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

Downey, Laura

Third Advisor

Young, Jessica


authenticity, self, study, lived experience, dance/movement, therapist


The purpose of this self-study was to explore and understand my subjective lived experience and expression of the phenomenon of authenticity, which included identifying the components of my professional identity; discerning the challenges, barriers, and limitations to my full experience and expression of authenticity; establishing awareness of when I am and when I am not engaging fully with my authenticity; and developing a sense of authenticity within myself that is adaptable to a variety of situations and relationships. Moustakas (1990) six-steps of a heuristic investigation were implemented in this qualitative inquiry. Data was collected using art-making methods and analyzed using manual data analysis adapted from Giorgi by Forinash (2012). The most salient theme that emerged was that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in authenticity practice. This overarching theme was supported by (a) the importance of the core-self, (b) the interplay process within authenticity, and (c) identified challenges, barriers, and limitations to the expression of authenticity. As a human-being working with other people and the human condition, in my developing professional role as a dance/movement therapist, I discovered that authenticity is a complex and intricate process and practice; and when it is implemented in my professional identity it enhances my work and relationships as a developing dance/movement therapist. 96 pages.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.