Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Marisol Norris, PH.D., MT-BC


Born without verbal language, humans rely on movement to understand basic needs (Beltran, Brown-Elhillali, Held, Ryce, Ofonedu, Hoover, Ensor, & Belcher, 2016). In the 1950s, Dance/Movement Therapists started to connect the mind and body as one entity (Chaiklin & Wengrower, 2009). This integration supported the idea that by working together, the mind and body can help the individuals understand their sense of self as a whole, including the physiological, emotional, sociocultural, and cognitive parts (Chaiklin & Wengrower, 2009). This literature review explores literature about traumatized children and the use of Dance/Movement Therapy. By allowing access to DMT and combining both verbal and nonverbal processing, children and individuals with trauma can have a unique treatment that caters to their needs. A child might need to move without speaking; in this situation, the therapist can then be a witness. The child might want to process how they are feeling after moving but do not have the words. Verbal therapy and movement-based therapies do not work alone but rather complement one another. The literature available focused on the empowerment of the client, the inclusion of community, and the benefit of knowledge. This review demonstrates the need for more DMT specific research that details the effects of DMT and child trauma.

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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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