Date of Award

Fall 9-15-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Angelle Cook


The United States continues to face an ongoing youth mental health epidemic among children and adolescents, coinciding with an increase of suicidal behaviors among this developmental age group. Accessibility to culturally competent mental health support, addressing social barriers, and an increase in research to identify and respond to youth mental health needs are among recommendations provided by the Surgeon General. Currently, there is limited clarity on standards and best practices for treating suicidality across mental health sectors. As such, it’s necessary to explore additional means of support for adolescents experiencing suicidality within the individual therapy model. Thwarted belonging and sense of burdensomeness are considered two vital facets of suicidality. Additionally, many existing methods for supporting adolescents experiencing suicidality focus on individualistic concepts of suicide. Within this thesis, an ecological systems informed method for the use of monologues and psychodramatic techniques as a means of cultivating a sense of belonging in individual clinical drama therapy settings is detailed and explored. Additionally, my experiences as the facilitating clinical and drama therapy intern over three sessions with an adolescent client experiencing suicidality are discussed. Overall, the method served as a therapeutic framework for identifying and exploring content of suicidal ideation and sense of belongingness. During the process, institutional education demands on adolescents experiencing suicidality surfaced as an important topic for future research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.




The author owns the copyright to this work.