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

Imus, Susan

Second Advisor

Downey, Laura

Third Advisor

Brown, Andrea


dance/movement therapy, Belize, biopsychosical, children, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, trauma, healing, recovery, understanding, Cayo District, San Ignacio, Barzakh Falah.


The purpose of this project was to; identify the biopsychosocial needs of child survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in Belize and to develop a dance/movement therapy based program that Belizean caregivers can utilize to better serve the children they work with. The Moving THRU (Trauma Healing, Recovery + Understanding) program was developed based on current literature regarding post-trafficking mental health care and information provided in interviews by Belizean direct caregivers currently working with youth who have been trafficked and exploited in the Cayo District of central Belize. The curriculum is designed to help direct caregivers utilize techniques and concepts from dance/movement therapy, child neuropathology, therapeutic art making, trauma-informed counseling techniques and pro-social skill development techniques to address challenges most commonly experienced by youth in post-trafficking mental health care. The Moving THRU program was designed to be implemented in San Ignacio, Belize in partnership with Barzakh Falah but is easily adaptable for any Belizean organization working with survivors of trafficking or the commercial sexual exploitation of a child. The thesis concludes with discussion regarding development, implementation, ethical considerations and evaluation. 142 pages.