Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Donna C. Owens


This thesis aims to provide an intervention for group therapy for adolescents in a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Research on the successful outcomes of play therapy and expressive arts therapy, in addition to studies researching trauma focused care, informed the intervention “Monster Puppets” to provide a contained structure for an appropriate level of care. Group members designed and created puppets representative of monsters and created dialogues to share aspects of the puppet’s personality. The intervention was implemented in a PHP for adolescents and documented through responsive art and process notes. The intervention took place multiple times between October 2017 and February 2018, each time with all different group members. Within the groups of adolescents there was a range of diagnoses and trauma history; the common factor among them was level of crisis. “Monster Puppets” is a group intervention which can be used in an acute care setting, such as a PHP, that is versatile enough to allow clients to get what they need from treatment, while providing enough containment to accommodate for the range of diagnoses and history, and still give space for those ready to begin processing trauma. Results showed the intervention to be successful in multiple group sizes with clients of various diagnoses.

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