Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel C. Stephenson


This paper investigates how open clients would be to participating and engaging in Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) sessions at a residential SUD facility. The questions asked were (1) What level of engagement would clients have and (2) How would they engage in DMT group sessions at a residential substance use disorder facility? A program lasting 8 weeks, aimed at facilitating DMT group sessions, was conducted at a residential SUD facility twice a week. The objective was to assess participant engagement levels and observe their involvement in the DMT sessions. Residents of the facility were invited voluntarily to attend the DMT groups. Some things to consider were the residents’ social, cultural, and legal factors and the possibility of how they may affect their engagement. The clients consisted of all-male, mostly monolingual Spanish-speaking, were of Latino-Hispanic ethnicity, and the majority were legally mandated or had incarceration histories. Results indicated the DMT program had a high level of kinesthetic engagement, and most residents attended the group sessions. In addition, facilitator observations of the clients included – 1) gradually growing trust in the group process, 2) initially, concrete directives of experientials were easier to follow versus abstract ones, and 3) confidence and collaboration were built through peer support.

Creative Commons License

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




The author owns the copyright to this work.