Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Rebecca Zarate


There is a large body of research showing that Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is an effective method for treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). However, many individuals still might not improve after exposure and other behavioral approaches. Current research has explored the role of interoception in OCD and highlighted the need for addressing physiological experiences in treatment. Research shows that the population with OCD might experience more distress than the general population when engaging in states of rest (Gehrt et al., 2020). This literature review explored how stillness in Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) could be conductive in increasing an individual’s capacity to sustain anxiety for more extended periods and help with treatment adherence. It was found that individuals with OCD experience separation from emotion/internal stimuli to logical thinking and that self-ambivalence lie at the core of the disorder. Experience of stillness, when employed appropriately in therapy, could provide a chance for integration and increase interoceptive awareness in those individuals. A theoretical framework was conceptualized, providing a structure for therapists to develop new interventions for this population.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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