Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Family violence-Psychological aspects, Mother and child-Mental health services, Mind and body therapies, Attachment behavior, Domestic violence, Attachment, Body-mind, Dyadic treatment, Caregiver-child dydic treatment, Body-based psychotherapy interventions


The purpose of this exploratory, descriptive study was to examine if and how clinicians working with mother-child (0-5) dyads exposed to domestic violence perceived the body as being a part of treatment: Did they perceive the body as being a part of treatment; did they then make use of specific body-based interventions, and how were those interventions defined? Eleven clinicians participated in qualitative interviews to provide their perspectives on the relevance and integration of the body in dyadic clinical work focused on the attachment between mother child dyads exposed to domestic violence. Participants -- compromised of licensed and provisionally licensed mental health professionals in practice for at least five years (including MFT's, PhD's, LCSW's, and Professional Counselors) -- were asked open-ended questions about their general perspectives on the use of the body and physical touch in dyadic treatment; specific questions targeting their use of touch/physical interaction as well as which interventions they used, if any, they defined as explicitly body-based. While participants provided varying responses about the relevance of the body, all participants found an understanding of and attention to the body as being relevant to their work. Additionally, all eleven participants identified self-defined body-based interventions that they employed in their attachment-based clinical practice with violence exposed mother-child dyads.




iv, 72 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-63)

Limited Access until August 2017