Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Michelle Napoli


This thesis investigates the therapeutic effects of the researcher’s own arts practice or personal movement ritual, which is based in her tacit knowledge and intuition. The researcher is also the participant of this study. Her personal movement ritual, which was formalized as the method, was conducted before the literature review in order to prioritize tacit knowledge before introducing the influence of other scholars. In the literature review, Ellen Dissanayake’s and other scholars’ rationale for the emotional and cognitive changes that take place during rituals through music and dance are explained. These rationales, or the five constructs of entrainment,synaesthetic intimations” (Dissanayake, 2010, p.538), “vitality affects” (Stern, 1985, p.53), the autonomic nervous system, and cultural expectations provide a framework for the personal movement ritual to be analyzed in explicit language as well as situated in the fields of evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and expressive arts therapy. The paper concludes with a call to action, urging readers to trust their own tacit knowledge, follow their intuition in their healing/ expressive arts/ self-care practices, and to share it with the world.

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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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