The effects of mothers' participation in movement therapy on the emotional functioning of their school-age children in Israel

Dafna Regev, Dalia Kedem, Joseph Guttmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the current study was to employ a quantitative methodology to examine the influence of mothers' participation in a children's movement therapy group. The theoretical model underlying this study combined the principals of both dyadic therapy (Harel, Avimeir-Patt, & Ben-Aaron, 2006) and movement therapy (Loman & Merman, 1999), to obtain a creative healing method to be used in a group setting. Participants in the study included 26 children, 17 boys and 9 girls, ages 6-8, whose mothers consented to have the children participate. The design that was adopted to this research is a randomized control trial. It was hypothesized that in the experimental group (intervention with mothers), improvement in children's self-image and behaviors would be greater than that of children in the control group (intervention without mothers), and that mothers who participated in the intervention would demonstrate improvement in parental functioning compared to mothers who did not participate in the intervention. The independent variables were assessed at two different times: before the beginning of the therapeutic intervention and after the completion of 16 therapy sessions. Findings of the study indicate (1) improvement in the children's self-image, in both groups, (2) a greater improvement in children's behavior in the experimental group than in the control group, (3) improvement in the functioning and efficacy of parental functioning in both groups (with a higher degree of improvement in the experimental group). This study paves the way for future research, which could further substantiate the importance of parental inclusion in joint therapy with the child and provide an additional validation of the field of movement therapy in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-488
Number of pages10
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Effectiveness
  • Parent-child movement therapy
  • School-age children

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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