Individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia face a myriad of obstacles to wellness, beginning with diagnostic discrepancies including over- and misdiagnoses on the schizophrenia spectrum. People with schizophrenia experience profound amounts of stigmatization from the general population, their healthcare providers, and even themselves. Such stigmatization creates a barrier for wellness, poorer prognoses, and often limits adherence to physical and mental healthcare. Moreover, it can exacerbate the already stifling symptomatology of their diagnoses, including specific bodily-related symptomatology. Oftentimes, a diagnosis of schizophrenia disrupts one's relationship with their body including a diminished mind-body connection, decreased interoceptive awareness, and thus unsuccessful intra- and interpersonal relationships. Some recent research suggests the use of mind-body therapies, however, if these practices are internalizing, they may not be appropriate for people with schizophrenia experiencing more acute symptomatology excluding them from treatment. Dance/movement therapy (DMT) is an embodied psychotherapeutic treatment option that can support participants in improving mind-body connection, social relationships, and self-regulatory skill development. Research on DMT has shown promising results for people with schizophrenia, however such research is limited and would benefit from increased studies that particularly measure the effects of DMT on mind-body connection and increased interoception for people with schizophrenia. Moreover, integrative and collaborative treatment models that couple DMT and biofeedback may further our understanding of the physiological and neurological effects of DMT interventions for people with schizophrenia and beyond. This review will examine the recent literature on health inequities for people with schizophrenia, their specific body-based disruptions and needs, and DMT as a promising treatment model, particularly when coupled with biofeedback.
Biondo, Jacelyn, "Dance/Movement Therapy as a Holistic Approach to Diminish Health Discrepancies and Promote Wellness for People With Schizophrenia: A Review of the Literature" (2023). Department of Family & Community Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 69.
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