Date of Award
Master of Art in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (MA)
Creative Arts Therapies
dance/movement therapy, medicine, spirituality, mind-body, physician, cognitive control, empathy, care, healing
The purpose of this study was to explore and analyze the experience of spirituality for students of Western medicine as reflected in writing assignments for an elective course on embodiment and empathy building skills. Questions included: What is the relationship between embodiment and spirituality for students of Western medicine? How does (re-)embodiment lead to reflections on spirituality? Does mind-body awareness lead to mind-body-spirit awareness? How can incorporation of embodiment techniques into physician training foster spirituality as it relates to physicians’ professional healing roles? Based in a constructivist paradigm, this study used a qualitative grounded theory methodology to generate theory about the relationship between spirituality and embodiment for students of Western medicine. This study used pre-existing archived data in the form of academically assigned reflection papers written by students at a prominent medical school in Chicago, Illinois. Data were analyzed using Chesler’s sequential analysis method. Results suggested that decreased cognitive control, aided through experiential learning, allows for increased awareness of the relationship between the self and other, including the non-verbal expression of empathy and spirituality. Results suggested this can be applied to Western medicine to enhance the therapeutic doctor-patient relationship and lead to more effective care and healing. 47 pages.
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Bellamy, Katie, "Examining the Connection Between Spirituality and Embodiment in Medical Education" (2015). Creative Arts Therapies Theses. 56.