Date of Award

Winter 1-15-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Dr. Jason D. Butler

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Beardall

Third Advisor

Dr. Yousef Alajarma



The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of teachers in a bullying prevention program using drama therapy to enhance self-efficacy. This qualitative study was approached through a phenomenological lens. Five Arab-Israeli teachers took part in semi-structured interviews and participated in six sessions of drama therapy. Data were collected from interviews, video and audio recordings that documented the details of all the sessions. Data were analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and yielded five themes and 10 subthemes. The themes suggested that drama therapy allowed the participants to experience bullying behavior and to express their feelings through sharing stories of bullying, which led to innovation and growth in their personal and professional life. Five themes emerged, Drama Therapy Approach, Challenges, Feelings, Awareness, and Innovation and Growth. In the Drama Therapy Approach theme, the teachers experienced drama therapy as novel and creative. In the Challenges theme, the teachers shared how gender and lack of experience played a role in their lived experience. In the Feelings theme, the teachers expressed their empathy and understanding on bullying behaviors and their affective experiences within the sessions. The Awareness theme highlighted how the sessions impacted their awareness of bullying behavior, types, and roles through embodiment. The last theme was Innovation and Growth, where the teachers shared skills they gained and or that empowered their self-efficacy through the sessions. The findings showed how the drama therapy approach enhanced self-efficacy for the teachers and facilitated a better understanding of bullying behaviors. The current study adds to the literature by providing insights as to how to enhance self-efficacy using drama therapy in a bullying prevention program for Arab-Israeli teachers.



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