Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Professor Meg Chang EdD, BC-DMT, LCAT, NCC


This literature review includes research on the history of and cultural roots of circles; role of belonging and our social engagement system in circle and group processes; and healing and witnessing in circle. This literature review highlights supportive research exploring reasons we are drawn to the circle formation, how circle spaces are powerful, and why this structure may help to bring ease and safety to our nervous systems. The research reviewed includes an exploration of the history of circles in dance/movement therapy (DMT); how circles facilitate healing of the social engagement system; and how circles can contribute to healing on the individual level through increased sense of belonging, connection, coregulation, and perceived safety. The purpose of this research review is to highlight studies and supportive research into the power and potential for the future of group therapeutic work and the power of circle.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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