Date of Award
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Shelly Smith-Acuña, Ph.D.
Second Committee Member
Ragnar Storaasli, Ph.D.
Third Committee Member
Brandon Ward, Psy.D.
Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFCT), Dance movement therapy (DMT), Ballroom dance, Couples, Non-verbal communication
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT), Dance Movement Therapy (DMT), and ballroom dance have each been found to be beneficial in developing individual and interpersonal verbal and non-verbal communication and emotional awareness; however, very little research has been performed on the combined therapeutic use of any of these modalities. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with therapists and ballroom dance instructors who work with couples in order to facilitate dialogue regarding the limitations and benefits of therapy and ballroom dance. The core theme of this study was the ‘Interest in Application.’ The eleven additional themes that evolved were ‘Benefits of Ballroom Dance for Couples in Therapy;’ ‘Implications of Non-verbal Communication;’ ‘Emotional Reveal;’ ‘Emotional Dysregulation;’ ‘The Impact of Implementing Change;’ ‘Result of the Physical Engagement;’ ‘The Role of a Profession;’ ‘Competency and Comfort;’ ‘Professional Therapeutic Partnerships;’ ‘Challenges;’ and ‘Ethical Considerations.’ The study demonstrated that there are benefits to utilizing ballroom dance as an enhancing therapeutic tool for couples in emotional distress when there is a deficiency in non-verbal communication skills. The results also suggest that there is a manageable partnership and application capability for therapists and ballroom dance instructors who work with couples.
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Kronish, Shana B., "Ballroom Dancing in Conjunction with Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Increasing Emotional Connections Through Non-Verbal Communication" (2018). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 314.
Available for download on Wednesday, July 15, 2020