Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Catherine Moonshine, Ph., MAC, CADC III

Second Advisor

Paul Michael, PhD

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, PhD, ABPP


Although the therapeutic benefits of implementing Dialectical Behavior Therapy with clients suffering from various psychological conditions has been well documented in the literature, there is very little research about the usefulness and effectiveness of therapeutic games. The purpose of the present study was to further explore coping skill acquisition using Dialectical Behavior Therapy with clinicians and practitioners in training including the implementation of innovative D.B.T. in Life games. A total of 62 student clinicians (19 men and 43 women) who attended either classes at an area university or a 2-day DBT conference learned about various aspects of DBT, learned and practiced the D.B.T. in Life games, and completed a measure of coping abilities, a measure of knowledge about DBT, and a satisfaction survey. Overall, the results suggest that clinicians’ knowledge about DBT can be increased by completing coursework about DBT and that utilizing the D.B.T. in Life games during that coursework could also be beneficial. Participants also reported that the D.B.T. in Life games were interesting, enjoyable to play, and effective tools in learning and practicing DBT skills. Overall, it appears that these games can be used in a classroom or conference setting with clinicians in training in order to increase both the knowledge and skill of the practitioners that will be utilizing DBT in clinical practice. Some limitations of the present research and recommendations for future research are discussed.


Library Use: LIH