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

Suffoletto, Shannon


dance/movement therapy, substance use disorder, resilience promotion, program, mental health center, children, Delphi method.


The purpose of this program development project was to design a dance/movement therapy (DMT) resilience promotion program for children of individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). The program aims to develop protective factors through resilience promotion in order to prevent future drug abuse. The program will be called Moving for Freedom and will focus on working with children of individuals with SUD because they are at the highest risk for developing SUD (Kumpfer, 1999). Moving for Freedom was developed through this thesis project and has not been implemented. The proposed implementation site of this resilience promotion program is within an urban mental health center with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP) for individuals with SUD. The prevention program is intended to be implemented during weekly family programming. Children ages 8-10 would participate in this program while parents and adult family members attend their respective groups. A theory approach logic model was utilized to design a program and develop an evaluation plan to understand program effectiveness once implemented. I collaborated with experts with background experience in the target issue of SUD. Information regarding the design of the program was gathered utilizing the Delphi method. The Delphi method consisted of three rounds of interviews with each collaborator. Moving for Freedom is focused on recognizing resilience and promoting protective factors such as self-esteem and self-expression through a strengths-based approach. The program is a movement-based program utilizing art as a means of expression and exploration of addiction related concepts. 131 pages.