Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Closed Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher, PhD, BC-DMT


Transgender/gender diverse identity development is an embodied process that requires the ability to sense one’s inner experience of gender and, usually, explore ways of expressing and embodying that gender that feel authentic to one’s inner experience. Dance/movement therapy provides a unique platform for transgender/gender diverse individuals to explore and express their gender identities in an embodied way, allowing for a deeper understanding of themselves beyond societal expectations. As a strength-based practice, dance/movement therapy can address the needs of transgender/gender diverse people in a way that cultivates positive experiences of living as a transgender/gender diverse person as a counter to narratives of distress and victimization. Dance/movement therapy interventions can provide transgender/gender diverse individuals and groups with opportunities to experience gender affirmation, celebrate their diverse identities, and find strength in the transgender/gender diverse community. Embodied exploration of gender euphoria, joy, and resilience in dance/movement therapy can support a transgender/gender diverse person’s development of a positive self-concept in their individual process of embracing their authentic self. Integrating these themes into a gender affirming dance/movement therapy framework provides a holistic view of transgender/gender diverse experiences and empowers transgender/gender diverse people to live joyful, fulfilling lives.

Under author imposed embargo.
Available for download on Sunday, April 26, 2026