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

Suffoletto, Shannon


dance/movement therapy, phenomenology, holistic, infertility, body-mind, choreography


The purpose of this phenomenological study is to understand the holistic phenomenon of infertility in order to assess the basic needs of women who struggle with infertility and the associated medical treatments. In order to address a comprehensive understanding of the experience of infertility, this study employed a body-mind perspective, which is based on the dance/movement therapy principle that “the body and the mind are inseparable”. Five women, who had experience with infertility, were invited to the study, and each participated in individual verbal and movement interviews. Kvale’s interview analysis was utilized to analyze verbal data, and the researcher’s kinesthetic empathy elicited by embodiment was employed to understand movement data. Finally, verbal and movement data were synthesized through the choreographic process, and a dance piece was performed as a public presentation of findings. The researcher discovered that infertile women experience the process of disconnection from self and body, which might have been manifested through a body-mind split. Infertile women’s needs included sharing their experiences with others who had similar experiences and reconnecting to self and others. Based on identified needs, potential DMT interventions that can be used for this population are discussed. 97 pages.