Body Movement Manual for the Assessment and Treatment of Trauma Survivors

Dita Federman, Galit Zana-Sterenfeld, Rachel Lev-Wiesel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trauma is manifested through the body in different ways, from arousal to freezing, or cessation of movement. Verbal expressions of traumatic experience have long been studied; however, studies of nonverbal responses are scarce. The current paper presents the Movement Assessment and Treatment Manual for Trauma (MAMT). The suggested intervention is based on recent evidence indicating a relationship between the body’s non-verbal expressions and the emotional verbal narratives in people who have experienced a traumatic event. The study, conducted by experienced dance/movement therapists, explored bodily movements while people recount traumatic memories. Results revealed three main bodily movement categories that accompany the verbal narration of a traumatic event: illustrative, rhythmic and regulative movements. The intervention presented is based on the practical implications of the bodily movement categories found to be manifested when a traumatic event is recalled. The MAMT intervention model is illustrated by a case study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Dance Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, American Dance Therapy Association.


  • Assessment
  • Bodily movements
  • Survivors
  • Therapy
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Body Movement Manual for the Assessment and Treatment of Trauma Survivors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this