Date of Award

Summer 6-18-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Marcia Martin

Second Advisor

Sari Skolnik

Third Advisor

Catherine Nugent


The demand for group work in social work practice has steadily increased while the group work education provided in social work programs has exponentially declined. Social work education and social work practice are intimately linked – one cannot be examined without considering the other. The historical, theoretical, and clinical intersections of social work with groups and the triadic system of J.L. Moreno (sociometry, psychodrama, and group psychotherapy) will be explored. Moreno’s work will be framed through a social work lens with primary concepts defined. Two trauma-specific psychodrama models (Therapeutic Spiral Model and Relational Trauma Repair Model) will be outlined with their emphasis on strengths, containment, and safety. The clinical research and integrated neurobiology research will be presented as a growing evidence base for psychodrama and experiential trauma therapy. Next, an overview of the state of sociometry, psychodrama, and experiential group psychotherapy education will be outlined to provide a global and historical contextualization with an emphasis on experiential education and its complimentary nature with social work education. Finally, an MSW course curriculum will be provided to mediate the existing hole in social work education resulting from the decline of group psychotherapy training.

Included in

Social Work Commons