Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies




The purpose of this literature review is to discuss data on the prevalence of chronic pain, current treatment options, and the effectiveness of dance/movement therapy (D/MT) as a successful treatment approach. This literature review discusses the etiology of chronic pain, numerous treatment paradigms, an alternative model of care based on D/MT principles, and new considerations for facilitating D/MT groups. According to the literature, clients who participated in D/MT groups for chronic pain experienced an expansion of their movement vocabulary, a decrease in their movement-based fear response, a feeling of being seen, heard, and validated, a sense of control over their bodies, and an increase in identifying sensations in the body. This was achieved using a D/MT group structure including an opening, warm-up, theme development, discussion, and closing. Additionally, this review of the literature analyzes the consequences of facilitating virtual D/MT groups as well as addition considerations when approaching this population, such as practicing self-compassion, assigning homework, offering opportunities for shared leadership and seeking permission. Future study is needed to identify the effects of D/MT on chronic pain populations, particularly how to achieve long-term change and favorable outcomes after the group has ended.

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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