Under the Skin: Barriers and Opportunities for Dance Movement Therapy & Art Psychotherapy with LGBT+ Clients

Thania Acaron, Alison Wren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an introduction to collaborative creative arts therapies practice with clients who identify as gender and sexually diverse identities. Its objective is to examine gender identity and sexual orientation in the context of interdisciplinary therapeutic work in a community-based setting in Scotland. The authors will particularly focus on art and movement interventions, contributing relevant themes in working with clients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or related identities (LGBT+).

The chapter reviews current research on art therapy and dance movement therapy with LGBT+ clients, identifying gaps and opportunities for further research. It follows with an exploration of the external/internal self, LGBT+ visibility and identity as key thematic areas for creative work in relation to mental health. Finally, the authors examine a case example of collaborative creative arts workshops focusing on skin as a barrier, which serves to protect, expose and transform internal and external aspects of our identity.

The authors explore interdisciplinary arts practice with a client group that has been historically marginalised and has limited representation in creative arts therapy research. It presents an affirmative stance in creating constructive experiences of therapy for LGBT+ clients, and the opportunities offered by an integration of movement and art.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender and Difference in the Arts Therapies: Inscribed on the Body
EditorsSusan Hogan
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351105361
ISBN (Print)9781138477186
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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