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Student Minjung Shim Helps Cancer Patients Develop Resilience with Dance/Movement Therapy, Wins Award

November 13, 2013

Min Jung Minjung Shim, a doctoral candidate in the Creative Arts Therapies Department at Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, recently attended a conference on Integrative Oncology in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was surrounded by diverse professionals, like physicians, therapists, health care administrators, nurses, yoga instructors and mindfulness experts, who gathered to learn about the best ways to deliver care to cancer patients.

At the conference, Shim presented two posters, the first of which was on a research project conducted in the Oncology Unit at Hahnemann Hospital by Joke Bradt, PhD, an associate professor in the Creative Arts Therapies Department. Shim acted a research coordinator for this project, which involved comparing the effectiveness of in-person music therapy against pre-recorded music therapy for cancer patients.

Shim won an award for her very own project, which was based on her clinical practicum at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), entitled Embodied Narrative of Illness and Healing: Building Resilience Through Dance/Movement Therapy in Cancer Patients. After interning for several months at CTCA, Shim began developing a way of applying Dance/Movement Therapy as a psychotherapeutic medium for the cancer patients. “A lot of the patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America are in advanced cancer stages, so I am really focused on increasing their quality of life,” Shim said.

She also explained the importance of connecting cancer patients with their bodies though expressive movement and the opportunity to increase the presence of the creative arts therapies disciplines in the delivery of cancer treatment and care. “Yoga and meditation can be helpful but they aren’t psychotherapeutic. It is a great opportunity for creative arts therapists to provide psychotherapeutic care to cancer patients,” ended Shim.