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Culturally- and Trauma-Informed Dance/Movement Therapy in a Time of Uncertainty

May 18, 2022 - 5:30pm - 8:00pm 
Via Live Webcast

Overall Course Description:

In this panel, five authors from the recently published book Dance/movement therapy for trauma survivors: theoretical, clinical, and cultural perspectives will present their personal healing-centered and DEI-focused dance/movement therapy approaches for survivors of trauma and helping professionals. They will further share about their own process of counseling and writing about their work during a time of global trauma, upheaval, and uncertainty. More specifically, Mara Rivera will discuss her framework The 4 Levels of Empowerment, a holistic therapeutic model for self-identified BIPOC clients. Mary Patterson will present a trauma-informed and culturally responsive approach for engaging individuals with substance use and recovery. Lara Tant will highlight her reintegration model, based on dance performance, specific to survivors of human trafficking. Selena Coburn will address multigenerational cultural trauma considerations in dance/movement therapy when working with Native American descendants and survivors. Lastly, Amy Ruzic will speak to trauma stewardship for helping professionals and present guiding movement-based practices in the Compassionate Movement Wheel for Self-Care. Time will be set aside for the participants to engage the speakers during a Q&A period.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Critically engage with DEI-focused dance/movement therapy practice
2. Describe key aspects of healing-centered dance/movement therapy approaches
3. Engage practical, skills-based take-aways for various populations who have experienced trauma



With CE Credit

Without CE Credit

General Public



Drexel CNHP Faculty (including active adjunct)



Active Drexel CAT Clinical Supervisors and Alumni









Hotel and Travel Info

This course will be held Via Live Webcast



Discounted Hotel Rates - Drexel University has discounted rates with hotels in Philadelphia. Please visit our list of Hotels with Drexel University Discount Rates. Please note: discount rates based on availability.

Map of Preferred Hotels of Drexel University

Hotels with Drexel Discounted Rate within walking Distance

Embassy Suites - 0.1 mile/5 minutes
Windsor Suites – 0.3 miles/7 minutes
Hampton Inn – 0.3 miles/6 minutes
Hilton Garden Inn – 0.3 miles/6 minutes
Home2 Suites – 0.5 miles/10 minutes
Sonesta – 0.6 miles/13 minutes
Loews Hotel – 0.6 miles/13 minutes
Union League – 0.6 miles/12 minutes
Club Quarters – 0.6 miles/ 13 minutes

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Directions to Drexel's Center City Campus


Rebekka Dieterich-Hartwell, PhD, BC-DMT, LPC is a postdoctoral researcher fellow at Drexel University, Philadelphia, focused on the neurobiological effects of psychological trauma and the mechanisms of DMT that can aide in the recovery process. She currently serves as Member at Large (Eastern Region) in the American Dance Therapy Association.

Anne Margrethe Melsom, MA, BC-DMT, LPC is a Dance/Movement Therapy educator with long teaching experience at Drexel University’s Creative Arts Therapies Master’s Program and is past Chair of the American Dance Therapy Association’s Committee on Approval. She is a dancer/dance-pedagogue from Norway, and Director of a Creative Arts Therapy Department in Philadelphia.

María “Mara” Rivera, BC-DMT, LCAT, native to Puerto Rico, is a dance/movement psychotherapist, somatic healer, Kemetic Reiki practitioner, and founder of Maraka Healing, who currently resides in the Bronx, New York.  She avidly works to create affirming and empowering spaces for BIPOC “voices and bodies” within the mental health field.

Mary L. Patterson, MA BC-DMT, is a dance/therapist, dancer, and dance educator. Her clinical experience spans rural and metropolitan areas of inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance use treatment. She received her BFA in dance from University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MA in DMT & Counseling from Drexel University.

Lara Tant, MA, R-DMT, RMHCI, is a classically trained professional ballet dancer and teacher. After witnessing the transformative healing inherent in the creative arts, she began an inaugural graduate internship program, now in its second year, to bridge the gap between victims and survivors of HT and DMT.

Selena Coburn, BC-DMT, LMHC, is a descendent of Blackfeet, Klamath, and Pitt River tribes. Selena's DMT training includes the 92nd Street Y in NYC, and Lesley University. She believes in decolonizing dance as therapy, and culturally inclusive processing. Coburn has presented on Native American perspectives locally, nationally, and internationally.

Amy V. Ruzic, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, is a dance/movement therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor having worked in a variety of mental health settings with children and adolescents since 2002. She is currently a Clinician at a Mastery Charter School in West Philadelphia where she has learned the necessity of developing a body-based selfcare practice.


Continuing Education Credits:

2.5 CE Credits


National Board of Certified Counselors

Drexel University’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies is an Approved Continuing Education Provider by the National Board of Certified Counselors.

For LPCs, NCCs, and Art Therapists, Dance/Movement Therapists & Music Therapists: The workshop qualifies for the following continuing education credits: 2.5 CE Hours. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded following the presentation to all who attend and follow protocol for registration and evaluation forms.

Drexel University’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies maintains responsibility for the program and content. Accreditation does not imply that Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions approves or endorses any product included in the educational activity.

Drexel University, Department of Creative Arts Therapies has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6771. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Drexel University, Department of Creative Arts Therapies are solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.




May 18, 2022 Register Online





5:30 – 5:40

Welcome and Introduction

5:45 – 6:30

Author Presentations 1, 2 and 3

6:30 – 6:40

Movement Break

6:45 – 7:15

Author Presentation 4 and 5

7:15 – 7:35

Panel Discussion

7:35 – 7:55

Open Q & A

7:55 – 8:00