Drama Therapy

Course of Study

Course of Study for the Drama Therapy Program

Course Descriptions

Drama Therapy (PDT) Courses / Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MCP) Courses. (MCPD indicates an MCP course taught from a drama therapy perspective.)

PDT 5501: Drama Therapy Theory (3 units)

An exploration of the theoretical foundations of drama therapy, as well as an examination of its major theorists, approaches, and core constructs, such as play, role, ritual, improvisation, embodiment, projection, and aesthetic distance. Students study the interface of drama therapy with social justice work and other forms of psychotherapy, as well as variations of approach used with diverse populations and their presenting challenges.

PDT 5602: Drama Therapy Process and Technique (3 units)

An experiential course demonstrating the process and progression of a drama therapy series from the establishment of a playful, creative environment to the development of in-depth personal and interpersonal work. Students experience Renée Emunah's Integrative Five Phase Model of Drama Therapy and are introduced to self-revelatory performance.

PDT 5603: Drama Therapy Practice (3 units)

An examination of clinical and practical issues in drama therapy, including working with resistance, making interventions within the dramatic mode, and directing and developing scene work in accordance with therapeutic objectives. Through the use of role-play and video feedback, students develop skills in leadership.

PDT 5605: Psychodrama (3 units)

Theory and practice of psychodrama as a therapeutic tool with groups, families, couples, and individuals. Participants experience the roles of protagonist, auxiliary, and director. The efficacy of various warm-ups and techniques with different populations are examined.

PDT 5607: Special Methods: Developmental Transformations (1 unit)

An Introductory intensive in the practice of Developmental Transformations (DvT), an improvisational approach to drama therapy in which the therapist co-creates with clients a mutually interactive play space where client material is explored through embodied free association.

PDT 5614: Advanced Improv and Playback Theater (1 unit)

An experiential study of the playback theater form, which transforms personal stories told by audience members into improvised theater pieces on the spot, incorporating music, movement, ritual, and spoken improvisation. Playback performances are performed in the community.

PDT 5626: Individual Drama Therapy (1 unit)

A practical/clinical examination of the application of drama therapy with individual clients, including: shifting between and integrating verbal and dramatic methods in one-on-one work; engaging the individual client over the course of a multi-phased therapeutic relationship; selectively supplementing other creative arts therapies; and balancing the consideration of clinical, cultural, social, existential, and relational needs in providing attuned approaches within the dramatic medium.

PDT 5627: Trauma and Resilience: Embodied Approaches to Treatment (1 unit)

An exploration of the efficacy of drama therapy approaches in addressing vital issues of safety and containment, modulated distance, desensitization, somatic experiencing, and the cultivation of resilience in treating various traumatic disorders. Current research in neurophysiology, attachment theory, and therapeutic applications of mindfulness and other body-oriented expressive arts therapies are considered.

PDT 5628: Advanced Integrative Five Phase Model of Drama Therapy (1 unit)

A seminar exploring: the use of the Integrative Five Phase Model of Drama Therapy in various clinical contexts (including brief therapy) and with different populations and age groups; the significance of flow and progression in drama therapy; methods of scene intervention; and research ideas for developing, applying, and expanding this model.

PDT 6604: Drama Therapy and Social Change (2 units)

An exploration of the transformative power of drama therapy in the social context, and of the role of the drama therapist as agent of social change. Four approaches to the use of drama and social issues are examined: the Acts of Reconciliation Project, Sociodrama, Theatre of the Oppressed, and World Work. A focus on how change occurs in groups, organizations, societies, and nations.

PDT 6607: Special Methods: Advanced Developmental Transformations (1 unit)

An advanced intensive in the practice of Developmental Transformations (see PDT 5607). This course expands on work done in the introductory intensive through in-depth and embodied explorations of key concepts associated with this approach: embodiment, encounter, transformation, flow, impasse, and playability.

PDT 7700: Integrative Seminar: Final Project (4 units)

A seminar integrating two years of study in the process, theory, and practice of drama therapy, and culminating in a final project that may include either a self-revelatory performance, a theoretical paper/article, a therapeutic performance that the student directs, or a high-quality video documenting a drama therapy treatment series.

PDT 8888: Special Topics in Drama Therapy (1-3 units)

Occasional courses offered by faculty regarding their current interests and research. For example, Self-Care for Therapists: Mindful and Embodied Approaches explores, through a combination of embodied and contemplative practices, how therapists can balance emotional availability to clients with the cultivation of healthy energetic boundaries.

MCPD 5604: Group Dynamics Using Creative Arts Therapies (2 units)

Review of basic theories of group process. Exploration of group process through group interaction, didactic analysis, and synthesis. Use of creative arts therapy modalities (dance/movement, music, art, poetry, and drama therapies) in group work.

MCPD 5608: Psychotherapy Theories and Practices (2 units)

A theoretical survey of the major psychotherapy orientations that complement and inform family therapy theories. Students are encouraged to analyze and critique these major theories, and to develop an integrative framework using an interpersonal, feminist, and systemic approach.

MCPD 6605: Advanced Family Therapy: Action-Oriented Approaches (2 units)

Approaches and techniques to couples and family therapy that employ action-oriented processes are examined and practiced in simulations. Key practitioners in the field of family therapy who have developed action methods are reviewed. Includes work in spousal and partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention.

MCPD 7602: Supervised Clinical Practicum: Case Seminar in Drama Therapy (2 units, minimum three semesters)

Presentation and discussion of case material. Emphases upon case formulation, the therapeutic relationship, and the development of clinical skills.

MCP 5101: Professional Ethics and Family Law (2 units)

Ethical standards for the practice of counseling and psychology. Review and discussion of ethical and legal aspects of marriage and family therapy and practice.

MCP 5201: Human Development and the Family (3 units)

Theories and research in life transitions, stages of development, and rites of passage, from prenatal conditions through adult experience to dying.

MCP 5603: Psychopathology and Assessment (3 units)

Comparative historical and contemporary views on the development of adult psychopathology framed within an exploratory and critical examination of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a tool of assessment and treatment planning.

MCPD 5605: Family Dynamics and Therapy (3 units)

Covers the family life cycle, as well as the theories and methods of many of the major family theories, including strategic, brief strategic, systemic, narrative, solution-focused, family of origin, structural, and symbolic experiential family therapy. Includes experiential learning processes and instructor-demonstrated family of origin interviews.

MCPD 5610: Therapeutic Communication (2 units)

Provides an overview of key concepts and methods in therapeutic communication, integrating psychodynamic, humanistic, and other approaches. Experiential portion includes role-play and simulations.

MCP 6102: Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Counseling (1 unit)

Survey of current treatment approaches to chemical dependency and examination of humanist-transpersonal perspectives.

MCP 6103: Multicultural Awareness for the Psychotherapist (2 units)

Therapists need to develop awareness of cultural variations and acquire therapeutic tools to address those differences. The use of the prevalent Western European view of therapy as the only option for therapeutic process will be challenged, and alternatives will be discussed. Cultural differences, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, gender, religion, and language, are reviewed.

MCP 6105: Spousal/Intimate Partner Abuse Assessment and Reporting (1 unit)

MCPD 6401: Introduction to Clinical Research (3 units)

Overview of research methodologies with special focus on qualitative approaches, comparative ways of knowing, and the creation of an integral inquiry research project.

MCP 6502: Child Therapy (2 units)

Techniques to remedy or prevent problems in children and their families. Case material introduces strategies of intervention.