Program Requirements

The Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy is a BBS-approved, 2-3 year program that is taught in person. You will work closely with a core faculty advisor throughout your course of study.

During the first year, you will develop a theoretical foundation, experience in-depth action-oriented courses, and engage in 45 hours of pre-practicum field study. During the second year, you will begin your clinical practicum while continuing to take required courses. The program concludes with an integrative seminar and capstone project.

Personal Psychotherapy Requirement
You are required to complete 50 hours of personal psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional during your course of study.

Integrative Seminar and Capstone Project
The capstone project, completed during the integrative seminar, is an opportunity to integrate accumulated learning with specific areas of personal academic interest. You will select one of the following capstone project options:
  • Self-Revelatory Performance (performed in a theater)
  • A quality research or theoretical paper designed for publication
  • Therapeutic theater performance directed by the student
  • Video documentary of clinical drama therapy work that the student has facilitated over time

Course of Study

Sample coursework for a two-year plan (60 units total) 

Semester 1 | Fall
PDT 5602 Drama Therapy Process and Technique (3 units)
PDT 5501 Drama Therapy Theory (3 units) 
PDT 5614 Advanced Improv and Playback Theatre (1 unit) 
MCPD 5610 Therapeutic Communication (2 unit)
MCP 5201 Human Development and the Family (3 units)

Semester 2 | Spring 
PDT 5603 Drama Therapy Practice (3 units)
PDT 5605 Psychodrama (3 units)
MCPD 5604 Group Dynamics and Creative Arts Therapies (2 units)
MCP 5108 Psychopathology and Assessment (3 units) 
MCP 5101 Professional Ethics & Family Law (2 units)
Trauma and Resilience: Embodied Approaches To Treatment (1 unit)

Semester 3 | Summer 
PDT 5607 Special Methods: Developmental Transformations I (1 unit)
PDT 6604 Drama Therapy and Social Change (2 units)
MCP 6502 Child Therapy (2 units)
PDT 5626 Individual Drama Therapy (1 unit)

Semester 4 | Fall
MCPD 7602A Supervised Clinical Practicum: Case Seminar in Drama Therapy (2 units) 
MCPD 5605 Family Dynamics and Therapy (3 units) 
MCPD 5608 Psychotherapy Theories and Practices (2 units)
MCP 6401 Research Methods (3 units) 
MCP 6103 Multicultural Counseling and the Family (2 units)
MCP 6101 Human Sexuality (1 unit)

Semester 5 | Spring 
MCPD 7602B Supervised Clinical Practicum: Case Seminar in Drama Therapy (2 units)
MCPD 6605 Advanced Family & Couples Therapy: Action-Oriented Approaches (2 units)
MCP 6102 Assessment and Treatment of Addiction Disorders (1 unit)
MCP 6233 Intro to Community Mental Health & the Recovery Model (2 units)
PDT 5609 Special Methods: Narradrama (1 unit)
PDT 5628 Advanced Integrative Five Phase Model (1 unit)
PDT 7700 Integrative Seminar: Final Project (4 units)

Semester 6 | Summer
MCPD 7602C Supervised Clinical Practicum: Case Seminar in Drama Therapy (2 units)
PDT 6607 Special Methods: Advanced Developmental Transformations II (1 unit)


An integral part of the Drama Therapy program is three semesters of on-site clinical training and supervision at a wide range of possible placement sites. Trainees receive weekly supervision on-site by a licensed clinician, as well as small-group supervision at CIIS with a Registered Drama Therapist.

Pre-Practicum Observation
In preparation for practicum, you will observe at least 45 hours of group drama therapy facilitated by a drama therapist. The pre-practicum is a first-hand opportunity to observe a drama therapist in action without the responsibility of leading groups. The pre-practicum also affords the chance to familiarize yourself with clinical settings, populations, and techniques.

You are expected to pursue your own practicum placements. The Drama Therapy program and the MCP Field Placement Office will help you with all aspects of your placements.

You must complete a minimum of 300 BBS-qualifying practicum hours - 230 hours must involve drama therapy and 70 hours can involve other types and modalities of clinical client contact.

Curriculum Highlights

The Drama Therapy program is designed to provide an immersive academic experience that prepares you to practice drama therapy skillfully and ethically in many different contexts. Courses are crafted to provide a rich and intimate encounter with drama therapy processes that nurture personal growth and expand clinical skills.

PDT 5605 Psychodrama (3.00 Units)
Theory and practice of psychodrama as a therapeutic tool with groups, families, couples, and individuals. You will experience the roles of protagonist, auxiliary, and director. The efficacy of various warm-ups and techniques with different populations are examined.

PDT 6604 Drama Therapy and Social Change (2.00 Units)
An exploration of the transformative power of drama therapy in the social context, and of the role of the drama therapist as an agent of social change and justice. Four approaches are examined - the Acts of Reconciliation Project, Sociodrama, Theatre of the Oppressed, and World Work - with focus on how change occurs in groups, organizations, and nations. 

PDT 5614 Advanced Improvisation and Playback Theatre (1.00 Unit)
An experiential course involving the refinement of improvisational acting skills and ensemble work, with a focus on Playback Theatre, in which personal stories told by audience members are transformed into theatrical reflections on the spot, incorporating music, movement, ritual, and spoken improvisation. As a final project, you will facilitate and perform Playback in the community.

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