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


Microaggressions, nonverbal microaggressions, embodiment, dance/movement therapy


This interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) study explored dance/movement therapist’s embodied experiences of nonverbal microaggressions and how they experience nonverbal microaggressions in the clinical relationship. Data were collected via hour-long, video recorded, in-person interviews of four (N = 4) current practicing dance/movement therapists in the Chicago area. Data analysis was conducted using IPA of verbal and movement data where five key themes emerged (a) personal offense, (b) anger, and (c) curiosity towards experiences of nonverbal microaggressions; and microaggressions have the potential to both (d) strengthen and (e) harm the clinical relationship. Their experiences implicate the vital role the body plays in the experience of microaggressions by highlighting how the body responds to these experiences via changes in flow, retreating, and moving the limbs over the center of the body. An embodied movement response to nonverbal themes was created by the researcher in an attempt to more clearly articulate the themes of the movement data and is included as an embedded link.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.