"One of my most life changing experiences! The Drama Therapy program at CIIS gave me the personal and clinical resources I needed to become a skilled therapist, while remaining in touch with my artist self." – Dorothy Lemoult, Program Alumna, M.A. (2011)
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
Drama Therapy Program Chair Renée Emunah appeared on CNN on November 11 and November 12, 2017, as part of a brief segment about Drama Therapy. View the segment by clicking here.
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.
Renée Emunah, the Founder and Chair of the Drama Therapy Program, has co-edited a recently published book:
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
Alumna Shefali Tsabary speaks about the Drama Therapy Program
Shefali Tsabary is a graduate of the Drama Therapy program at CIIS, and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is author of several bestselling books, including The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children and The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting.
Informational Session with Drama Therapy Alumna Sarah Harkness
Informational Session with Current Drama Therapy Students Laurel Elliott, Red Martinez & Whitney Turner