Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Rebecca Zarate


This capstone offers the idea that evolution has challenged appropriate breathing and led humans to breathe incorrectly, thus negatively affecting their physical and mental health. As breath can damage the body, it can also serve as a regulator of the mind and body. This thesis points out the multiple effects when uniting controlled respiration, drumming and nature sounds. Breathing, music and nature have many things in common. These include repetition, pattern, awareness of the present moment and relaxation. They all contain a rhythm, and they offer self-regulatory skills. Music-based expressive arts therapies intervention is postulated to provide breathing techniques, united to a rhythm and natural sounds to redirect the unconscious breathing to a more controlled one with the purpose of self-regulation and an increased holistic wellbeing. A one- hour indoor workshop was presented for the expressive arts therapy graduate community. The indoor workshop combined nature sounds and two guiding breathing techniques which would be aligned with the tempo of a drum playing by this author. Later participants would broaden their experience by an intermodal process of creative arts. This exploration is referred to as experiencing the impact of the breath and rhythm on the mind, body, emotions and spirit. The results illustrate that the use of breath in an expressive therapy intervention invokes calmness of the mind, increases physical energy and relaxation of the body, provides self-regulation of emotions, access creativity and internal exploration, builds repetition which motivates flow, and signals a connection to the personal and transpersonal self.




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