Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Rebecca Zarate MT-BC, AVPT, LCAT


According to recent grief and loss research, creative arts therapy can help people heal after losing something or someone. However, there is little research to support the use of dance/movement therapy (DMT) in the adult population. This literature review investigated grief and loss, with a particular emphasis on embodied grief and how and where grief is carried in the physical body. Furthermore, this study of the literature extended on the implementation of DMT and the five senses with adults experiencing embodied grief, as well as body-based techniques to assist these individuals in understanding their loss. This was an essential subject to explore because, unfortunately, conceptualizing the grief process has been widely accepted as a conventional method of grieving. Adult's and young adults' grief processes, how long they should grieve, and how it manifests, have all been misconceptions. Following a thorough analysis of the current literature, the author identified how DMT and the five senses could help those experiencing embodiment grief as well as aid in their overall healing process.

The findings indicate that the body plays an important role in the adult grieving experience. The findings further support the notion that the body should be a part of the therapeutic connection and interventions utilized with this population to aid in the grieving process. As a result of the combination of the body and mindfulness grounding techniques, our findings indicate that dance movement therapy and the five senses could be beneficial interventions for this population.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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