Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Meg Chang


Mudras are a codified set of gestures from different parts of the body in Indian Classical Dance and Yoga. Mudras in literary sources often refer to specific hand gestures. The thesis includes research on the use of mudras (hand gestures) from Indian classical dance and yoga in dance/movement therapy (DMT) to yield expressive and healing benefits. The research question explored “the extent to which mudras enhance self-expression and aid in building coping skills for stress, with children in a Partial Hospitalization Program.” An intervention was developed by considering the therapeutic implications of mudras and drawing parallels to elements of DMT, narrative therapy and projective techniques. The method was implemented with children between 7-11 years in a partial hospital program in expressive therapy and psychoeducation groups. Expressive therapy aimed at using mudras as a movement-based tool for storytelling and psychoeducation directed participants to build body-based coping skills for stress through mudras. Qualitative data was collected and compared to the existing literature. The themes that emerged from this research included participation, self-expression, comprehension, postural changes and regulatory effects on the body. While this research explored the use of mudras with children in a partial hospitalization program, the use of this method with different populations in different settings is also discussed. The literature shows a need for culturally diverse, codified, movement-based interventions. This study attempted to bridge that gap by exploring the use of mudras in a therapeutic setting and developing a protocol for their use in different settings and with different populations.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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