT department, will be teaching a select number of classes on specific DMT topics at the university where she will be situated for her time abroad. “It has occurred to me through this process how small the creative arts therapies community really is and I feel grateful to be a part of it!” she said.

    She noted she is very thankful to the fellowships office, specifically Kelly Weissberger, and her Fulbright advisory team at Drexel, Abioseh Porter, Kristy Kelly and Benjamin Barnett, all of whom played a role in providing support and feedback regarding her Fulbright application. “I fully believe their support allowed me this wonderful opportunity, and for that I am forever grateful. Receiving this award is an absolute privilege. This grant provides me an opportunity to experience a new culture and all that encompasses it through the lens of research and study.”

    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.”

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