Megan Kain, Psy.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara

Dr. Megan M. Kain

Dissertation Committee

  • Sharleen O’Brien, PhD, Chairperson
  • Chris Howard, PsyD, Second Faculty
  • Paula Thomson, PhD, External Expert


dance, dancers, trauma, expressive arts therapy, integration, childhood adversity, non-dominant cultural discourse, phenomenology, arts-based research, nonverbal interventions, somatic, neurobiology, affect regulation, spirituality, attunement, resilience, emotional trauma, dance therapy, creative arts therapy, integrative psychotherapy, emotional regulation

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The purpose of this study is to examine the lived experience of achieving integration through the fine art form of dance, using a phenomenological method coupled with narrative and arts-based research. Research material illustrating the various manifestations of integration will be derived from interviews of ten professional dancers representing the non-dominant cultural discourse. Through the application of theoretical underpinnings of somatic psychology, interpersonal neurobiology, psychoneuroimmunology, and relational psychotherapy, this qualitative research seeks to articulate the esoteric healing forces derived from creative movement that fortifies self and fosters resilience within individuals. While dance might constitute an effective processing and coping mechanism for handling everyday stress, this may be especially true for those dealing with histories of childhood adversity and trauma. Healing, integrative properties of dance may aid the individual in navigating both current life challenges as well as coping with the struggle for re-integration in the aftermath of trauma. The electronic version of this dissertation is available free at Ohiolink ETD Center,


ORCID Scholar ID: 0000-0002-1322-1465

Megan Kain earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in 2016, an emergent property of her lifelong simultaneous pursuits in both academic and art realms. Fostering her passions in dance, music, art, and scholarship from a young age, Megan first experienced a professional career in dance in both New York and Los Angeles, affording her a platform for expression, self-discovery, and igniting a passion to continuously co-author life stories with strangers and friends alike. Considering these passions to be inextricable from her professional self, Megan infuses her clinical work with artistic spirit and creative meaning-making to facilitate resilience-promoting self narratives her patients weave within the therapeutic context. Drawn strongly to work with underserved populations, Megan considers her highest spiritual purpose to be both a “doctor of soul” and a purveyor of hope for high-risk individuals who have been relegated to the margins of society. Her clinical work has included extensive experience with chronic mental illness at inpatient psychiatric level of care, infants and adolescents with substantiated abuse histories, indigent populations with dual diagnosis, acute eating disorders, and incarcerated adults. She looks forward to the boundless challenges and wisdom that lie ahead in future clinical encounters, and to the humbling honor of accompanying those in their moments of great need. She currently works and resides in Los Angeles, California.