Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Jason S. Frydman, PhD, RDT/BCT, NCSP


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a widely used treatment approach for many different populations across an array of clinical settings. There is ample supporting evidence on its effectiveness, however there is also emerging literature on the barriers and challenges when engaging with this treatment modality. Drama therapy is an embodied treatment approach that uses theatre processes and techniques to achieve therapeutic goals. The aim of this thesis was to combine drama therapy and DBT into a proposed method to explore the impact of this infusion with clients on two inpatient units: a short-term unit and a trauma/dissociative unit. This method was implemented through created drama therapy-DBT groups, on both units, that address the DBT skills of mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. The results of this process showed promising outcomes for anxiety management, enhanced confidence and self-acceptance, finding personal connection to the material, and relaxed defenses. This exploration suggests that the incorporation of drama therapy into DBT has the potential to have a positive impact on the noted DBT treatment barriers and challenges, thus making DBT more efficient and effective.

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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