Regaining Power After Trauma

by EMMA GABBERT, CSU Public Relations Assistant


A new Nov. 8 event that uses dance to help heal victims and survivors of trauma is being offered by the Violence Awareness Response Program.

The event, “Dance Movement Therapy and Trauma: An Embodied Perspective on Trauma and Violence Awareness,” is Friday, Nov. 8, from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. in Highland Center North 225 (HC N225). The event focuses on Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) as a new way to connect creative expression to trauma recovery.

The workshop features Barbara Nordstrom-Loeb, the director of an alternative route training program at the University of Minnesota. She also has her own private practice.

Nordstrom-Loeb has taught dance internationally and done research on the impact dance movement therapy has on people that have experienced violence, abuse, or trauma.

Other creative expression outlets include non-movement activities such as playing an instrument or keeping a journal of your recovery progress. Even if you are not a victim of violence or abuse, dance movement therapy can improve your mental, physical, and emotional health overall.


VARP has three main functions: advocacy, education, and programming.

The program offers assistance to victims through confidential support that empowers students to disclose as much information as they feel comfortable sharing.

This allows those that are struggling to gain control over their situation and their recovery journey.

Laura Schultz, the director of the VARP, has experience in creative expression and its impact on students.

As a musician herself, Schultz wants to give others the chance to use dance movement therapy as an outlet to release negative emotions commonly attached to sexual, domestic and relationship abuse.

‘I think this is a really cool way to show how one could incorporate dance movement therapy, (DMT), into their professional lives or their own experience with trauma.

– Laura Schultz, Director of the Violence Awareness and Response Program

The Violence Awareness Response Program offers support programs such as crisis intervention and prevention, and Men Against Violence (MAVs).

VARP also hosts numerous events with experts and speakers to provide their findings and advice about effective coping exercises, for example, dance movement therapy.

The Nov. 8 workshop, along with a majority of VARP’s events, is open to all students as well as the surrounding Mankato community. You can learn more about these services on their website below or in the Women’s Center located in CSU 218.


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