Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Annette Whitehead-Pleaux


As Juvenile Sex Trafficking (JST) has gained more attention over the past few decades, more attention has also been given to the treatment of the survivors. While there has been significant research regarding treatment of JST survivors and the subsequent symptoms that come with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to sexual trauma, little attention has been given to the re-integration process of survivors of JST. Reintegration will include an understanding of intrapersonal emotions, processing the dissociative subtype of PTSD, rebuilding trust of self and others, and re-forming interpersonal relationships post-trauma. Through practice, there have been promising results from the use of dance/movement therapy (DMT) with survivors of sexual trauma including those whose trauma is from a history of sexual trafficking as a minor. Because of the body-based nature of this trauma it is important to include the body in the healing and recovery process. Not only is this approach important for the survivors’ own individual reintegration, it is also essential for the rebuilding of trust in interpersonal relations outside of the trafficking community. Through a review of literature and the author’s experience with this population, the author will provide evidence for the use of DMT as a body-based therapeutic approach for the body-based trauma sustained by female survivors of JST. Additionally, the author will seek to highlight the potential for further research regarding the use of DMT for the rebuilding of trust and integration between the survivor and others.

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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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