Speaking in silence: A concept of whole-person communication

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University of New Brunswick


The purpose of this study is to investigate the question: How has my work as an artist and teacher in the performing arts developed the concept of whole-person communication and how can this knowledge be applied to improve communication skills in nursing practice and beyond? My concept of whole-person communication is situated in the transitus between existing theories of the performing arts, communication, and emerging neuroscientific research that could suggest an interdisciplinary whole-person approach to communication. The methodology for this study is autoethnography and I position myself as the primary investigator of my work as an artist and teacher in the performing arts and the concept of whole-person communication. Within the research I have engaged the guiding principles of autoethnography as recommended by Adams, Jones, and Ellis (2014), and I have engaged Milner’s (2007) framework as an overarching guide for the structure of this thesis. This framework has four parts: research of the self, research of the self in relation to others, engaging in reflection and representation, and shifting from self to system. The qualitative data for this study are collected artefacts from my personal life and work experiences in the performing arts in the form of lesson plans, stories, journal entries, as well as the results of an independent study I conducted in January 2020 at The Dalhousie University School of Nursing. This study also discusses how the concept of whole-person communication can be applied to society and social situations beyond nursing.



HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Art, INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing, MEDICINE::Morphology, cell biology, pathology::Cell biology::Neuroscience, INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Human communication