Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Angelle Cook


The objective of this community engagement project was to explore the experiences of a group of male survivors of childhood sexual abuse via a writing process through a drama therapy-based lens, which included the use of scaffolding sessions with projective writing techniques, the use of aesthetic distance, verbally sharing written works to the witnessing audience, and embodied feedback and response by the witnessing audience to the performer. The participants were part of a grant-funded male sexual abuse survivor support group at an American outpatient, in-office mental health counseling group practice. All sessions were held in audio-video telehealth sessions. There were five members, all of whom were white/Caucasian, cisgender males between the ages of 50-70. This group was held for one hour, once per week, for a total of six weeks. This process resulted in feedback from the members following the performance. Topics included identifying growth, the traumatic experience being an event and not an all-encompassing or defining characteristic of the individual, identifying repeating patterns and reactions, feeling triggered and having more to say than able to include in a brief project, being able to work with the trauma without “falling in,” experiencing mixed feelings that at times made the process more helpful or more challenging, and reporting that listening to others’ stories was the most beneficial part. For future considerations, this author recommends holding this group twice per week and for eight weeks instead of six weeks to allow for more processing. This added processing time could help address stirred or activated feelings.

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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