Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Madoka Urhausen


The formation of identity is a critical developmental process during adolescence, characterized by self-exploration and the establishment of a stable sense of self. This capstone thesis presents a novel intervention, the Puppet Protocol, designed to facilitate identity exploration and positive self-expression among adolescent clients through the creation and manipulation of puppets. The intervention's theoretical foundation draws from embodiment theory, which posits that physical actions and sensory experiences influence cognitive and emotional processes (Gibbs, 2005; Glenberg, 2010; Koch et al., 2012). By engaging adolescents in the embodied experience of puppet-making and puppetry, the Puppet Protocol aims to provide a creative and playful outlet for self-reflection and self-expression. This thesis outlines the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Puppet Protocol through a series of group and individual sessions conducted with adolescent clients at an outpatient expressive therapy clinic. Quantitative findings assess participants' ability to articulate positive self-descriptors, engage in the puppet-making process, and name their creations. Limitations, including a homogeneous sample and lack of pre-intervention assessment, are discussed, along with recommendations for future research. The thesis concludes by emphasizing the importance of therapist flexibility and client-centered tailoring of interventions, particularly in the context of expressive arts therapies (Malchiodi, 2003).

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