Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Carla Velazquez-Garcia


This qualitative embodied artistic inquiry self-study, developed through my perspective as an emerging dance and movement therapist, explored the effects of using telehealth for therapy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The available literature discussed throughout this capstone thesis suggest that the adaptations made to therapy as a result of the pandemic affected the practices associated with dance and movement therapy’s theoretical principles of embodiment, attunement, and somatic countertransference. Because of the unknowns of COVID 19, research on mitigating the negative aspects of telehealth is still emerging, thus increasing my anxiety as an emerging professional. In order to address the anxiety and mitigate telehealth’s effects on embodiment, attunement, and somatic countertransference, I developed and followed a personal Authentic Movement practice. I followed this practice each day prior to all of my telehealth therapy sessions for a total of 18 Authentic Movement sessions. Analysis, which took the form of a writing synthesis in a journal immediately following each practice session, was a built-in part of the practice. Results included an increased ability to attune to my body, which correlated with feeling a stronger therapeutic relationship in sessions with participants and taking more therapeutic risks with them. Topics for further discussion and future research include how therapists can engage in regular self-care that incorporates their whole selves and the importance of future research on finding embodiment and relationship in telehealth.

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