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, heuristic inquiry, repetition, kenesthetic, Forinash, repetitious movement patterns


The purpose of this research study was to explore how I, an emerging dance/movement therapist, understand and embody my own and my clients’ repetitious movement patterns. Through a heuristic inquiry, I explored how my body knowledge/body prejudice informs my observations and assessments of repetitious movement patterns exhibited in others. I also investigated how I may use my findings to create unbiased dance/movement therapy interventions. I collected data in the form of journal responses following individual dance/movement therapy sessions where I observed repetitious movements in children at my internship site, a medical unit at a children’s hospital. Secondly, I collected movement data in the form of video recordings of improvisational movement that explored my repetitious movement pattern preferences. To aid me in this data collection process, I requested the support of a certified movement analyst who served as a movement collaborator. Lastly, I collected art data, created through repetitive motions of the hands, wrists, and arms, in response to my kinesthetic experience of repetitious movement patterns. To analyze the data, I utilized Forinash’s qualitative data analysis on each set of data separately. A resonance panel served as a source of validation by acting as consultants to help me clarify my preliminary findings. The research findings indicate that repetitious movement patterns exist in everybody, and body knowledge/body prejudice plays a role in one’s observations, assessments, meaning making of repetitious movement patterns, and development of interventions. Acknowledging this broader prevalence of repetitious movement patterns, the research shows that increasing awareness of one’s own body knowledge of repetitious movement patterns helps mitigate body prejudice. Through the analysis, I discovered personal propensities toward inner-outer awareness, stabilize to mobilize, flow, growing and shrinking, space and cognition, and time and intuition. 109 pages.