Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Angelle V. Cook, PhD, RDT/BCT


Drama therapy may be uniquely suited to help people with mental illness who have negative beliefs about what it means to be mentally ill. It focuses on helping the individual expand their sense of what a person with mental illness can be, as well as their awareness of the other roles they may play in their lives. In the current study, the author developed a drama therapy intervention for psychiatric patients in an intensive outpatient program (IOP). The intervention uses pre-made cards that depict images of various animals. During the intervention, the participants were asked to discuss how they handle life stressors. Then, using the animal card of their choice, they were asked to relate those experiences to their chosen card. Participants were asked to explore relaxation from their animal’s perspective and share their insights with group members. The author found that identifying with the animal role allowed for patients, facilitators, and medical student observers alike to realize the importance of social engagement and connection as a healthy coping mechanism to stress.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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