Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Art in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (MA)


Creative Arts Therapies

First Advisor

Allen, Laura


Peggy Hackney


The purpose of this research was to study the experience of a novice dance/movement therapist’s exploration and re-patterning of the six developmental patterns of total body connectivity and integration, as outlined by Peggy Hackney, and to determine the impact they have on daily life. Literature reviewed describes the evolution of the patterns of connectivity as a holistic approach to changing maladaptive movement patterns and begins to suggest how they can be an effective tool in dance/movement therapy due to research supporting the mind-body connection, systems theory, and embodiment theories. Phenomenological and heuristic research methodologies were applied in the research design, which spanned eight consecutive weeks and included coaching sessions, individual exploration, and reflective journaling. Through qualitative data analysis, themes emerged that describe the essence of the re-patterning experience and impact on daily life including: body parts, vulnerability/support, present moment experience, resiliency, compassion, and change. From the study, suggestions are made for a more informed use of the patterns of total body connectivity in dance/movement therapy for assessment and treatment of mental health disorders along with the significance of the patterns of total body connectivity to clinicians. By exploring the patterns of total body connectivity, dance/movement therapists may gain self-awareness that may assist in empathizing and moving with clients as well as self-care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.