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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 only several 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 national licensure (LPCC). 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 settings, including community mental health centers, private practice, schools and educational centers, organizations for serving LGBTQ communities, and clinics offering services for trauma, eating disorders, loss, and self-care.

Admissions for Fall 2017 has closed, and we are now accepting applications for the Fall 2018 cohort. Applications are due January 15, 2018. Contact our admissions office, for questions: admissions@ciis.edu.

CIIS Drama Therapy Program alumna Shefali Tsabary, who has authored a number of bestselling books on conscious parenting and has been interviewed by Oprah, will be speaking at the International House in Berkeley on May 5 at 7:00 pm. Shefali graduated from the CIIS Drama Therapy Program in 1996, and then went on to pursue a Ph.D. at Columbia University. Her latest book is entitled The Awakened Family.

This is a CIIS Public Programs event. Here is a link for tickets. 

Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D. is an international speaker, clinical psychologist, and acclaimed author. She has presented at Wisdom 2.0, TEDx, Kellogg Business School, The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, and many more. As a clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from Columbia University, New York, she specializes in the integration of Eastern philosophy and Western psychology. Her first book, The Conscious Parent, has been endorsed by Oprah as one of the most profound books on parenting she has ever read.

The Self in Performance

Renée Emunah, the Founder and Chair of the Drama Therapy Program, has co-edited a recently published book:

The Self in Performance:  Autobiographical, Self-Revelatory, and Autoethnographic Forms of Therapeutic Theatre

Edited by Susana Pendzik, Renée Emunah, and David Read Johnson. New York and London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016.

This book is the first to examine the performance of autobiographical material as a theatrical form, a research subject, and a therapeutic method. Contextualizing personal performance within psychological and theatrical paradigms, the book identifies and explores core concepts, such as the function of the director/therapist throughout the creative process, the role of the audience, and the dramaturgy involved in constructing such performances. International contributors address issues of identity, memory, authenticity, self-reflection, self-indulgence, and embodied self-representation in Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance, Self-Revelatory Performance, and Autoethnographic Performance.

Excerpt from Drama Therapy Professor Renée Emunah's
NADTA Keynote Presentation

Informational Session with Drama Therapy Alumna
Sarah Harkness

Informational Session with Current Drama Therapy Students
Laurel Elliott, Red Martinez & Whitney Turner

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