Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Elizabeth Kellogg


This thesis describes the capstone project which was a psychoeducation and experiential workshop for fitness trainers. The workshop investigated the impact trainers’ work may have on the body image of their clients through a dance/movement therapy (DMT) technique. The aim was to enhance the trainers’ sensitivity around body image issues of their clients and to create a space for vulnerable movement conversation that may in turn lead to better mental health advocacy for their clients within the scope of ethical practice. The participants of the workshop were six white female identifying trainers ranging from 24 to 35 years of age. The workshop was comprised of a collaborative warm up, a section utilizing the DMT technique of mirroring, a journaling session based on prompts, a presentation of relevant literature and closed with a discussion on the experience. Congruent with the literature, participants reported increased empathy and body awareness. In addition, the trainers shared how the use of understanding their own body image could impact their work with their clients. This paper begins with a literature review of the related topics, is followed by detailed outline of the methods, and concludes with the results, and a discussion from the researcher’s perspective. Future research could include a prospective study surveying trainers’ attitudes toward their own body image pre- and post-workshop to explore impact.

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