Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Michelle Napoli


Although there is limited research in the dance movement therapy community regarding this population, dance movement therapy is slowly finding itself to be an effective intervention to help African Americans heal from trauma. Through the research I was able to discover if dance movement therapy could have a positive healing impact on this specific population. Many studies looked at exploring dance movement therapy interventions with youth and families as well as the impact of facilitating dance movement therapy groups with youth, while incorporating DMT interventions to help heal trauma. Through all of these interventions these studies used dance movement therapy to evaluate trauma symptoms such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and anger. These DMT interventions were reported to be successful in the process of reducing stigma, reintegrating into the community and reducing these trauma symptoms. This shows that when these approaches are introduced in these communities, they are found to be impactful both psychologically and physically after a traumatic event. Dance as an intervention has been used for many years with the African American population and has helped them through traumas dating back in history to the times of slavery, and still through modern traumas today. This is valuable when looking at this community through the lens of dance movement therapy. This literature review helps in providing more research to the population of African Americans in this field where there is not much research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




The author owns the copyright to this work.