Principles of Drama Therapy

  • September 29, 2019 - January 15, 2020
    11:00 am - 6:00 pm

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction into the growing field of drama therapy, including theories, principles, and practical approaches. Drama Therapy theories covered include: Role Theory, Psychodrama, Playback Theatre, Developmental Transformations, if time permits we’ll explore Play Therapy, and Sand Tray Therapy. Included in the course will be an overview of the history of drama therapy including information about the leading pioneers of drama therapy, their theories and practical approaches. The requirements for registry as a professional drama therapist within the Alternate Track Training Program as well as Graduate Programs in Drama Therapy training, various sites and settings drama therapists are employed will be examined as well as ethics and sharing our scopes of practice as drama therapists. Attendees will learn the basics about the business of drama therapy in order to serve as pioneers in the field.

METHOD: Each class will begin with drama therapy warm-up and will include learning techniques and approaches through participating in them and then discussing them afterwards. Students will have opportunities for teach-back sessions where they will lead the class in a series of drama therapy techniques. This course is highly experiential and imperative that students attend regularly and participate in activities and group discussions. 

Recommended Text:
R. Landy: Persona and Performance. Guilford Press, 1993.
R. Landy: Drama Therapy–Concepts, Theories, and Practices, 2nd Edition. C.C. Thomas, 1994.
R. Emunah. Acting for Real. Bruner/Mazel, 1994.
P. Lewis and D. Johnson, eds, Current Approaches in Drama Therapy. C.C. Thomas, 2000.
P. Jones, Drama as Therapy—Theatre as Living, Routledge, 1996.
A. Blatner: Acting-In: Practical Applications of Psychodramatic Methods, 3rd Edition. Springer, 1996.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Knowledge of how the disciplines of drama and psychology interact and support each other interdisciplinary in drama therapy.
  2. Knowledge of the theories and current approaches used in drama therapy.
  3. Knowledge of the NADT Code of Ethical Principles and how to apply ethics to practice.

Course Requirements

– Regular Attendance and Active Class Participation
Drama therapy is an experiential therapy. You can’t learn it just by reading about it or talking about it – you have to DO IT!.

– Lead a drama therapy warm-up
Each student will lead a drama therapy warm-up during the week. You can choose a warm-up from the text or invent one of your own. Write in your journal about why you chose this warm-up, how it went, what you would improve on (if anything) the next time you use it, with whom/where you would use it, and your reactions to leading the group. Warms-ups should address cognitive, emotional, and physical aspects.

– Elevator Speech on Drama Therapy
Each student will arrange a time to give an “elevator speech” to the instructor on what drama therapy is. The purpose of this is to rehearse what you would say to someone you meet who has never heard of drama therapy in order to define it for them clearly and succinctly.

– Journal
Do: Every day during the week. DUE: every Sunday after the previous class.
Each student will keep a journal in order to record techniques, theories, questions, insights, and reactions to the experiences in the course and in the readings. This will provide students with a method for putting ideas together through self-dialogue and create an idea book with techniques for the future. In addition to taking notes in class, you should spend at least an hour after each class day writing about your reactions to the day’s activities and discussions. You might also need to add reflections after the week of class.

– Papers
Write papers on your understanding of Role-Theory, Play Back Theatre, Psychodrama due at the end of the training.

– Presentation
The presentation of an autobiographical performance piece, representing an unresolved issue in your life, as manifest in role/counter-role/guide. This is to be a one-person piece.

Introduction to Drama Therapy Course meets one Sunday a month beginning in September and ends in December.  Course is approved by the North American Drama Therapy Association. Certificates of completion are provided. 

Course Dates: September 29th; October 13th; November 3rd; November 17th; December 1st; and December 15th

Cost: is $350 for each class and payments are made one month before the next class so payments are due on: August 29th, September 13th, October 13th, October 17th, November 1st and November 15th. Total 3 credit course is $2,100.

Credits: 3 course

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Registration fee and Course Dates


Venue Phone: (732) 953-6291

19 Holly Street, Cranford, New Jersey, United States

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