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

Young, Jessica


dance/movement therapy, phenomenological, women, postpartum depression, birth, cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise.


This thesis was a phenomenological study, which investigated the lived experience of four women who had changes in mood and behavior postpartum. The purpose of this study was to fully understand the actual experience of women going through the changes instead of basing interventions off of a list of symptoms in a book. The study culminated in the development of three client centered dance/movement therapy interventions to treat the changes in mood and behavior that the participants experienced in hopes of preventing a formal diagnosis of postpartum depression. This study expanded the literature related to the treatment of postpartum depression, which is primarily limited to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the use of exercise. This study also laid the foundation for future research on the use of dance/movement therapy as an evidenced based modality for postpartum depression. 76 pages.