Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher


Heteronormativity, defined as the societal norms and expectations around sexuality and gender has an immense impact on individuals who do not identify with the norms set in place. Heteronormativity is enforced from early childhood where eventually individuals who do not identify as “straight” or cisgender develop several mental health disorders due to feelings such as exclusion and invalidation. Both medical and mental health care becomes a barrier for these individuals because health care providers do not have the skills or tools necessary to treat LGBTQ individuals. The stigma created by society around the LGBTQ community has enforced a need to find ways to bridge the gap between the heterosexual cisgender community and LGBTQ individuals. The field of dance/movement therapy becomes important as one of the ways to address this gap that includes cultivating values of empathy, openness, understanding in the therapeutic space.

Included in

Dance Commons