“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
- Albert Einstein

What Is Drama Therapy?

“Drama therapy is an embodied practice that is active and experiential. This approach can provide the context for participants to tell their stories, set goals and solve problems, express feelings, or achieve catharsis. Through drama, the depth and breadth of inner experience can be actively explored and interpersonal relationship skills can be enhanced.”

North American Drama Therapy Association

“Drama Therapy is an expressive and action-oriented therapy that focuses on the here-and-now. It combines theatre techniques with therapeutic principals, providing a hands-on opportunity for change and personal growth.”

Peyton Welch, MA, Registered Drama Therapist (RDT)

Drama therapy applies techniques from theatre to the process of psychotherapeutic healing. The focus in drama therapy is helping individuals grow and heal by taking on and practicing new roles, by creating new stories through action, and by rehearsing new behaviors which can later be implemented in real life. Drama and psychology are both the study of human behavior. Just as psychotherapy uses talking to treat clients who have difficulties with their thoughts, emotions, and behavior, drama therapy uses informal drama processes (games, improvisation, storytelling, role play) and formal drama processes (puppets, masks, plays/performances) to help clients understand their thoughts and emotions better or to improve their behavior.

How Is Drama Therapy Established?

A drama therapist first assesses a client’s needs and then considers approaches that might best meet those needs. Drama therapy can take many forms depending on individual and group needs, skill and ability levels, interests, and therapeutic goals. Processes and techniques may include improvisation, theater games, storytelling, and enactment. Many drama therapists make use of text, performance, or ritual to enrich the therapeutic and creative process. The theoretical foundation of drama therapy lies in drama, theater, psychology, psychotherapy, anthropology, play, and interactive and creative processes.

– Information provided by the North American Drama Therapy Association.

Where Do Drama Therapists Practice?

There are a variety of places to practice Drama Therapy. Just a few include: Mental Health Facilities, Schools, Hospitals, Private Practice Settings, Substance Abuse Treatment Centers, Adult Day Care Centers, Correctional Facilities, Community Centers, After-school Programs, Shelters, Group Homes, Nursing Homes, Corporations, Theaters, Housing Projects, Medical Schools, Training Organizations. Participants benefiting from drama therapy span the life spectrum. Client populations may include persons recovering from addiction, dysfunctional families, developmentally disabled persons, abuse survivors, prison inmates, homeless persons, people with AIDS, older adults, behavioral health consumers, at-risk youth, and the general public.

– Information provided by the North American Drama Therapy Association.