American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 63–80 | Cite as

Embodying Self: A Dance/Movement Therapy Approach to Working with Concealable Stigmas

  • Nell G. RobertsEmail author


Concealable stigmas are characteristics, attributes, or identities that can be hidden from others and are socially devalued and negatively stereotyped. While research exists on the psychological costs of having a concealable stigma, less exists on the somatic costs of having a concealable stigma and on clinical approaches with this population. Drawing on the Kestenberg Movement Profile, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and the Five Fundamental Actions, this article proposes how dance/movement therapy (DMT) can be an additional lens through which to understand how having a concealable stigma impacts a person, particularly on a somatic level. This article also outlines specific DMT interventions designed to increase embodiment and movement repertoire. The goals of these interventions are to lessen the somatic impact of having a concealable stigma and empower clients to have choice in the ways in which they present themselves in the world.


Bartenieff Fundamentals Concealable stigma Dance/movement therapy Embodiment Kestenberg Movement Profile 


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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naropa UniversityBoulderUSA

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