Barton (2011) Movement and Mindfulness: A Formative Evaluation of a Dance/Movement and Yoga Therapy Program with Participants Experiencing Severe Mental Illness

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journal article


Emma J. Barton. American Journal of Dance Therapy. 2011; Vol. 33, No. 2: pp 157-181.


This article provides a process/formative evaluation of the program Movement and Mindfulness, a body-based program designed and implemented for use with an outpatient psychosocial rehabilitation facility. The Movement and Mindfulness program offered stress-reduction, coping skills, and pro-social behavior for people experiencing severe mental illness using dance/movement therapy and yoga therapy-based techniques, as well as traditional group counseling and the Eastern concept of mindfulness. A formative evaluation was carried out during a 20-week period, involving an experiential curriculum focused on self-regulation and self-awareness. This study used qualitative methods including interviews, surveys, and verbal group feedback for data collection and analysis. The results provide examples of psychological and physical shifts that had occurred for the participants during the course of the program. Participants’ clinical observations revealed amelioration in pro-social behaviors, stress management, and communication skills. Numerous hypotheses emerged to be tested in future studies at the interface of Movement and Mindfulness programs.


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