Liesbet Manders is an Associated Researcher with the Heidelberg node of the TESIS project. She has a BA from the University of Chicago, MA in dance/movement therapy and counseling from Antioch University New England, is a board-certified dance/movement therapist, and a PhD candidate in creative arts therapies at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Liesbet has joined the Heidelberg node of the TESIS project to conduct her dissertation research in conjunction with the Heidelberg node’s study of dance/movement therapy and embodiment in schizophrenia and autism. Liesbet will be studying movement-based social interactions by individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders struggle with social interactions in a way that includes difficulties with the nonverbal components of interactions and suggests differences in their embodied experience of the social environment. Liesbet will be using video from the therapy groups to look at the level of success in interactions (including emotional engagement and flow of the interaction) in relation to movement patterns in the individual and between the two individuals in the dyad. She will specifically investigate movement synchrony between participants in the interaction, characteristics of the individual’s movements, and change over the course of the therapy.