Date of Award

Summer 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Chyela Rowe, Ph.D., RDT/BCT


Dance/movement therapy (DMT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are body-based approaches that facilitate the integration of the emotional, cognitive, and physical aspects of an individual. This literature review explores the intersections between DMT and EMDR and discusses potential ways these two methods may be integrated to support the therapeutic process. Research shows that developing body awareness, self-regulation skills, resourcing, and using movement are common principles and practices with DMT and EMDR. Both modalities are also found to help with decreasing symptoms related to anxiety, depression, and grief. Although limited, common neural networks are activated through the sensory experiences involved in both approaches. There is evidence that incorporating DMT interventions can support with developing a strong therapeutic relationship and an increased sense of safety for individuals engaging in EMDR. Enhancing the therapeutic alliance through DMT also has the potential to support the facilitation of bilateral stimulation. Furthermore, DMT can provide different forms of bilateral stimulation and introduce a creative and expressive element into the EMDR process through movement exploration and the use of props. There is a need for more research on this topic, as literature specifically addressing the combined application of DMT and EMDR was not found. Despite this limitation, the intersections between DMT and EMDR research suggest that integrating these two approaches could further aid individuals in exploring and processing distressing memories and emotions during EMDR treatment, thus providing a more effective therapeutic experience.

Creative Commons License

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




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