Division of Expressive Therapies
Robyn Flaum Cruz
Professional Title: Professor of Expressive Therapies, PhD Program; Adjunct Dance/Movement Therapy Instructor
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Dance/Movement Therapy, specifically and Creative Arts Therapies generally. Research interests include: consolidating and expanding the evidence-base for dance/movement therapy and the creative arts therapies; understanding the relationship between verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors in the patient-provider relationship; enhancing diagnostic specificity using movement assessments; movement disorders; gesture.
Area of Work and Concentration at Lesley: PhD Program in Expressive Therapies, Dance/Movement Therapy. Work concentration includes focus on doctoral curriculum development for the creative arts therapies; technology as a core dissemination strategy in teaching; effective teaching of research methods and statistics for doctoral students; using research and leadership to advocate for the arts therapies locally, nationally, and internationally as viable healthcare professions that bring humanity to caring for those in need.
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: GEXTP 8101 Critical Inquiry; GEXTP 8103 Research I; GEXTP 8104 Research II; GEXTP 8105 Literature Review; GEXTP 8107 Dissertation Credits
Education: BA, George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University; MA, New York University; PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Arizona; BC-DMT, NCC, LPC
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions: Presentations"Abnormal Involuntary Movements and Psychodiagnosis." American Dance Therapy Association Conference, November 2014.Koch, S., Kunz, T., Lykou, S., & Cruz, R. F. (2014). Effects of Dance Movement Therapy and Dance on Health-Related Psychological Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 41 (1), 46-64.Cruz, R. F. & Feder, B. (2013). Feders’ the art and science of evaluation in the arts therapies 2nd ed. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Cruz, R. F. & Berrol, C. F. (Eds.) (2012). Dance/movement therapists in action: A working guide to research options 2nd ed. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Cruz, M., Roter, D. Cruz, R. F., Weiland, M., Cooper, L., Larsen, S., Reynolds, C., Pincus, H.A. (2011). Psychiatrist-patient verbal and nonverbal communications during split-treatment appointments. Psychiatric Services, 62 (11), 1361-1368.
Cruz, M., Roter, D., Cruz, R. F., Weiland, M., Cooper, L., Larsen, S., Reynolds, C., Pincus, H.A. (in press). Association between appointment length and psychiatrist communication behaviors to medication management appointment adherence. Psychiatric Services.
Cruz, R.F. (2009). Validity of the movement psychodiagnostic inventory: A pilot study. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 31(2), 122-135.
Lausberg, H., Zaidel, E., Cruz, R.F., & Pitto, A. (2007). Speech-independent production of communicative gestures: Evidence from patients with complete callosal disconnection. Neuropspychologia, 45, 3092-104.
Dr. Cruz’s clinical work has spanned populations such as adults with serious and persistent mental illnesses and children and adolescents with trauma and substance abuse issues. Her doctoral degree is in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Measurement and Methodology. She has worked as a research methodologist and research consultant, taught doctoral students since 1995, and has taught graduate courses in dance therapy, research methods, and statistics to students from many disciplines in the US, Europe, and South America.
Her courses reflect her interests in creative arts therapies research that uses the broad range of available methods and particularly, incorporating research thinking and resources into creative arts therapies clinical practices. Her teaching philosophy and practice are grounded in a professional collaboration model that reflects skills honed by teaching statistics to doctoral students from many disciplines at the University of Arizona. She uses a model based on the fact that students learn least from an instructor's oral recitation of information and most from engaging the subject matter themselves.
Dr. Cruz believes that policy and leadership go hand-in-hand for creative arts therapies and are important for the continued development and viability of these professions. She has devoted years of service to both the University and to the Creative Arts Therapies community at large. She serves as Co-Chair for the Lesley University Institutional Review Board, and was featured in the Lesley University 2012 Annual Report.
She is a Past President of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA), serving four years as Vice President and four years as President of the organization. In these capacities she regularly visited Washington, DC to speak with lawmakers about creative arts therapies with respect to access for clients and licensing. As ADTA President, she introduced the Multicultural and Diversity Committee to the ADTA Board of Directors. This was the first new standing committee created in the organization in over 25 years. Dr. Cruz also brought the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board, a separate credentialing body for dance therapy, and new credentials (R-DMT and BC-DMT) into existence during her Presidency, creating new professional opportunities and oversight for professional dance therapists.She is a former editor of American Journal of Dance Therapy, and has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Arts in Psychotherapy since 2002. Dr. Cruz is Chairperson of the National Coalition for Creative Arts Therapies Associations.
Program Main Page
Expressive Arts Therapy
Ph.D. in Expressive Therapies
Advanced Professional Certificate in Expressive Therapies
Advanced Professional Certificate in the Arts in Health
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Expressive Therapies
Expressive Therapies Faculty
Expressive Therapies Research CenterPrograms of StudyFrequently Asked Questions
Letter from Dean Koverola
Office of the Dean Staff
Arts and Health
Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences Home
Tuition and Fees
Continuing Education and Professional Development
888.LESLEY.U / 617.349.8300
Request more information
Schedule a campus visit
Get your application started today!