Using Psychodrama in VA Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs to Address PTSD in Dually Diagnosed Individuals

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Lynett Henderson Metzger

First Committee Member

Michael Karson

Second Committee Member

Steven O. Kidd


Veterans, co-occurring disorders, PTSD, substance use disorders, psychodrama, experiential treatment


This paper examines the usefulness of implementing psychodrama into VA substance use disorder treatment programs. Within the VA system, veterans with PTSD are three times more likely to also have a substance use disorder than adults in the general population (Petrakis, Rosenheck, & Desai, 2011). Due to the sequential nature of treatment for co-occurring disorders in the VA system, these veterans often receive substance use disorder treatment first without access to PTSD treatment. Psychodrama has shown promising results in the treatment of PTSD and can easily be integrated into substance use disorder treatment programs because it is not specifically trauma-focused. Satisfaction data presented in this paper also shows that psychodrama was well-received by a group of dually-diagnosed individuals in a VA substance use disorder treatment program. The existing literature, combined with the satisfaction data presented in this paper, suggests that the practice of psychodrama should be researched more closely.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


23 pages

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