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

Allen, Laura


dance/movement therapy, heuristic study, experience, role, therapist, councelor, peer, student.


The purpose of this study was to understand the roles I experience and how these roles inform my new role as an emerging dance/movement therapist. A qualitative heuristic study was used to explore the experience in the roles of student, peer, family member, and therapist. Data was collected through unstructured and semi-structured journaling, as well as journaling that occurred in response to movement sessions at the end of each data collection week. Movement sessions were structured in a way that each role was explored and then journaled about to find more depth in the data from the previous week. After analyzing and synthesizing the data the results revealed characteristics including behaviors, demeanors, and expectations that are indicative of each role. Connections between roles were also found among the family, peer, and therapist role separately from the connection between the therapist and student role. A dance piece was created as a creative synthesis, which sought to express my experience of each role and the interconnected relationships among these preexisting and professional roles. 92 pages.