American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 224–239 | Cite as

Embodied Nonverbal Microaggressions from the Perspective of Dance/Movement Therapists: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

  • Rebecca A. SchultzEmail author


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.


Microaggressions Nonverbal microaggressions Embodiment Dance/movement therapy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that the author has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the appropriate institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Creative Arts TherapiesColumbia College ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.West BendUSA

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