The Drama Therapy curriculum has been carefully designed to provide a rigorous academic experience that will prepare you to: use drama therapy in a variety of contexts; assimilate an array of psychological theories and orientations; and to be able to engage in meaningful clinical discussions and consultations with other professionals in the field of mental health. The courses are also crafted to provide a rich and intimate encounter with drama therapy processes in the hopes of nurturing personal growth while fostering palpable appreciation of the power of these methods.
The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with a Concentration in Drama Therapy requires 60 semester units of work. Coursework is paced and sequenced to ensure a developmental progression of skills, knowledge, and experience.
I. Drama Therapy Concentration Courses - 23 units
PDT 5501 Drama Therapy Theory
PDT 5602 Drama Therapy Process and Technique
PDT 5603 Drama Therapy Practice
PDT 5605 Psychodrama
PDT 5607 Special Methods in Drama Therapy I: Developmental Transformations
PDT 5614 Advanced Improvisation and Playback Theatre
PDT 5626 Individual Drama Therapy
PDT 5627 Trauma and Resilience: Embodied Approaches to Treatment
PDT 5628 Advanced Integrative Five Phase Model of Drama Therapy
PDT 6604 Drama Therapy and Social Change
PDT 6607 Special Methods in Drama Therapy II: Advanced Developmental Transformations
II. Counseling Psychology Courses - 16 units
MCP 5101 Professional Ethics and Family Law
MCP 5108 Psychopathology
MCP 5201 Human Development
MCP 6101 Human Sexuality
MCP 6102 Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Counseling
MCP 6103 Multicultural Counseling and the Family
MCP 6233 Introduction to Community Mental Health and the Recovery Model
MCP 6502 Child Therapy
III. Counseling Courses with an emphasis in Drama Therapy - 19 units
MCPD 5604 Group Dynamics and Creative Arts Therapy
MCPD 5605 Family Dynamics and therapy
MCPD 5608 Psychotherapy Theories and Practices
MCPD 5610 Therapeutic Communication
MCPD 6401 Research Methods
MCPD 6605 Advanced Family and Couples Therapy: Action-Oriented Approaches
MCPD 7602 Supervised Clinical Practicum: Case Seminar in Drama Therapy
IV. Electives - 2 units
Electives may be chosen from any courses offered at CIIS.
Additional Requirements for students choosing the LPCC track
The standard curriculum (above) meets academic requirements toward the MFT license. Students who would like to prepare for a different license, that of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, are required to take additional courses (8 semester units) beyond the standard curriculum of the department. The additional courses are:
MCP 5023 Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictions and Co-occurring Disorders
MCP 5105 Psychopharmacology
MCP 5646 Career Counseling Theory and Practice
MCP 6578 Psychopharmacology for Therapists
PSY 6331 Psychological Assessment: Psychometric Theory
The First Year - A Personal Experience of a Powerful Modality
Your first semester in the program features an immersive experience in a drama therapy group as a participant. In Drama Therapy Process and Technique, you and the other members of your cohort will engage in a drama therapy group process while examining that process on a meta-level to appreciate the nature of the processes, techniques, and interventions being employed by the group instructor. Other classes in this semester will provide a background in Drama Therapy Theory, developmental views of human psychology, and an appreciation of the nature of the therapist/client relationship. A Theatre Lab in improvisational Playback Theatre form rounds out the first semester.
During the second semester, coursework emphasis shifts from the personal experience of drama therapy to developing leadership skills. Drama Therapy Practice provides a laboratory for students to experiment with group leadership. Similarly, in Psychodrama, students are afforded an experience of psychodramatic forms and techniques, while developing directing skills. Encouraging exposure to all the creative arts therapies, the Group Dynamics class develops the student's ability to understand and facilitate group therapy. The second semester also includes coursework in Psychopathology and Assessment and training on the legal and ethical issues that confront the mental health clinician.
In preparation for Practicum, students are required to observe at least 45 hours of group drama therapy facilitated by a drama therapist. The Pre-Practicum is a first-hand opportunity for students to observe and experience a drama therapist in action without the responsibility of having to lead a group. The Pre-Practicum also affords students the chance to familiarize themselves with clinical settings, populations, and techniques. The department has a list of possible Pre-Practicum sites.
All Masters in Counseling Psychology students are required to participate in a one-day diversity training during their first year. This training usually takes place in the fall.
The Second Year - Beginning Your Clinical Career
Typically during the second year students begin their Clinical Practicum. This work is supported by the Drama Therapy Program via a Group Supervision 'Case Seminar' class in which students share their cases and receive feedback from experienced drama therapists. Because the Practicum demands a lot of time and energy, many students begin to slow the pace of their coursework. Others elect to focus on completing coursework, holding off the Practicum until a 3rd year. Some finish the program in 2 years including 2 summers.
Coursework is focused on required psychology classes. Psychotherapy Theories and Practices, Family Dynamics, Clinical Research, Trauma and Resilience, Multicultural Counseling, Intro to Community Mental Health, and the particular issues that arise when working with alcohol and chemical dependency and spousal abuse, are some of the training topics. Students also have the opportunity for more in-depth training in Developmental Transformations or in Renée Emunah's Five Phase Model of drama therapy which was introduced in Process and Technique.
Personal Therapy Requirement
Students must complete at least 50 hours of in-person, individual therapy with a licensed clinician (MFT, LCSW, PsyD or RDT), accomplished within a period of approximately six to 18 months during their course of study. Advisors can assist students with their choice of therapist.
Integrative Seminar and Capstone Project
The Capstone Project completed in the Integrative Seminar is an opportunity for the student to integrate learning throughout the program and develop it into a final presentation. Please see the Self-Revelatory Performance page for more information on Capstone Projects.