Connections and Parallels Between Humanistic Psychology and Modern Dance at Jacob’s Pillow

Price:$179.95 + shipping
(Click the PayPal button to buy)
This study explores how the development of humanistic psychology paralled the evolution of modern dance, and what the connections were between the fields as they grew. This is a study of three fields developing within the 20th century. It demonstrates the relevance of the arts to humanistic psychology, and the ways in which the psychologists and dancers influenced each other.


“Hadassah H. Hoffman, studying the ways in which humanistic psychology and modern dance developed, has produced an impressive study of these two fields and their relationship. She has documented the history of humanistic psychology, and in an effort to establish connections between humanistic psychology and modern dance, has researched the literature of dance/movement therapy as well. Her presentation of the biographies of the pioneers of American modern dance, and her comprehensive history of Jacob's Pillow, is thorough and informative. With much persistence and appreciative outreach, Dr. Hoffman secured interviews with a third generation of modern dancers, and these interviews add much liveliness to her study. The interviews are very personal and reflective of the ever-changing field of American modern dance. This fascinating work of cultural and personal history provides valuable and very human insights into how creative people and movements evolve. In a sense, the author has produced "a dance of ideas and the people who lived them." – (from the Commendatory Preface)Thomas Greening, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School

“In her absorbing study of humanistic psychology and modern dance, Hadassah Hoffman enables the reader to learn more about each of these fields individually while gaining some insight into the apparent parallels between them. Based upon interviews with ten prominent individuals in modern dance as well as extensive research into the existing literature of both dance and psychology, Dr. Hoffman's book delves into a field of inquiry that has not yet been fully explored by other researchers or writers. Through her questions, her hypotheses and her conclusions, it is apparent that this is an exceedingly rich topic … In summarizing the writings of psychologist Abraham Maslow, Hoffman gives us additional insight into the connections she perceives, citing Maslow's observation that there is much common ground between the psychologically healthy person and the creative person … While Dr. Hoffman details her official findings, her readers may well reach their own conclusions about this fascinating field of study. Fortunately, the way is pointed for further research on related subjects in a thorough list of references encompassing all of the topics explored. As Hoffman herself accurately summarizes, "This study makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the relevance of the arts to humanistic psychology, and demonstrates the importance of a psychology that acknowledges cultural trends as diagnostic and prognostic of individual psychological issues." In stating her desire that this study will initiate further exploration and examination of connections between creative arts and humanistic psychology, Hadassah Hoffman points the way for others to follow in her inspired footsteps.” – Norton Owen, Director of Preservation, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

“This book brings together two 20th century phenomena, the development of “modern dance" and the emergence of "humanistic psychology." Is this an unlikely marriage? Not according to Dr. Hoffman who provides an in-depth review of three generations of dancers at Jacob's Pillow, the font of modern dance. She also provides a careful reading of Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, and James Bugental, pivotal figures in the founding of humanistic psychology. The connections that emerge have never been documented before and they will be of interest to devotees of dance and psychology alike.” – Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School and Co-editor, The Psychological Effects of War Trauma on Civilians

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Review of the Literature
a. Humanistic Psychology
b. The Dancers: Historical Introduction and Literature Review
c. The Dance Therapists
3. Research Methodology
4. Findings
5. Discussion

Other Dance Books