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

Brown, Andrea


dance/movement therapy, heuristic inquiry, kenesthetic empathy, children.


The purpose of this heuristic inquiry was to understand how I used kinesthetic empathy while working with children hospitalized on the general pediatric unit and pediatric intensive care unit. I was also interested in exploring whether aspects of kinesthetic empathy might be useful for child life specialists in relationship building. Data were collected using journal entries that depicted my use of kinesthetic empathy after 15 individual dance/movement therapy sessions. The data were analyzed using Forinash’s qualitative data analysis approach. The findings demonstrated that I engaged in kinesthetic empathy by being present, self-referencing, embodying, and using touch. The findings were shared with child life specialists of a similar population to determine if any aspects of kinesthetic empathy were applicable to their work. The child life specialists resonated with the themes of embodying and sensations. This research informed my understanding of my own ways of practicing kinesthetic empathy as an emerging dance/movement therapist in the medical setting. Exploring the use of kinesthetic empathy in the child life profession elicited further inquiry into the collaborative work of creative arts therapists and child life specialists. 64 pages.

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.