Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Lee Ann Thill, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC


In 2022, 328 military members across the active component, Reserve, and National Guard died by suicide, the same as in 2021. In March 2022, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III commissioned the Suicide Prevention Response Independent Review Committee to evaluate existing suicide prevention programs and strategies across the entire Department of Defense. This literature review aims to highlight the use of dance/movement therapy and other expressive therapies within the military, and how the arts have been utilized specifically for suicide prevention. Due to the lack of research on the use of dance/movement therapy, the articles included various studies of other expressive therapy interventions with military personnel, along with studies of the use of dance/movement therapy with depression and trauma. The literature review also examines research on arts-based suicide prevention programs. It was found that though expressive arts therapy for suicide prevention has not been extensively researched, the studies found that most participants experienced a reduction in depressive and traumatic symptoms, along with reduced suicidal ideation. Further research on the use of the arts and expressive arts therapies is warranted as more studies are released on the psychology of suicide.

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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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