Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Counseling and Human Services

First Advisor

Lina Hartocollis, PhD

Second Advisor

Phyllis Solomon, PhD


This dissertation introduces an original preliminary treatment manual as a guide for mental health providers interested in adding a research-informed massage therapy component to traditional child trauma psychotherapy.Child Massage Integrated Therapy (CMIT) offers a standardized protocol to support the implementation of a replicable treatment modality that fosters critical somatic resources for traumatized children within real-world settings. The multidisciplinary field of interpersonal neurobiology, including attachment and polyvagal theories, as well as the concept of interoceptive awareness, are the theoretical constructs informing the proposed model of care. A review of the research literature recognizing massage therapy's role in creating a regulating mind/body experience provides the fundamental basis for pursuing this line of intervention as a component of a phase-oriented psychological trauma treatment.