What is Drama Therapy?

The week of October 19-25th was the second international drama therapy week! To celebrate, we here at C.A.T.s Corner decided to create an informational video for all of you about the basics of drama therapy. Whenever I introduce myself as a drama therapist, I get asked a lot of questions. Common queries include “What do you do?” “Where would you work?” “Do you handle ‘drama’ from teenagers?” and “Is that really therapy?” It is my hope that this video can help provide answers to these questions, as well as provide information for those who may want to pursue drama therapy as a form of mental health treatment or even a future career!

From 2018 to 2020, I attended a master’s program for drama therapy at Kansas State University. During this time I learned many practical therapeutic skills and expanded my understanding of theatre from a process on the stage to a healing experience based in relationships. All drama therapy students are required to participate in 800 hours of hands on experience during their education to earn their PRDT credential (Provisional Registered Drama Therapist). These hours come from a combination of direct work with clients, supervision from your professors or work colleagues, and indirect hours researching, preparing session materials, and writing notes/treatment plans. A lot of us have very diverse internship experiences; mine include working with a Barrier Free theatre group, running an after school club for students on the Autism Spectrum, running a social skills group at a PT/OT/SLP clinic, providing bedside interventions for patients at Blank Children’s Hospital, and working at a community mental health agency providing therapy for kids and teens in my hometown. Every practitioner of drama therapy has their own unique take on how to use the many different interventions available, and many also incorporate interventions from the other creative arts therapies.

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To celebrate International Drama Therapy Week, I have included some of my favorite photos related to drama therapy and the powerpoint from my video below. The more others know about drama therapy, the more we can help bring it to the communities that need it most. Thank you for being a part of that mission!

Some students from the first and second year drama therapy cohorts at Kansas State University.
Presenting my first ever poster at the NADTA national conference in 2019.
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My first day working independently as a drama therapist for Blank Children’s Hospital.
The second year drama therapy cohort at K-State using embodied learning through finger puppets.
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Here is the powerpoint from our video! Please do not distribute or repurpose without permission from the author. Requests can be sent to creativeartstherapycorner@gmail.com.

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