Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Meg Chang


Since its development in the early 20th century, dance/movement therapy has sought to help individuals strengthen communication, deepen empathy, build trust, and experience physical closeness. Incidentally, couples counseling tends to address many of the same goals. This Capstone thesis investigated the overlaps between the fields of dance/movement therapy and couples counseling to the effect of understanding how those fields may work together. An initial review revealed that the current research only examined dance/movement therapy with couples who are privileged in the areas of race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Thus, the review broadened to explore how dance/movement therapists work with marginalized individuals and how couples counselors work with couples in which one or both partners identifies with an oppressed community. The result of this review is an increased understanding of an important gap in the existing literature. It is recommended that dance/movement therapists strive for greater cultural competence by developing a deeper understanding of global dance forms and their healing abilities, integrating queer and feminist theories with dance/movement therapy, and continuing to fight for greater access to higher education for oppressed individuals. Ideally, the result of this action will be a stronger body of research and a broadened capacity for healing both individuals and couples.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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