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

Susan Imus

Second Advisor

Laura Downey

Third Advisor

Jessica Young


dance movement therapy, restorative justice program, high school, Delphi Method, punishment


The purpose of the thesis is to develop a stand-alone program that has added dance/movement therapy informed interventions to an existing restorative justice program for high schools to implement. The high school program is designed to support youth in repairing damaged relationships caused by different behavioral issues. As schools are transitioning from punitive punishment to a more restorative approach to discipline, this program provides a new way of incorporating a more holistic approach to restorative justice and the healing process using movement of the body to further empathic understanding. Students will be able to learn from their mistakes and understand the impact their actions have on others. Dance/movement therapy can provide a medium for connection between students when words might fail. The goal of the program is for two students in conflict to come to a mutual understanding with each other to create positive behavioral change moving forward. Using the Delphi method, a theory approach logic model was employed to interpret relevant information. Specifically, collaborators who are experts in school settings participated in semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. The collaborators consisted of a school culture specialist, head of student services, and a dance/movement therapist who has experience working in schools. Literature on punitive discipline, restorative justice, and dance/movement therapy are discussed to provide a framework to understand the development of the program. The final product focuses on student-to-student conflict. The structure of the final product involves individual pre-meetings, a meeting between the involved students, and individual post-meetings. 72 pages.