COVID-19 Update from the Program

The Drama Therapy Program will hold courses virtually this Spring semester.  Academic advising will continue to be virtual. 

In late January, we will decide and post here whether our applicant interview days in late February and early March will be in-person or by zoom.   

Our desire for community and connectedness is unchanged, and will continue to be sustained via our virtual forums, in conjunction with our community members’ creativity and flexibility.  At the same time, we sorely miss being together live and embodied. We hope/anticipate that the recent news on vaccines bodes well for a fully live re-opening in Summer or Fall. We will keep you posted. 

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Freedom and possibility are two key words that begin to describe the essence of drama therapy. Life is finite; there are only so many experiences we can have. But in drama, the opportunities and options are endless, enabling us to dive more deeply into the richness of life. And when the dramas are authentic and "real," they have the power to affect, and even alter, our real lives profoundly. For the past thirty years, we have been investigating how therapeutically adapted dramatic processes work over time to heal wounds, facilitate lasting change, and help people reach their highest potential.

– Renée Emunah, Program Founder/Director


For more than 30 years, the CIIS Drama Therapy program has been steeped in the exploration of how therapeutically adapted dramatic processes work over time to heal wounds, facilitate lasting change, and help people reach their highest potential. Our program integrates experiential, didactic, and clinical courses in a carefully paced and sequenced curriculum, to train students to become personally and culturally aware, attuned, and competent drama therapists and psychotherapists.

Our program is one of the only Master's programs in the United States both regionally accredited and approved by the North American Drama Therapy Association, and is one of only a handful of such programs in the world. Furthermore, we are the only program that offers a path to the LPCC license. CIIS is internationally recognized as housing one of the world's most highly developed and rigorous training programs for drama therapists.

Our graduates work in a variety of leadership positions and clinical and organizational settings - including community mental health and psychiatric programs; private practice; schools; clinics offering services for trauma, grief, eating disorders, substance abuse recovery; prisons; and community centers and clinics specializing in services for LGBTQ communities. Graduates work with children, adolescents, and adults throughout the life cycle. Some also work as consultants (for example as experiential anti-racist trainers or community organizing), or as Playback Theatre or Self-Revelatory Performance directors.

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Program Director Renée Emunah has published a Second Edition of her book, Acting for Real: Drama Therapy Process, Technique and Performance (considered a seminal text in the field, and translated into multiple languages).  The book is published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis in New York and London, 2020. 

Dr. Emunah is also co-editor (with David Johnson) of the newly released Third Edition of Current Approaches in Drama Therapy, published by Charles C. Thomas (Springfield, Illinois, 2020).  She and Dr. Johnson also edited the 2nd edition.

Professors Gary Raucher, Renee Emunah, and Doug Ronning  co-authored a chapter entitled, “Drama Therapy: Integral Healing through Imagination and Action” in C. Fracasso, S. Krippner, and H. Friedman, in the book Holistic Treatment in Mental Health.

Drama Therapy (PDT) Program Director Renée Emunah. Learn more about Drama Therapy at CIIS in an upcoming Info Session. A Closer Look at Drama Therapy with Renée Emunah Play Video
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Drama Therapy (PDT) Student Red Martinez. Learn more about Drama Therapy at CIIS in an upcoming Info Session. Information Session with Recent Drama Therapy Graduates Laurel Elliott, Red Martinez & Whitney Turner Play Video
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Drama Therapy (PDT) Alumna Sarah Harkness CIIS Drama Therapy Alumna & Administrative Adjunct Sarah Harkness Play Video
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Renee Emunah giving keynote speech. Excerpt from Drama Therapy Professor Renée Emunah's NADTA Keynote Presentation Play Video
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