Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


This paper presents an expressive arts therapy method using interventions based in improvisational play to promote resilience-building in school-aged children. A review of current literature on resilience, developmental theory, creative psychotherapeutic interventions, and drama therapy interventions with this population is included. A method using a dramatic playspace to promote embodied interaction with interventions centered in active coping, cognitive flexibility, and social support was used in group therapy work with seven students (N = 7) enrolled in a therapeutic day school. Clinical observations support the effectiveness of embodied improvisational play therapy outlined in the literature review and suggest possible accessible avenues for long-term resilience work with children.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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