Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Jason D. Butler


Researchers have found that anxiety and depression are prevalent diagnoses within the adolescent population, due to increased stressors in several areas of their lives. Research also suggests that humor leads to increased social bonding, and that it can be a powerful tool for encouraging the expression of emotions. Finally, dance movement therapy (DMT) has been found to be a successful practice with adolescents, due to its non-verbal nature and relevance to body image. However, research regarding specific DMT interventions involving humor is lacking. This literature review examines the impact of humor on adolescents with depression and anxiety, and its possible intersections with dance movement therapy. The literature suggests that adolescents could benefit from DMT interventions potentially involving humor, such as mirroring, exaggeration, and working through metaphor. This literature review provides recommendations for interventions, as well as for further research on this topic.

Keywords: dance movement therapy, psychotherapy, depression, anxiety, humor, laughing, and adolescents.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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