This paper is a narrative account spanning 10-years in the life of Paul, a 19-year-old, elite dancer who, without knowledge of dance therapy, self-determined to claim dance ‘as’ therapy for himself as he faced a long, post-recovery after traumatic brain surgery that left him a mere shadow of his former self. His experiences were recounted in three open-ended interviews supplemented with insights from his brother and the first author based on their personal relationships with Paul. Findings demonstrate the connections he unknowingly made to dance therapy to re-train his mind and body and to re-gain strength and function while maintaining a spiritual resolve to remain positive and never give up. His experiences are reflected within the literature related to dance therapy and demonstrate outcomes of healing through dance and music, alongside medical care. The intent of this narrative is to inform and share the journey between illness, diagnosis, and recovery. The goal is to honour the value in narrative medicine and how lived stories can build relationships between health care professionals and those who walk in the shoes of recovery.
Kalyn, Brenda Ph.D.; Nicol, Jennifer J. Ph.D.; and Quinlan, Elizabeth Ph.D.
"Dance and Music as Therapy: Post Surgery Recovery and Healing through the Arts,"
Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine: Vol. 8:
1, Article 14.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/survive_thrive/vol8/iss1/14