Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2025

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Wendy Allen PhD, LPC, BC-DMT


Dance/movement therapy, out of all of the expressive arts therapy modalities, is most often used in relation to attachment because of its embodiment. While dance/movement therapy has been researched in relation to attachment, is it hard to find literature about dance/movement therapy supporting attachment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This critical literature review explored and examined the question of how dance/movement therapy can support parents’ wellbeing and its influence on the attachment with their infants in the NICU. A search for literature on the topic happened mostly online on several bibliographic databases. The majority of the sources were written after 2000, most of them within the last few years. The literature provided research about attachment itself. There are also plenty of resources about dance/movement therapy in many clinical settings, including work with infants and children. However, literature lacked the connection between dance/movement therapy, attachment theory and the NICU. The goal of the thesis was to attempt bridging those gaps as it is proven that dance/movement therapy is the most effective of all expressive arts therapy modalities at work with attachment (Malchodi, 2014). Therefore the hope is that the work presented in the thesis will come to benefit the infants in the NICU and their families as well as the dance/movement therapy field in order to help more families.




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