Date of Award
Master of Art in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (MA)
Creative Arts Therapies
Laban Movement Analysis, brain injury
This single-participant quasi-experimental thesis study was an investigation of the implementation of Rudolf Laban’s dimensional and diagonal movement scales in individual dance/movement therapy sessions with an adult female recovering from brain injury. The main research question was “How will the implementation of Laban’s movement scales affect the participant’s general awareness of space?”
The Santa Barbara Sense of Direction Scale was used as a pre-test and post-test to record the participant’s self-reports of her spatial awareness. Eleven sessions were video-recorded and the participant’s movement during the scales was observed and notated by the primary researcher and a hired analyst using Laban Movement Analysis. Since the participant had limited movement capacity, the observation parameters were focused on her eye movements; she was scored as successful or unsuccessful in seeing each point in space. Mean calculations of the scores assigned for each point revealed that the participant improved overall by 16% in her execution of the scales, which could indicate an increase in spatial awareness. Her score on the post-test indicated an improvement of 3% in her self-reports of her spatial awareness.
The hypothesis developed from this research is that Laban’s movement scales may augment recovery from brain injury in a beneficial manner because the client’s spatial awareness may improve when the scales are executed regularly. This research provides evidence that dance/movement therapy interventions building on Laban’s theory of Movement Harmony are valid techniques to address spatial awareness. Additional outcomes of the study include the proposal of study protocols for use in further research studies of this type.
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Fluty, Kristina, "See the Path: Using Laban's Movement Scales to Address Spatial Awareness After Brain Injury" (2010). Creative Arts Therapies Theses. Paper 22.