Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Randall H. Best


This thesis focused on nonverbal communication and the ways in which it may be employed to facilitate change in the context of psychotherapy. The anthropological, psychological, and medical literature was reviewed, and an overview presented of the relevant research on nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication forms a critical dimension in the overall communication in the psychotherapeutic interaction. The importance of the therapist’s recognition of nonverbal behaviors characteristic of particular personality structures as well as the functions of nonverbal messages was examined. The utilization of meaningful nonverbal behavior by the therapist can greatly facilitate the client's change into more healthy and constructive modes of affective, behavioral, and cognitive functioning. Additional research on specific psychotherapeutic applications of nonverbal communication is necessary to expand current understanding of more effective modalities of psychotherapeutic treatment in the future.