Program Overview

For 40 years, CIIS’ Drama Therapy program has been exploring how therapeutically-adapted dramatic processes work over time to heal wounds, facilitate lasting change, and help people reach their highest potential. 

The Drama Therapy program is one of five master’s programs offered through the Counseling Psychology department. It integrates experiential, didactic, and clinical courses in a carefully-crafted curriculum designed to train students to become personally and culturally aware, emotionally attuned, and skillful drama therapists.

Our graduates are trained for professional careers in schools, prisons, private practice, clinics, community mental health settings, and more. Our faculty have wide-ranging research interests, including drama in social justice work, heart rate variability biofeedback, the connection between drama psychology, somatic expression, and emotional healing in adults and adolescents, meditation and action techniques, and film and cultural studies.

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy

Length of Program
Number of Units
60 or 69
 MFT             LPCC  
in-person drama therapy master's icon

Our Approach

The Drama Therapy program offers a dynamic journey of intellectual growth and personal awakening, while also developing clinical competence as a drama therapist. The training is academically rigorous, creative, and multilayered with an eye to leveraging the discipline in ethical, respectful, and skillful ways.

As a student, you will delve into the complexities, subtleties, and possibilities of drama therapy. Coursework is progressive, incorporating theoretical, practical, and experiential formats. Small classes within a cohort model support personal development and offer a sense of kinship and community. 

We believe that learning must be relevant, fun, and transformative, and we value the use of role play and enactment in training to allow learning to become more engaging, embodied, and interactive.

“The use of drama as therapy fosters liberation, expansion and perspective. Drama therapy invites us to stretch our conception of who we are and experience our intrinsic connection with others.” - From Acting for Real by Renee Emunah, Drama Therapy Program Founder/Director

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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Career Paths

The pedagogy of our Drama Therapy program provides graduates with unique marketability and a broad range of options for therapy practice:

  • Clinical and organizational settings, working with children, adolescents, and adults throughout the lifecycle:
    • Community mental health and psychiatric programs
    • Private practice
    • Schools
    • Clinics offering services for PTSD, eating disorders, domestic violence, substance abuse recovery, LGBTQ youth, etc.
    • Prisons
  • Non-clinical settings:
    • Consultants, facilitating action-oriented trainings on anti-racism, or as directors of Playback Theatre or Self-Revelatory Performances
    • Supervisors or administrators at mental health facilities
    • Faculty, researchers, or authors in academic domains

CIIS’ Drama Therapy program is accredited through the North American Drama Therapy Association - (NADTA), leading our graduates to be eligible to pursue the RDT (Registered Drama Therapist) credential.

Students from the Master's in Counseling Psychology with Concentration in Drama Therapy at CIIS performing Drama Therapy at CIIS: Current Student Experiences Play Video
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Alumni from the Master's in Counseling Psychology with Concentration in Drama Therapy at CIIS performing Drama Therapy Alumni in Conversation Play Video
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How to Apply

Fall 2023 applications open on November 15th

Questions? Contact us.

We are here to help! If you have any questions about applying to a program or registering for an Info Session, please reach out to the Admissions Office

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