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Minjung Shim, PhD, BC-DMT

Mind-Body & Movement Research for Whole-Person Health Lab is an incubator for research that studies and promotes mind-body health, creative/expressive arts and healing, and whole-person integrated care.

The mission of our lab is to further the integration of mind-body medicine and creative arts-based interventions into the mainstream healthcare system by means of rigorous, evidence-based research and clinical application of this work. Our vision encompasses a drive to develop heightened interprofessional collaboration across academic disciplines as well as clinical and community interests.

The lab is led by Minjung Shim, PhD, BC-DMT who is an assistant research professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies and a board-certified dance/movement therapist.

Principal Investigator:

Minjung Shim, PhDMinjung Shim, PhD, BC-DMT
Assistant Research Professor





Nicole Musalo, BS, is a clinical research coordinator for a research project in Shim’s lab on Mindfulness Based Dance/Movement Therapy and Chronic Low Back Pain. She is a certified 500hr yoga instructor with a bachelor's degree in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Stony Brook University who is most interested in expressive/creative arts and mindfulness-based therapies for whole person wellness.

Doctoral Students:

Nalini Prakash, MA, BC, DMT, CMA is a board-certified dance/movement therapist with experience in mental health and the criminal justice system. A classical Indian dancer, Prakash integrates elements of Indian dance and creative movement to help individuals express their emotions in a non-threatening way. As a certified movement analyst, she has worked to reduce violence and resolve conflict, while fostering social change among a forensic population. Prakash is currently a PhD candidate and a research fellow within the creative arts therapies graduate program at Drexel University. Her research interest includes the use of dance/movement therapy to increase empathy and reduce violence in middle school children. Prakash is a research fellow and PhD student in Creative Arts Therapies Department.

Monica Gaydos, MA, R-DMT, RYT is a research fellow and PhD student in Creative Arts Therapies. Gaydos received her MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at the University of London in 2011. She has worked in inpatient psychiatric settings, schools and nursing homes, and designed and taught her own program of expressive movement classes for adults in Pittsburgh, PA from 2012-2018. Gaydos specializes in content knowledge on substance use disorder, opioid use disorder and overdose prevention. Her current research interests include the use of dance movement therapy for patients with chronic pain and preventive health care.

Master's Students:

Louis Susca, BS, is a candidate for a Master’s in Medical Science here at Drexel. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree at Stony Brook University where he focused on neuroscience in the realms of Traumatic Brain Injury, neurogenesis, and Parkinson’s disease. Susca’s specific interest is how movement can act to both positively affect cell growth in the brain and act as a neuroprotective element for neurodegenerative disease.

Intervention Facilitators:

Natasha Levitas, MA, BC-DMT is a board certified dance/movement therapist specializing in senior and dementia care, with 19 years of experience working with older individuals across various backgrounds. Her professional history includes healthcare administration; therapeutic program development; care partner training, DMT clinical supervision, and regular DMT facilitation, using a DMT and sensory hybrid approach. She is also a published author on DMT in senior and dementia care. Levitas is the interventionist for the Mindfulness-Based Dance/Movement Therapy for Chronic Lower Back Pain study.

Internal Collaborators:

  • Joke Bradt, PhD, MT-BC, Professor, Department of Creative Arts Therapies
  • Sherry Goodill, PhD, BC-DMT, LPC, NCC, Clinical Professor, Department of Creative Arts Therapies
  • Stella Volpe, PhD, RN, LDN, FACSM, Professor, Chair, Department of Nutrition Science
  • Sarah Wenger, PT, DPT, OCS, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Fengqing Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Arun Ramakrishnan, PhD, Director of Research Lab, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Longian Liu, MD, PhD, FAHA, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Lindsay Edwards, MA, LPC, Director of Creative Arts Therapies at the Stephen and Sandra Scheller 11th Street Family Health Services

External Collaborators:

  • Adam Gonzalez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Director, Mind-Body Clinical Research Center, Stony Brook University
  • Sheri Silfies, PhD, PT, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of South Carolina
  • Christina Psaros, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Harvard University
  • Shim, M., Goodill, S. & Bradt, J. (2019). Mechanisms of Dance/Movement Therapy for Building Resilience in People Experiencing Chronic Pain. American Journal of Dance Therapy. 10.1007/s10465-019-09294-7.
  • Gonzalez, A., Shim, M., Mahaffey, B., Vranceanu, A.-M., Reffi, A., & Park, E. R. (2018). The Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP) in patients with headache and musculoskeletal pain: a retrospective analysis of clinical data. Pain Management Nursing.
  • Shim, M., Mahaffey, B., Bleidistel, M., & Gonzalez, A. (2017). A scoping review of human-support factors in the context of Internet-based psychological interventions (IPIs) for depression and anxiety disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 57(Supplement C), 129-140. doi:
  • Shim, M., Johnson, R. B., Gasson, S., Goodill, S., Jermyn, R., & Bradt, J. (2017). A model of dance/movement therapy for resilience-building in people with chronic pain. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. Available online 29 January 2017, ISSN 1876-3820,
  • Bradt, J., Norris, M., Shim, M., Gracely, E. J., Gerrity, P. (2016). Vocal music therapy for chronic pain management in inner-city African Americans: A mixed methods feasibility study. Journal of Music Therapy (Online First). doi: 10.1093/jmt/thw004
  • Bradt, J., Potvin, N., Kesslick, A., Shim, M., Radl, D., Shriver, E., Gracely, E. J., & Komarnicky-Kocher, L. (2015). The impact of music therapy versus listening to prerecorded music on psychological outcomes in cancer patients: a mixed methods study. Supportive Care in Cancer. 23(5), 1261-1271. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2478-7
  • Bradt, J., Dileo, C., Shim M., Yeo, J.K., Cho, D. Y., Oh, M. M., Tsivian, M., Qi, P., Kimura, M., Sen, H., Ates, F., Sizlan, A. (2015). Postoperative Erholung–Musik bei der Operation? Aktuelle Urologie. 46(6), 431-432.
  • Bradt, J., Shim, M., & Goodill, S. W. (2015). Dance/movement therapy for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2015(1), CD007103. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007103.pub3
  • Bradt, J., Dileo, C., & Shim, M. (2013). Music interventions for preoperative anxiety. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2013 (6). CD006908. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006908.pub2
  • Gerber, N., Templeton, E., Chilton, G., Liebman, M. C., Manders, E., & Shim, M. (2013). Art-based research as a pedagogical approach to studying intersubjectivity in the creative arts therapies. In S. McNiff (Ed.), Arts as research opportunities and challenges. Intellect Ltd.
  • Gerber, N., Templeton, E., Chilton, G., Liebman, M. C., Manders, E., & Shim, M. (2012). Art-based research as a pedagogical approach to studying intersubjectivity in the creative arts therapies. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 3(1), 39-48.

My Google Scholar Profile

Mind-Body & Movement Research for Whole-Person Health Lab

Dance/Movement Therapy studio at Parkway Health and Wellness

ActiGraph GT9X Link: Bluetooth® Smart 3-axis accelerometer that includes a gyroscope, magnetometer, and secondary accelerometer to deliver information about movement, rotation, and body position.