Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher


Feminism is a social, cultural, and political movement and set of theories which highlight the impact of gender inequality in order to push for equal rights in all spheres. Dance/movement therapy is a method of psychotherapy which utilizes movement rather than verbal language to identify and process emotional material, centering the lived, embodied experience of the client. Both dance/movement therapy as a practice and profession and feminism as a movement and ideology have faced difficulties in being recognized as legitimate, worthwhile areas of focus, and they have also faced similar challenges in embracing diversity and inclusion. The ideological similarities between feminist theory and the theories supporting dance/movement therapy lend themselves to further investigation and incorporation, as both the feminist movement and the practice of dance/movement therapy necessarily evolve to stay both socially and culturally relevant and effectual in the promotion of positive change. By looking to the history of both the American feminist movement and the establishment of dance/movement therapy in America, practitioners of dance/movement therapy can gain valuable perspective on where we have come from, and insight into where we might yet journey to.