Courses & Requirements

Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy Concentration

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Approved by the American Dance Therapy Association since 1987, the Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy concentration focuses on counseling, the healing potential of the creative experience, and the therapeutic properties of conscious movement sequencing. Students in the Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy concentration are trained in both classical and innovative forms of dance/movement therapy, as well as object relations and self-psychology, the Gestalt-based Moving Cycle, Authentic Movement, and current models of sensorimotor tracking. Woven throughout the curriculum is a focus on inclusivity and the way that one’s particular socio-cultural locations influence the body, expression, and the therapeutic relationship. Dance/Movement Therapy students are invited to dive deeply into the creative process using the tools of imagery, improvisation, rhythm, spontaneity, metaphor, and presence to activate expressivity and aliveness in themselves, and thereby in those with whom they will ultimately work.

American Dance Therapy Association

The Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy concentration is designed in accordance with the training guidelines of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) and has been an ADTA-approved program since 1987. The Dance/Movement Therapy concentration fulfills the requirements for the ADTA’s initial registration as a Registered Dance Movement Therapist (R-DMT). Graduates may apply for the R-DMT credential with the ADTA immediately upon degree completion.

International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association

It is possible for a student graduating from the Somatic Counseling Department to use coursework to fulfill the requirements for the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association’s (ISMETA) certification as a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and/or Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME).

Degree Requirements

First year, fall

  • CNSS500 Somatic Counseling Orientation Seminar (noncredit)

  • CNSS610 Social and Multicultural Foundations I (1)

  • CNSD616 Foundations of Dance/Movement Therapy (3)

  • CNSS621 Body/Movement Observation and Assessment I (2)

  • CNSS631 Counseling & Helping Relationships I: Verbal & Nonverbal Skills (3)

  • CNSS646 Contemplative Practices for Somatic Counseling Contexts I (1)

  • CNSS736 Current Methods and Skills in Psychotherapy (3)


First year, spring

  • CNSS611 Social and Multicultural Foundations II (2)

  • CNSS637 Body/Movement Observation and Assessment II (2)

  • CNSS657 Clinical Neuroscience (3)

  • CNSS661 Counseling & Helping Relationships II: Verbal & Nonverbal Skills (3)

  • CNSS751 Group Counseling (3)


Second year, fall

  • CNSS605 Advanced Counseling Skills I (2)

  • CNSS620 Human Growth and Development (3) 

  • CNSS649 Contemplative Practices for Somatic Counseling Contexts II (1)

  • CNSD716 Specialized Approaches in Dance/Movement Therapy: Therapist as Artist (2)

  • CNSS710 Research and Program Evaluation (3)


Second year, spring

  • CNSS663 Family Systems: Methods of Family Therapy (3)

  • CNSS790 Counseling Practicum (3)

  • CNSS700 Assessment (3)

  • CNSS756 Advanced Counseling Skills II: Diagnosis and Treatment in Clinical Mental Health (3)


Second year, summer (optional)

  • CNSG871 Extended Internship I (noncredit)

Third year, fall

  • CNSD871 Internship I: Dance/Movement Therapy (2)

  • CNSS834 Master’s Paper Seminar I (1)

  • CNSS801 Professional Counseling Orientation & Ethical Practice (3)


Third year, spring

  • CNSS810 Career Development (3)

  • CNSS835 Master’s Paper Seminar II (1)

  • CNSB891 Internship II: Body Psychotherapy (2)


Third year, summer (optional)

  • CNSG891 Extended Internship II (noncredit)

Total Credits: 61


with your counselor

Kelly Watt

Senior Director of Admissions

Search Naropa University


This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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