Creative Arts Therapies Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

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


Creative Arts Therapies

First Advisor

Imus, Susan

Second Advisor

Hurst, Stacey


Rudolf von Laban


This thesis addresses literature on movement psychology, through the artistic application of Rudolf Laban’s theory on effort and personality. Unpublished and published literature was compiled to synthesize concepts developed by Laban and his successors, including William Carpenter, a primary co-developer of effort and personality theory. This research focuses on Mobile state, as a combination of the effort qualities within Time and Flow. Personal familiarity with these qualities and a desire for increased self-awareness were factors that contributed to choosing literature on and movement application of Mobile state.

Artistic inquiry was applied to increase my body knowledge of Mobile state, while reducing any body prejudice. Journal entries written throughout the explorative process showed a similarity between Laban and Carpenter’s evolved theory on movement personality and experience of the mover. The experience of moving within Laban’s Mobile state effort combinations and reflecting on the body-mind experience was effective in providing a greater understanding of the theory, serving my personal and professional development as a dance/movement therapist.