Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Elizabeth Kellogg


This capstone thesis examines how to use body-oriented expressive arts therapy to address dissociative symptoms of trauma in adults. Dissociation can arise during or after trauma has occurred and creates a state of disconnection in the body, inhibiting one’s sense of vitality. In this literature review, I provide a basis for why to look to the expressive arts and the body as effective resources for restoring vitality. I present relevant research on trauma, dissociation, and body-oriented expressive arts therapy; I also explore how concepts embedded in sensuality, pleasure, and eroticism may help inform how to use expressive arts therapy as a means of reconnecting to one’s body. Ultimately, there is a large gap in research in this area; however, results from the literature review reveal a great potential for using an erotic, body-oriented expressive arts therapy as a pathway out of dissociation. In the discussion section I consolidate my findings and offer a list of themes regarding how to incorporate the body safely and meaningfully into expressive arts therapy interventions.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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