Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC)

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Catherine Borbotsina

Abstract

Adolescents who have experienced problematic attachment relationships in infancy often have difficulty with self-regulation and therefore may cope using destructive means such as harmful sexual behavior. Self-regulation is the ability to calm the mind and body and manage emotions appropriately. Dance/movement therapy (DMT) may be a beneficial treatment tool for adolescents with problem sexual behaviors (PSB) to teach self-regulation techniques that may have not been developed due to early traumatic experiences. Self-applied touch is a DMT intervention that may assist individuals with self-regulation that was missed during critical developmental periods. This Capstone project implemented a self-applied touch warm-up with six adolescent males with PSB at the beginning of Relapse Application group sessions over three weeks. This researcher was curious about the effects the self-applied touch warm-up had on the participants’ behavior in the remainder of the verbal group session. The collected data showed that the warm-up assisted some of the participants with self-regulation while it did not help others. It is possible that participants who did not use self-applied touch for self-regulation were unable due to social norms or their traumatic histories. Treatment programs for PSB may benefit by including DMT approaches in the curriculum as long as the DMT intervention is catered to the populations’ needs.

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