Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Angelle Cook


The transgender community is underrepresented in the current body of academic research, underserved in the current clinical model of healthcare services, and legislatively oppressed on a state and federal level in the United States. As of March 2023, more than 400 anti-LGBTQI laws have been introduced on a state level in 2023 alone (ACLU, 2023). In response to the hostile Western sociopolitical climate, this thesis will focus on what insights arise from transgender adults and cisgender allies (N = 12) after participating in a dramatherapeutic group therapy session that explored current anti-trans legislation and highlighted the legal needs of the community. Participants were in a partially hospitalized substance treatment center and mental health counseling agency for adults in the Eastern United States. They engaged in three different interventions which were rooted in Boal’s theatre of the oppressed (Boal, 1998; Boal 2002) and Moreno’s psychodramatic (Giacomucci, 2021) frameworks and were guided via critical queer theory (Wilchins, 2004) and gender-affirming therapeutic (APA, 2023) orientations. Results of this study firstly, highlighted the ways in which participants do not feel protected by the current legislation; secondly, provided a blueprint for what the legal needs of the transgender community are moving forward.




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