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Robyn Cruz

Professor of Expressive Therapies

faculty robyn flaum cruz

Dr. Robyn 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.

Robyn believes that policy and leadership go hand-in-hand with creative arts therapies and are important for the continued development and viability of these professions. She has devoted years of service to the University and to the Creative Arts Therapies community at large. She served as Co-Chair for the Lesley University Institutional Review Board from 2012-2021, and as IRB member from 2005 to the present. She 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.

Robyn 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 served as Editor-in-Chief of The Arts in Psychotherapy from 2002 to 2015. She is past Chairperson of the National Coalition for Creative Arts Therapies Associations.  


Selected Publications

Young, J., Cruz, R. F., & Robinson, A. (2022). Trauma-informed dance/movement therapy: Implications for healing-centered education, practice, and research. In R. Dieterich-Hartwell & A. M. Melsom (Eds.), Dance/movement therapy for trauma survivors: Theoretical, clinical and cultural perspectives. Routledge. 

Ramirez, K., Haen, C., & Cruz, R. F. (2020). Investigating Impact: The effects of school-based art therapy on adolescent boys living in poverty. The Arts in Psychotherapy,71, 101710, 1-7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2020.101710.

Cruz, R. F. (2020). Foreword. In J. Tantia (Ed.) The art and science of embodied research design: Concepts, methods and cases. Routledge Publishing.

Cruz, R. F. (2020). Book review: Routledge international handbook of embodied perspectives in psychotherapy, H. Payne, S. Koch, J. Tantia & T. Fuchs, (Eds.). Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17432979.2020.1718211.

Cruz, R. F. & Forinash, M. (2019). Supervision in doctoral education. In M. Forinash (Ed.) Music Therapy Supervision (2nd ed.). Barcelona Publishers.

Cruz, R. F. & Berrol, C. F. (Eds.) (2019). Dance/movement therapists in action: A working guide to research options (3rd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Cruz, R. F. (2018). Marian Chace lecture 2017: Rhythms of research and dance/movement therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy40(1), 142-154. DOI: 10.1007/s10465-018-9267-7

Kawano, T., Cruz, R. F., & Tan, X. (2018). Dance/movement therapists’ attitudes and actions regarding LGBTQI and gender nonconforming communities. American Journal of Dance Therapy40(2), 202-223. doi:10.1007/s10465-018-9283-7

Cruz, R. F., (2016)Dance/movement therapy and developments in empirical research: The first 50 years. American Journal of Dance Therapy. DOI: 10.1007/s10465-016-9224-2

Cruz, R. F., & Tantia, J. (2016). Reading and understanding qualitative research. American Journal of Dance Therapy. doi:10.1007/s10465-016-9219-z

Cruz, M., Cruz, R.F., & Pincus, H.A. (2015) Patients' Perspective on the Value of Medication Management Appointments.  Healthcare, 3, 284-295.

Cruz, R. F. & Koch, S. (2015) Reading and evaluating quantitative research in body psychotherapy. International Body Psychotherapy Journal: The Art and Science of Somatic Praxis, 14(1), 10-19.

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.


PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Arizona
MA, New York University
BA, George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.  

Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT)
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)