Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher


Self-care is a vital component to the well-being and professional longevity of dance/movement therapists. Empathy, honored as a gift among highly sensitive therapists, invites exploration into certain vulnerabilities that contribute to the risks of compassion-fatigue and vicarious trauma in therapy professions. A collaborative intersection connecting the origins of self-care, kinesthetic empathy, energy healing and creativity provides therapists with an embodied self-care method. Radical love energy and interpsychic communication awaken nuanced opportunities for regenerative harmony to be experienced in the body, while enlivened states of compassion and surrender offer restorative possibilities. Practicing porous body-boundaries encourages sensory stimuli to pass through the body during emotionally charged therapeutic encounters and invites present moment revitalization. The spiritually rejuvenating nature of artmaking through sensory transmutation provide additional pathways for recuperation for therapists. These elements, supported by an exploration into the dynamic intersubjectivity within therapeutic relationships, evolve into an embodied self-care method for dance/movement therapists. This method encourages collective-care and moves away from a commodified self-care agenda within capitalism.