Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Jason Butler


This research study explored the use of play therapy techniques with adults on an inpatient unit. Participants engaged with play figurines during a one-hour expressive art therapy session. A second-year expressive art therapy intern facilitated the groups. The intern guided the members through a warm-up activity, main directive and closing activity. The focus of the play therapy directives was on the current self and future self. Data was collected from three groups facilitated by the same group leader and involving two different hospital units. The play figurines chosen, environments created and participant’s body language were noted. Overall, the usage of play figurines was well received and appreciated; group members found it helpful to use symbolism in expressing their emotions and hopes for their personal growth. There was little resistance to participating in the group and engaging with the figurines. Noticeable differences were observed in patients who had a psychotic disorder versus mood disorder.

Creative Commons License

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




The author owns the copyright to this work.