What is Drama Therapy?

Drama therapy is the systematic and intentional use of drama and theatre processes to promote emotional growth and psychological integration. Many models and methods (including Emunah's Integrative Five Phase Model of Drama Therapy, Johnson's Developmental Transformations, and Landy's Role Method) are studied. Clinical issues (such as distinguishing compulsive and constructive reenactment, therapeutic direction of improvisational enactment, creative responses to resistance, and use and misuse of psychodramatic tools) are examined from multiple perspectives.

What is a Self-Revelatory performance?

In Self-Revelatory performance, a performer crafts an original theatre piece that explores, grapples with, and aspires towards healing a current life challenge. Unlike autobiographical theatre, which focuses more on depicting a life experience, Self-Revelatory Performance involves real-time "working through" of psychological wounds. The performer uses drama therapy methods in the process and the performance piece. The immediacy and authenticity of “Self-Rev” performances leads to compelling and poignant theatre.

A majority of students choose the Self-Revelatory Performance option. Our program is engaged in ongoing investigation into how this capstone option is meaningful in relation to the growth and deepening (personally and professionally) of emerging drama therapy clinicians. Self-Revelatory Performances in our program tend to be psychologically astute, moving, aesthetic, and inspiring. They reflect students' skills in drama therapy; integration of academic and experiential learning in the program; and the personal growth, perspective, self-awareness and multicultural awareness they acquired throughout their training in the program.

What is the role of Self Revelatory performances for Drama Therapy students?

What is the role of a director in a Self-Revelatory performance?

What is Theatre for Change?

Theatre for Change is a project of the CIIS Drama Therapy program. The aim of the project is to educate and raise consciousness about social justice at CIIS (and beyond); to give voice and representation to people of color and LGBTQ people; to invite dialogue about oppression, privilege, in/equality, and alliance; and to encourage our audiences to fight injustice on personal, institutional, and societal levels. 

Theatre for Change performance pieces grow out of improvisation; methods of drama therapy, Self-Revelatory Performance, Educational Theatre, and Theatre of the Oppressed; listening to stories within the group and at the Institute; and a lot of dialogue. Each original theatre piece is collectively developed by the troupe and director/s. Theatre for Change productions have also been performed at many North American Drama Therapy Association conferences. In 2012, the NADTA honored Theatre for Change with the Raymond Jacobs Memorial Diversity Award in recognition of outstanding dedication to diversity in the field of drama therapy.

Will this Drama Therapy program lead to licensure?

The professional practice of counseling is a regulated occupation in the state of California. Coursework in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program at CIIS and each of its five programs is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to fulfill educational requirements toward the marriage and family therapist license (LMFT). Students also have the option to take additional coursework to fulfill the educational requirements of the professional clinical counselor license (LPCC). Students seeking the LPCC license also take courses for the MFT, enabling them to pursue either license and to work with couples, families, and/or children as an LPCC. Students seeking licensure in California as an LMFT or LPCC must register with the BBS after graduation and successfully complete additional post-graduate supervised clinical associate hours and written examinations. See the BBS’ Statutes and Regulations PDF for additional information.

I want to be licensed in a state other than CA after I graduate, will my education at CIIS cover the requirements for other states?

In many cases, our coursework and training is very similar or entirely portable to many states. However, each state has their own specific licensure requirements that include both academic coursework and clinical practicum hours that may differ from CA’s requirements. In cases where this program does not meet the requirements for another state, additional coursework or practicum hours may be required. While licensure may be possible in another state, it is not guaranteed. Luckily, you will have the full support of the Director of MCP who will help you understand the specific licensing requirements. Lastly, you should consult the licensing boards of the appropriate state of country for the most up-to-date licensing information outside of California.

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 contact the Admissions Office at 415-575-6154 or .

Stay Connected to CIIS