Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Robyn Flaum-Cruz

Second Advisor

Mitchell Kossak

Third Advisor

Jennifer Tantia

Abstract

This dissertation research explored what experiences and influences Rocky Mountain Alba Emoting (RMAE) training generated for creative arts therapists in both their personal and professional lives. RMAE builds upon the effector patterns of Alba EmotingTM which uses innate physiological processes to induce, experience, and cease six genuine basic emotions. RMAE uses the process of learning these patterns as a means of enhancing emotional expression, awareness, and balance. With emotions and emotional regulation playing an increasing role in psychotherapy, a therapist’s emotional life and ability to work with emotions have become more important. RMAE shares some characteristics with the practices of creative arts therapies and its philosophy was partially influenced by the creative arts therapies. Applying this training with creative arts therapists within an arts-based research design was a logical step in exploring the potential of RMAE. In this study, five credentialed creative arts therapists, four females and one male, who were currently working in their fields and had at least two years of professional experience were provided with a full initial training in RMAE via two 2-day trainings with six weeks between trainings. Data generation and analysis were arts-based. Participants created written responses along with original arts pieces in various forms that responded to guiding questions about the experiences and influences of the training both during and after the experience. These data were analyzed through a process which utilized the core elements of live theatre in the form of intuitive dramatic enactments, and final results were presented in dramatic performance pieces. Results indicated that participants reported expanded emotional awareness, high degrees of emotional arousal, and novel experiences with emotion and emotional understanding, among other experiences. All of these were reported to influence participants in meaningful ways in various aspects of their lives. Conclusions indicated that RMAE is worthy of additional exploration as a means of training creative arts therapists and others in and about emotions, and could be further combined with creative arts therapies principles to become an effective means of emotional restoration, enlivenment, and empowerment.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Number of Pages

206

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