Date of Award

5-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Art in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (MA)

Department

Creative Arts Therapies

First Advisor

Pidek, Cathy

Keywords

elderly, older persons, widowhood, bereavement, grief

Abstract

This thesis explores the clinical value to the elderly population of combining reminiscence and dance. This five month collaboration between a recently widowed elderly female and a dance/movement therapy intern culminated in a 13 minute choreographed dance performance. Themes that emerged during this art-based study were her relationship with her husband, her role as his primary caregiver and her grief after his death. Eric Erikson identifies integrity vs. despair as the struggle or crisis to be grappled with in the last stage of human development, old age. This theoretical framework has been incorporated in this study.

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