Date of Award

Summer 9-15-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Jason Frydman, PhD, RDT/BCT, NCSP


Emotional dysregulation is comorbid with a wide spectrum of mental health diagnoses. However, in a partial hospital program (PHP) setting, the roots of emotional dysregulation cannot be thoroughly treated due to the temporary nature of such programs, despite its impact on the wellness of clients. Yet, it has the potential to be explored more in-depth through drama therapy techniques due to the distanced and playful methods of the practice. This thesis method explores the effect of a strengths-based, drama therapy intervention in a PHP setting. The method took place over four sessions, with a fluctuating group ranging from five to seven members (12 members total across all four sessions), both in person and over telehealth. The sessions applied Landy’s (2003) role taxonomy and strengths-based practices to help guide the group members in creating their own power role. This role was used as a means for the group members to approach their emotional difficulties from their strengths. The sessions progressed from the group members identifying their role repertoires, to creating their power roles, to finally enrolling as a power role while facing a destabilizing role that they carry. The facilitator played the opposing roles in the final sessions. Each session had an additional drama therapist present so thorough notes could be taken after the fact. Although only four out of the 12 participants were present for all four sessions, the group appeared to grow more confident in their ability to self-sooth and manage emotion, even if not all of them were able to fully to enact those coping skills while enrolled.

Keywords: emotional dysregulation, drama therapy, strengths-based approaches

Author Identity Statement: The author identifies as a straight-passing, queer, White woman from Illinois of mixed Eastern European ancestry.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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