Dance/Movement Therapists’ Attitudes and Actions Regarding LGBTQI and Gender Nonconforming Communities
- 211 Downloads
This study examined dance/movement therapists’ attitudes and actions regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex (LGBTQI), and gender nonconforming communities (GNC). Building on similar studies conducted by music therapists and drama therapists, 42 survey questions were used to understand dance/movement therapists’ knowledge, preparedness, and how competent practice is being defined and enacted. The findings were analyzed based on 361 responses (26% response rate). Respondents were primarily professionals from the US (88%) who identified as female or cisgender female (91%) with a master’s degree (67%). The majority (87%) of dance/movement therapists reported being open and affirming, and 50% reported seeking supervision to counsel clients from the LGBTQI and GNC communities. However, a gap between the attitudes and applications of clinical skills was found. Sixty-two percent identified socio-political and/or legal issues, 48% named specific open and affirming approaches, and less than 1% reported the use of supervision as an approach to work with these communities. Fifty-two percent reported that clients’ sexual orientation had no influence on their choice of music, movement, or other interventions, and 43% reported the same for gender identity. The lack of knowledge and preparedness point to the need for more training and supervision. Advocacy counseling on the individual, institutional, and societal levels are suggested. More aesthetic research on movement, music, and prop choices are also recommended.
KeywordsLGBTQ Intersex Transgender Gender nonconforming Dance/movement therapy education
Our gratitude goes out to Team Rainbow for sharing the original survey for music therapy. We also thank Nisha Sajnani for sharing the revised survey for drama therapy. Our great appreciation goes out to dance/movement therapists Thania Acarón for reviewing the dance/movement therapy survey prior to dissemination, and to T Thomas for reviewing the manuscript. Last, but not least, we thank the ADTA and dance/movement therapy community for taking the time to participate and share your voices.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- American Counseling Association Multicultural Counseling Competencies Revisions Committee. (2015). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies. Alexandria, VA: Author. https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/competencies/multicultural-and-social-justice-counseling-competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=8573422c_20
- American Dance Therapy Association. (2015). Code of ethics. Retrieved from https://adta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Code-of-the-ADTA-DMTCB-Final.pdf
- American Dance Therapy Association. (2017). Standards for education and clinical training. Retrieved from https://adta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ADTA-Standards-for-Education-and-Clinical-Practice-effective-January-1-2023.pdf
- American Psychological Association. (2002). Multicultural guidelines on education and training, research, practice and organizational development for psychologists. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- American Psychological Association Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance. (2008). Report of the task force on gender identity and gender variance. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/gender-variant-2.pdf
- Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC). (2013). Competencies for counseling with lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, intersex, and ally individuals (LGBQQIA). Alexandria, VA: Author.Google Scholar
- Colizzi, M., Costa, R., & Todarello, O. (2014). Transsexual patients’ psychiatric comorbidity and positive effect of cross-sex hormonal treatment on mental health: Results from a longitudinal study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 39, 65–73. https://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0616_transgender-policy/
- Dalesio, E. P., & Drew, J. (2017, Mar. 27). AP exclusive: Price tag of North Carolina’s LGBT law: $3.76B. Retrieved from https://apnews.com/fa4528580f3e4a01bb68bcb272f1f0f8/ap-exclusive-bathroom-bill-cost-north-carolina-376b
- Ehrenreich, N., & Barr, M. (2005). Intersex surgery, female genital cutting, and the selective condemnation of’ cultural practices. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 40, 71–140.Google Scholar
- Grant, J. M., Mottet, L. A., Tanis, J., Harrison, J., Herman, J. L., & Keisling, M. (2011). Injustice at every turn: a report of the national transgender discrimination survey. National Center for Transgender Equality & National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Retrieved on August 4, 2015 from http://www.thetaskforce.org/static_html/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf
- Haas, A. P., Eliason, M., Mays, V. M., Mathy, R. M., Cochran, S. D., D’augelli, A. R., … Clayton, P. J. (2011). Suicide and suicide risk in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations: Review and recommendations. Journal of Homosexuality, 58(1), 10–51. http://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2011.534038
- Human Rights Watch. (2017). “I want to be like nature made me.” Medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children in the US. Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/07/25/i-want-be-nature-made-me/medically-unnecessary-surgeries-intersex-children-us
- Maguen, S., & Shipherd, J. C. (2010). Suicide risk among transgender individuals. Psychology Sex, 1(1), 34–43.Google Scholar
- Marimow, A. E. (2017). Transgender military ban is stigmatizing, likely harmful already, judge says. The Washington Post. November. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/transgender-military-ban-is-stigmatizing-likely-harmful-already-judge-says/2017/11/09/b04a7232-c4a8-11e7-84bc-5e285c7f4512_story.html?utm_term=.747103d9607e
- McFarland, W. P., & Dupuis, M. (2001). The legal duty to protect gay and lesbian students from violence in school. Professional School Counseling, 4(3), 171–179.Google Scholar
- Nadal, K. L. (2013). That’s so gay! Microaggressions and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- National Center for Transgender Equality. (2017). Texas Birth Certificate Laws. Retrieved from https://transequality.org/documents/state/texas
- National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. (2017). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected hate violence in 2016: A 20th anniversary report from the national coalition of anti-violence programs. Retrieved from http://avp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/NCAVP_2016HateViolence_REPORT.pdf
- Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2015). Revision of the AMCD Multicultural Counseling Competencies: Future directions in counseling practice and research. In Educational session presented at the American Counseling Association conference. Orlando, FL.Google Scholar
- School Anti-Bullying. (2017). In Human rights campaign: State maps of laws and policies. Retrieved from https://www.hrc.org/state-maps/anti-bullying
- Sinclair-Palm, J. (2017). “It’s non-existent”: Haunting in trans youth narratives about naming. Queering Education: Pedagogy, Curriculum, Policy, 37, 1–13.Google Scholar
- Whitehead-Pleaux, A., Donnenwerth, A. M., Robinson, B., Hardy, S., Oswanski, L. G., Forinash, M., … Tan, X. (2013). Music therapists’ attitudes and actions regarding the LGBTQ community: A preliminary report. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 40(4), 409–414.Google Scholar
- Witten, T. M. (2016). The intersectional challenges of aging and of being a gender non-conforming adult. Generations, 40(2), 63–70.Google Scholar
- Southern Poverty Law Center. (n.d.). Anti-LGBT extremist group: Alliance defending freedom. Retrieved from https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/alliance-defending-freedom
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Bathroom/facility access and transgender employees. Retrieved from https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-bathroom-access-transgender.cfm
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). What you should know about EEOC and the enforcement protections for LGBT workers. Retrieved from https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/enforcement_protections_lgbt_workers.cfm