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

Fogel, Alan


dance/movement therapy, heuristic research, self-exploration, self-awareness, Effort time.


Heuristic research methodology was used to engage in a creative and systematic process of self-exploration with a goal of fostering embodied self-awareness. I answered the following research question: How will engaging in embodied self-awareness influence and inform the relationships I create with others and myself? Additionally, I explored my use of Effort time and its influence on my embodied self-awareness. As the sole-researcher and participant, data were collected for 4 weeks in 8 sessions by self-reflecting on intuitively felt meaningful experiences between myself and another person(s), in addition to self-reflecting on my individual experience amidst those interactions. Movement narratives, embodied journal entries, and fluctuating my use of Effort time served as data for intuitive analysis. The organic process of analyzing recurring themes and synthesizing information occurred in consultation with a dance/movement therapist and validated with a resonance panel, resulting in 8-10 weeks of analysis. Findings revealed a relationship between authenticity, sense of agency, and embodied self-awareness as well as an increase to the awareness of body sensations. Secondly, fluctuating my use of Effort time supported the practice of embodied self-awareness. Implications suggest practicing embodied self-awareness may prove useful to developing dance/movement therapists for creating and sustaining effective therapeutic relationships. Furthermore, the use of fluctuating Effort time as an intervention may support clients in accessing their own embodied self-awareness. 73 pages.