Creative Arts Therapies Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Art in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (MA)


Creative Arts Therapies

First Advisor

Hervey, Lenore


psychic trauma, burnout (psychology)


This thesis is an autoethnography investigating how the dance/movement therapist can experience and recover from vicarious trauma and burn-out. The purpose of this research is to provide an example of how theories from the latest research have played out in real life and to call for further research and education on the topic in the dance/movement therapy (DMT) field. The author outlines in narrative form significant moments from her master’s internship work with a traumatized child to demonstrate this phenomenon. What is found is that two core components of DMT, somatic attunement and empathy, contribute to the acquisition of vicarious trauma. The findings also reveal how recovery from and prevention of vicarious trauma is possible through increased personal awareness.