Before graduating from the Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling program, each student must complete a thesis. Yes, I said it, a master’s thesis–a document that discusses research that one has conducted. As a second year student in the DMT & C program, I am only at the beginning of my process, taking the first steps towards figuring out what my thesis is going to be.
One word describes how I am currently feeling about conducting research and writing a master’s thesis: AMBIVALENCE.
On the one hand, I am so very excited to have the opportunity to design and conduct a research project on my own. I truly have the flexibility to do whatever I want (as long as it is ethical, of course), and to conduct research that really excites me. On the other hand, I am feeling a bit daunted by the whole thing. This is going to be a lot of work…. A LOT of work. First I must formulate an idea of what I would like to do. After that: a literature review, deciding on research methods, a research proposal to Columbia’s Internal Review Board (IRB), conducting research, analyzing the data/results, and then finally sitting down to write…..
I can do it.[flickr id=”6228053913″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”center”]
Like I said, I am merely at the beginning of my process trying to decipher a research topic. The theme of performance is something that keeps coming up for me, as evidenced by my previous blog posts and the utilization of performance as a therapeutic intervention. Since I am currently working with adults with developmental disabilities at my internship, I hope to focus my research with them. So as it stands, my thesis topic is “Using performance as therapy with adults with developmental disabilities,” or something like that?
Right now I am merely seeing what research has already been done on DMT & C with adults with disabilities and performance as therapy. In my search, I found this really cool video of adults with developmental disabilities performing modern dance. I believe the work was either showcased or documented at the Sprout Touring Film Festival.
The above video is truly beautiful to me, and this is something that I would like to do with my clients at Anixter Center as a way to broaden the scope of research on performance as therapy. I always found performing to be therapeutic in my own personal life and believe that it could be for not only my current clients but for all people.