Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Closed Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher


The human throat can be seen as a bridge from the body to the mind (Dychtwald, 1986). If there is a blockage that is keeping the emotions down in the body, the emotions will not be able to be turned into thoughts and words. This thesis explores how trauma can create this disconnect between the mind and the body, creating a blockage in the throat, making it more difficult to have a clear mind-body connection that can then lead to difficulties communicating with others. Through experiencing trauma, an individual may experience chronic muscle tension in the throat and other areas in the body that are needed to vocalize, causing difficulties in producing the voice. Individuals can experience changes in the voice that present no biological cause such as loss of volume, loss of muscle control in the throat muscles, or a complete loss of the voice. This thesis proposes that dance/movement therapy can be a beneficial therapeutic practice and be integrated with practices such as bioenergetics to regain full access to the voice. To be able to open up the blockage in the throat and process the emotions that are suppressed and locked in the body, the healing has to engage with the body. Dance/movement therapy is a therapeutic practice that creates safe spaces where the therapist meets the client and they are able to explore the inner sensations and start the process of opening up the channel that is between the mind and the body.

Under author imposed embargo.
Available for download on Thursday, May 01, 2025