Christine Caldwell | 303-245-4770

Professor, Somatic Counseling


PhD, Union Graduate School
MA, Dance/ Movement Therapy, University of California–Los Angeles
BA, Anthropology, University of California–Los Angeles

Christine is part of Naropa University’s core faculty, with teaching, advising, and administrative responsibilities. She serves as part of the Leadership Team for the Somatic Counseling Department.  She also is the supervisor for Research Assistant positions.

Areas of Specialization

  • Clinical training in body psychotherapy and dance therapy
  • Clinical Neuroscience, especially in the areas of sensation, memory, breath, and movement
  • Diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion
  • Addiction treatment
  • Lifelong effects of early imprinting
  • Research, particularly in arts-based, community-based, and qualitative methods; areas of inquiry include physiological attunement in therapist/client dyads, and the effects of oppression on embodiment


From the heart

I have been at Naropa for over 34 years, because it has allowed me to develop my work in an experiential and contemplative environment. Naropa also supports its students to examine their personal relationship to what they are learning, alongside the more external demands of graduate school.


  • Research grant, “Excellence in Teaching & Learning through Diversity” to study the somatic effects of oppression - Naropa - 2009
  • Excellent Teacher Award - Naropa University - 1989
  • Honors at entrance to UCLA - 1970


  • 2014 – Presentations at International Creative University Conference, Thimphu, Bhutan. “A New Set of Strategies for a Mindful and Embodied Approach to Wellbeing and Happiness,” and “Interdisciplinary and International Action Research in the Arts”
  • 2014 – Performance: Body Stories, co-directed with Rae Johnson, in Somatic Arts Concert, Naropa University, Boulder, CO
  • 2013 – “Oppression Research Performed,” presentation, Qualitative Health Research Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • 2013 – “Turning Data into Dance,” presentation, American Dance Therapy Conference, Brooklyn, NY.
  • 2013 – Presentation “Performing the Performance of Gender” at TRANSforming Gender Symposium, Univ. of CO Boulder.
  • 2013 – (January) Performance,: “T”, in Somatic Arts Concert, Naropa University, Boulder, CO
  • 2012 – Panels and Presentations: “The World in the Body – Soma, Culture & Intersubjectivity”, “Queer Bodies, Straight Society,” & “The Science of Body Psychotherapy”, European Association for Body Psychotherapy Congress, Cambridge, England.
  • 2012 – (Aug) – Presentations: “Somatic Psychology Pedagogy: A Rare Discussion with Christine Caldwell and Don Johnson,” and “Gifts of Body Psychotherapy Past and Future,” and “Implicit Body Bias: How BP Can Challenge Itself and Society.” USABP Conference, Boulder, CO.
  • 2011 – Clinical training intensives in Somatic Psychotherapy, Sasana, Bogota, Colombia, & Brecha, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2011 – “Queer Bodies, Straight Society: DMT’s Relationship with the Non-Normative Body & Non-Normative Identities,” & “Culturally-Adapted Movement Observation and Assessment”, ADTA Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Recent Publications

Creative activity summary

I have many areas of inquiry going - oppression and the body, physiological attunement in the therapist/client dyad, how to integrate social justice activism into research, arts-based and community-based research, and the body's production of contemplative practice - called bodyfulness.

Courses taught

  • Counseling Relationships I and II
  • Advanced Clinical Skills I

What book do you find yourself regularly pressing into the hands of students?

Anything by Ta Nehisi Coates, and anything that supports listening to, trusting, and moving your body.

Coffee or tea?

Both are required.

What's next?

I am on a quest to bring the body, as it is experienced from the personal to the sociocultural and systemic levels, into a central location in our cultures.