Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Angelle V. Cook


This capstone project ventures to develop a drama therapy method that may increase empathy, social skills, and communication skills in populations with substance use disorders. Particular attention has been paid to the efficacy of performance/talkback methods in increasing these factors. An attempt has been made to streamline the performance/talkback method for greater accessibility to such methods in clinical spaces. The literature shows a particular need in populations with substance use disorders for social skills, communication skills, and empathy training. There have been published drama therapy studies that aim to intervene in these areas, though few with this particular population. This method was tested in a clinical partial hospitalization program that treats adults with substance abuse disorders. The participants were white women between the ages of 21-61. Through this inquiry, I have learned that it may be possible to replicate many of the studied effects of performance/talkback models using pre- recorded media instead of live performance. I believe this method can be applied to many populations to spark discourse, encourage perspective-taking, provide social rehearsal, break down communication patterns, and increase topic-related empathy. I also believe this model can increase access to performance-based interventions by eliminating many of the logistics of staging a live performance.

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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