Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Kelvin Ramirez


This capstone thesis explored the use of body mapping and body scans as a tool for assessing and tracking somatic dissociation and embodiment. The researcher utilized a clientcentered approach and mindfulness-based interventions and theory to ground the work with the clients. While there were a variety of questionnaire-based tools for assessing dissociation with clients, many of them were lacking in the somatic component of dissociation. The available assessments were also exclusively self-reported and written or verbal, which had the potential to result in biased reporting. Clients may have also struggled to identify their level of somatic dissociation due to an inherent disconnection or dismissal of their somatic experience. This research described two case studies in which body scans and body mapping were utilized as a method to assess and track the client’s level of body dissociation and embodiment. Both the clients were young adults who identified as women and experienced significant sexual trauma as children in addition to ongoing trauma throughout the rest of their lives. The researcher found that the body scan was a more applicable assessment tool than the body map, but that the exercise might need to be adapted to be more successful as an assessment tool. While neither of the clients were able to successfully complete a full body scan, the researcher was able to glean valuable assessment information from their reactions to the exercise.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License




The author owns the copyright to this work.