Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Jena Leake, Ph.D., REAT


In the realm of tabletop roleplay games, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) earned a reputation as the most prolific franchise within the genre and has since prevailed as a popular bonding activity for peer groups of all ages and backgrounds. Among the player base in the D&D community are those that gleaned its potential to offer a conducive space for personal growth, particularly in the realm of psychosocial development, given that D&D sessions facilitated dynamic social interactions among the members. The emphasis on imagination in D&D nurtures the tenets of intermodal expression, as players are encouraged to explore their creativity through the embodiment of their character in addition to engaging in the fictional play-space, which appeals to such concepts in expressive arts therapy as in expanding the range of play by decentering into an alternative reality or alternative world experience. This literature review desired to address the gap in literature analyzing D&D as a creative tool for social skills development, especially for adolescents who are in the process of cultivating their unique personalities. Recommendations for utilizing this method in a therapeutic setting were provided in addition to a fully conceptualized outline for a ten-week group curriculum which may act as a springboard for inspiring future endeavors in incorporating D&D roleplay with the selected population.

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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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