Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy


Dance/Movement Therapy Graduate Program


This thesis is an investigative inquiry into the use of dance/movement therapy with children adopted out of foster care and their families. By focusing on the relevance of attachment and trauma with this population, this thesis draws connections between dance/movement therapy theoretical components and literature and the needs of this population. Children adopted out of foster care experience disrupted attachments and traumatic histories of separation, abuse, and neglect. As the literature illustrates, attachment and trauma are body-level experiences, and when addressing these issues, they must be approached through a modality that involves, engages, and values the body and the memories, interactions, and healing potential that it holds. Dance/movement therapy presents as an ideal treatment for attachment and trauma-related issues, especially when working with children whose primary language and learning tool is movement. Dance/movement therapists have unique abilities to identify, assess, and address issues through the body and movement, and possess the potential to support former foster children and their adoptive families by using nonverbal means to build attachment, process experiences, and resolve trauma.