Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Robyn Cruz

Second Advisor

Nancy Beardall

Third Advisor

Lenore Hervey


This phenomenological study aimed to explore the lived learning and teaching experiences of native East Asian DMT educators who completed their DMT education in the US and then returned to their home countries. The researcher intended to learn how participants experienced their Western DMT education and how they adapted what they had learned to teaching DMT to students in East Asia. Six participants were successfully recruited from four East Asian countries (Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan). Three types of data were gathered via a researcher-designed demographic questionnaire, the Asian American Values Scale-Multidimensional, and individual interviews. The Nvivo10 software program was used to ensure efficient organization. Member checking and peer debriefing were used in different stages of data analysis to heighten internal validity. Three phases of coding processes were conducted. Approximately 100 pages of interview transcription yielded 638 meaningful segments during the first coding process, unrelated or unclear segment codes were deleted (559 codes), and similar or identical codes were then combined (516 codes). Finally, data analysis revealed 8 themes, 22 categories, and 72 subcategories. The eight themes were (1) emergence of new personal and professional identity, (2) DMT training experience in the US, (3) unwanted return and not welcomed home, (4) challenges as a DMT educator in one’s home country, (5) unfamiliar and different learning styles, (6) problems and needs, (7) efforts to develop the field of DMT as a DMT educator, and (8) giving advice and sharing meaningful moments. These findings support previous research on culturally competent teaching and contribute to creating a communicative and educational DMT bridge between the East and West, improving mutual understanding. More research is needed to enhance the understanding of culturally competent DMT teaching and indigenization in East Asia.

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.



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