Date of Award

Summer 9-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Marisol Norris


This literature review looks at whether Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) might be useful when treating identity disturbances within Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It begins by analyzing the role of identity within one’s life. Identifying how self-concept strongly impacts how one perceives and behaves within their surroundings. Identity disturbance is a characteristic of BPD that has been found to be pervasive. The lack of self-concept is also tied to the other symptoms of BPD, such as impulsivity, dysregulation, and difficulties with interpersonal relationships. Genetics, brain function, and complex childhood trauma are thought to impact the development of BPD. Persistent adverse experiences can disrupt the early stages of development, during a time when a child is typically learning about personal identity and self in relation to others. DMT interventions that address attachment, trauma, and interpersonal relationships, through the use of movement exploration, imagery, and props have the potential to benefit individuals with BPD. The body-based interventions offered within DMT offer new ways to foster a strong self-concept given the information known about the development of identity and BPD.

Creative Commons License

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




The author owns the copyright to this work.