Drama Therapy

Drama Therapy Description

The Drama Therapy Program at New York University prepares students at the Master's Level for a career as a drama therapist. Drama therapy, one of several creative arts therapies, is a systematic approach of treating individuals with a wide variety of psychological, social, developmental, cultural, institutional, and educational problems. The field is predicated upon the assumption that therapeutic performance is healing in some essential ways. Drama therapy is unique among other forms of psychotherapy in that clients are encouraged to play and reflect upon fictional roles in order to better understand and accept the roles that they play in their everyday lives.

The Master of Arts degree program requires 48-60 points for completion commencing with the fall 2011 class, including course work in drama therapy, educational theatre, psychology, counseling, and related creative arts therapies. All students are required to complete fieldwork and an 800 hour internship with two different populations in selected clinical facilities. A master’s thesis (list here) is required. The drama therapy courses include experiential as well as theoretical work in such areas as projective techniques and psychodrama.


Like other expressive forms of therapy, drama therapy views the creative process as a primary means of treating disabilities and illnesses. Its techniques are as varied as those found within the art form, including the applications of play, improvisation, puppetry and mask, storytelling, role-play, psychodrama and sociodrama, and theatre performance. Drama Therapy theory is developing in several directions. The primary approach at New York University is that healing occurs as clients are able to create an effective system of integrated roles and learn to live within the many contradictions inside of and among them.


Given the changing nature of the medical and mental health systems, drama therapy stands with its fellow creative arts therapies at a crucial juncture. In presenting evidence through research and clinical successes, drama therapists continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in treating veterans, sexually abused children, homeless, mentally ill, institutionalized felons, elders, substance abusers, and many other populations.

Dr. Robert Landy Ph.D, RDT/BCT, LCAT
Director, Drama Therapy Program
35 W. 4th Street, Suite 777
New York, NY 10012
Telephone: 212 998 5258