Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Dr. Jason S. Frydman, PhD, RDT-BCT, NCSP
Astronauts may encounter a number of psychological challenges throughout their space missions. Crew members often suffer from a disrupted circadian rhythm, thus altering their sleep patterns. Prolonged disrupted sleep has been linked to a decline in executive functioning, concentration, and decision making, all of which are crucial to the duties of an astronaut. Additionally, crews are required to stay in cramped living quarters with the same group of people for an extended period of time, leading to an increased possibility of interpersonal conflict. There are no open spaces in which to escape when trying to decompress, there is limited contact with family and friends, and a very different visual atmosphere than that of Earth, all potentially contributing to higher levels of depression and loneliness. These findings suggest that the mental health of astronauts are of significant importance. This literature review aims to outline the current available treatment options for the mental health of astronauts, as well as gaps that certain drama therapy techniques may be able to fill. Merging the conversation between the fields of drama therapy and space science will allow for further research and development on this subject matter and will also introduce the possibility of using drama therapy with a new population.
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Wysocki, Mackenna, "How Drama Therapy Interventions May Enhance the Psychological Health of Astronauts: A Literature Review" (2023). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 727.
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