Empowerment-Focused Dance/Movement Therapy for Trauma Recovery

  • Bonnie Bernstein


Empowerment-Focused Dance/Movement Therapy is a multifaceted approach for healing the emotional and physical impacts of trauma. Dance/movement therapy experiences are introduced for guiding body-based self-discovery and transformative creative expression. The primary goal is to build new psychophysical capacities through expanding expressive freedom, strengthening self-esteem and developing new emotional resources. Based on the theories and methods of dance/movement therapy pioneer, Blanche Evan, this novel evolution of Evan’s methods emphasizes sensitivity to cultural context for healing trauma in the global community. The approach prioritizes emotional safety and the cautious titration of trauma recovery experiences. First developed for sex trafficking survivors and marginalized populations in Kolkata, India, Empowerment-Focused Dance/Movement Therapy is a broadly effective approach for healing trauma.


Dance/movement therapy Trauma recovery Global community Dance activism Blanche Evan 



There was no external funding.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article complies with all ADTA Ethical Standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie Bernstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Palo AltoUSA

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