An Introduction to Medical Dance/Movement Therapy: Health Care in Motion

By Sharon W. Goodill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Related Applications
This chapter is devoted to two related applications of dance/movement therapy (DMT) in the health care spectrum:
1. work with families and caregivers
2. work in the areas of death, dying and bereavement.

As with other psychosocial services in health care, the role of the dance/ movement therapist is not limited to the needs of patients themselves. From a systems perspective, we consider the needs of the family, loved ones and caregivers as well. This includes both personal caregivers, who are often family members, and professional caregivers. From a wholistic perspective, we assume our role in the system in the dimension of healing rather than curing, as outlined in Chapter 1. This is particularly important in the dying process, when cure is no longer a goal, but the focus is on comfort, separation and resolution.


Families and caregivers

Children of seriously ill parents

A study by Siegel, Karus and Raveis (1996) compared levels of depression and anxiety in children who were anticipating the death of a parent through cancer to a community sample of children who were not facing this stressor. They found that in the year preceding a parent's death from cancer, children show significantly higher levels of depression (as measured by Kovac's Children's Depression Inventory) and anxiety (measured by Speilberger's State–Trait Anxiety Scales for Children and Youth).

When a child learns that his or her parent has cancer, he or she begins to experience a host of reactions. Regardless of the prognosis, most of these children harbor a fear of losing the parent. In support groups they can learn they are not

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