American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 77–91 | Cite as

Navigating the Dance of Touch: An Exploration into the Use of Touch in Dance/Movement Therapy

  • Norma MatherlyEmail author


While the subject of the use of touch in psychotherapy has been widely debated, the field of dance/movement therapy (DMT) has participated negligibly in the conversation, and includes no mention of touch in its code of ethics to date. This highlights a significant and intriguing gap in the field given that there is sufficient evidence that touch may be commonly used in DMT. This qualitative research study is based on interviews with three experienced dance/movement therapists regarding their applications of and choices surrounding the use of touch in their DMT sessions. The study is intended to be an initial exploration into how the issue of touch is approached and used in the DMT session. Several incipient themes are identified and discussed, and the need for more research and involvement by the DMT field is emphasized.


Dance/movement therapy Touch Ethics 


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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Somatic Counseling PsychologyNaropa UniversityBoulderUSA

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