Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Meg Chang



The following literature review is an investigation of the current state of the literature regarding the use of dance/movement therapy as a treatment modality for adults with dual diagnosis in recovery. The theories explored in this paper present the primary and conventional modes that are currently being used to treat substance use and comorbid mental health disorders, such as the 12-Step program model of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as introducing alternative methods of treatment, which include the use of dance/movement therapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, and the somatic work of the Alexander Technique, which offer a more holistic approach to healing for individuals with dual diagnosis in recovery. In reviewing the literature, a key feature of why dance/movement therapy and somatic therapies are effective in treating the dual diagnosis population is because these therapies have the capacity to re-establish and re-integrate a personal connection between the individual and their body, which is often lost during the struggle of addiction. Through the process of reviewing the literature, dance/movement therapy and other body-based and somatic approaches were revealed in the research as having empirically significant outcomes that may offer a new vantage for treating individuals in recovery. The implications of the literature suggest that for individuals in recovery reconnection to the body and sensation is vital to effective treatment of substance use and comorbid mental health disorders.

Keywords: Dance/movement therapy, dual diagnosis, alexander technique, substance use/abuse

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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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