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

Brown, Andrea


power, embodied power, relational-cultural theory, dance/movement therapy


This qualitative embodied artistic inquiry self-study explored how I used my embodied power in an ethical and intentional way as a dance/movement therapist and illustrated how I experienced my embodied power as informed by relational-cultural theory. At the time of the study, I was a 24-year-old, White, female identified, Midwestern, second-year dance/movement therapy and counseling graduate student. Data were collected through five authentic movement sessions with a trained authentic movement practitioner. Data analysis took the form of creative synthesis through embodied writing passages following each authentic movement session. Results included a journey of self-compassion through a growing movement repertoire, which led to self-acceptance, ownership of the past, and choice. Implications demonstrated the importance of therapists exploring theoretical frameworks that align with or challenge one’s worldview, and continuously engaging in introspective exploration of one’s racial identity.