Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Pulling back the veil: Using science to understand movement's ability to aid in recovery from psychological trauma
by Forcum, Zackary, M.F.A., Mills College, 2016, 29; 10066319
Abstract (Summary)

Psychological trauma can literally disrupt life’s flow by damaging brain and bodily systems. When a flashback to a traumatic event is triggered in a person suffering from traumatic stress, or PTSD, key functions in the brain malfunction and are deactivated, potentially causing massive disassociation. In addition, trauma can cause chronic hyperarousal, resulting from the body’s malfunctioning autonomic nervous system’s defensive response of fight, flight, or freeze. To cope with these damaged bodily and brain systems and processes detrimental acts of hyperfocus and numbing are often employed by sufferers of trauma. However these obstructions can be cleared though movement practices: top-down and bottom-up regulation methods, innately embedded in certain movement and dance disciplines such as yoga and creative dance, have shown to aide in trauma recovery. This opens the possibility that a dance/movement instructor, using trauma-conscious curriculum and facilitation techniques, can use their highly structured movement practices to engage with top-down and bottom up regulation practices to not only instruct students suffering from trauma, but offer opportunities to engage in treatment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murphy, Ann
School: Mills College
Department: Dance - Choreography and Performance
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Dance, Physical therapy, Performing Arts, Clinical psychology, Physiological psychology
Keywords: Dance therapy, Facilitation, Healing dance, Regulation methods, Trauma, Trauma conscious
Publication Number: 10066319
ISBN: 978-1-339-57894-1
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