Date of Award
MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Previous research has indicated that the experience of grief can be embodied or experienced on a bodily level, just like the process of attachment during the formation of an attachment relationship. Therefore, when working with adolescents who have experienced the death of a parent/attachment figure, the body should be included in the therapeutic process. This literature review addresses the importance of the body within the development of attachment relationships, an adolescent’s grief process, and the therapeutic relationship through themes of attunement, kinesthetic empathy and awareness, and witnessing, all of which are elements of dance movement therapy. Research was conducted using books, webinars, and peer reviewed articles that are prominent within the grief, body-based attachment, and dance movement therapy fields. The findings indicate that the body plays a significant role within each of these relationship dynamics and in the adolescent grief experience. Findings also support the idea that the body should be a part of the therapeutic relationship and interventions used with this population to support the grief process and development of new secure relationships. These findings suggest that dance movement therapy could be a beneficial intervention for this population due to the incorporation of the body. This information is important for further development of the grief counseling field and provides implications for dance movement therapy to be an integral part of this process. Future research is still needed on this topic as there is a limited amount of current research using attachment informed dance movement therapy practices within the grief counseling environment.
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Sawyer, Kelsey, "The Embodiment of Attachment and Grief in Adolescents: A Literature Review" (2019). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 187.
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