Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher


Traditional Western masculinity ideology, which is adhered to mostly by white men (Levant & Pryor, 2020, p. 12), is the dominant construct of masculinity in the United States that influences expectations of behavior among males (American Psychological Association, 2018; Levant & Richmond, 2016). Men who adhere strictly to traditional Western masculinity ideology may find their lives negatively affected by their behavior related to socialized gender norms. Seeking help for mental health challenges goes against traditional Western masculinity ideology, as does emotional expression, which makes these men especially vulnerable to the negative effects of poor mental health. Dance/movement therapy is an effective way to counsel men whose adherence to traditional Western masculinity ideology leads to mental health problems because of its use of nonverbal communication; its emphasis on increasing emotional awareness; its humanistic, strength-based approach; its ability to enhance an individual’s self-compassion; and its efficacy as a group therapy modality.