Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel Stephenson


As the quantity of trauma affected children rises so does the need for effective treatment interventions to resolve trauma symptomatology so children may resume successful development. Up until now, the most popular interventions to aid children who have experienced trauma, have been “top down approaches” such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Top down approaches focus on processing and altering thought content to alleviate symptoms of trauma. However, recent research indicates that top down approaches do not relieve the somatic and biological symptoms of trauma that account for a majority of trauma symptomology. The research of Duros & Crowley (2014) suggests that utilizing bottom up interventions that regulate the physical symptoms of trauma should be the first step in trauma treatment. Homann (2010) suggest that integrating the body into treatment for those who have experienced trauma can synchronize the endocrine system to inhibit proper functioning and with a balanced system, trauma affected clients can delve into cognitive processing. The findings of this literature review revealed that dance/movement therapy techniques such as body scanning, mirroring and body based coping skills may be efficacious interventions for children who have experienced trauma however further research is needed to qualify the efficacy of these methods. Body based techniques such as dance/movement therapy and would likely be most effective if paired with a top down method such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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