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

Downey, Laura

Third Advisor

Malling, Sondra


dance/movement therapy, performance as therapy, brain injury, treatment, creative process, Wallas Model, Simplex Model, traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury


The underlying creative process in the acts of choreography and performance has not yet been fully researched for use in clinical practices. It is rarely addressed for adults with brain injury in rehabilitation. This study investigated the perceived effects of the creative process within the performance as therapy (PAT) framework on the brain injury population. In a collaborative process engaging the participants as co-researchers and as co-performers in a final dance performance at a public venue, the role of PAT in brain injury rehabilitation was explored. By using artistic inquiry methodology through participatory action research (PAR) paradigm, the study addressed the following research questions: How can PAT impact the rehabilitation process of the brain injury population? What is the role of the creative process in the PAT intervention for the brain injury population? Due to the subjective and transient aspects of movement, and the inherent nature of embodied experience, the data analysis occurred simultaneously during the data collection phase using methods of movement observations, video recording, and personal journal entries. 197 pages.