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Lizzie McAdam (she/her/hers), MA, RDT/BCT, LCAT is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), Registered Drama Therapist (RDT), and Board Certified Trainer (BCT). She has worked in a variety of settings, including schools, colleges, inpatient psychiatry, and outpatient treatment. She is currently the Director of Counseling and Case Management at the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York City, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ youth services agency. Prior to that she was the Associate Director of the ALIVE Program at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, CT, providing trauma-centered drama therapy and verbal psychotherapy services in both clinical and public school settings.

She is a member of the board of directors of the Drama Therapy Review, a graduate of the Institute for Arts in Psychotherapy, and was a founding member of the Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies think tank. In 2012, Lizzie was awarded the German Chancellor Fellowship for Prospective Leaders through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, researching the impact of historical trauma on the development of drama therapy practices in Germany, Israel, and the United States.

Lizzie has also worked on several research projects focused on the risk and protective factors that impact the mental health of LGBTQ youth. Her clinical work and research focuses on the impact of trauma and systemic oppression on young people’s lives in public schools and using drama therapy to promote transformation and healing, young adult identity development, and LGBTQ identity work. As a former educator-turned-drama therapist, she works with students to connect their lived experience to their learning process.


Degrees Held

  • BA
  • MA
  • MS



  • New York University Pi Lambda Theta Rho Leadership Award (2012)
  • Theoretical Research Award for Thesis/Dissertation, Drama Therapy Fund (2012)
  • New York State Assembly Exceptional Educator Award (2010)
  • New York State Assembly Award for Outstanding Achievement (2009)



  • Cross-Cultural Awareness for Creative Arts Therapy and Arts Education



  • McAdam, L. (2020). Speaking your truth: Using creative writing to process grief & negotiate self-disclosure in trauma-informed care. In E. Counselman Carpenter & A. Redcay’s (Eds.), Working with grief and traumatic loss: Theory, practice, personal reflection, and self-care (pp. 286-290). San Diego, CA: Cognella Academic Publishing.
  • McAdam, E. & Davis, C. (2019). Confronting power, privilege and oppression in trauma-informed school-based work: Framing the ALIVE model within critical race theory. Drama Therapy Review, 5(1), pp. 85-101.
  • Sajnani, N., Mayor, C., Burch, D., Davis, C., Feldman, D., Kelly, J., Landis, H., McAdam, E. (2019). Collaborative discourse analysis on the use of drama therapy to treat trauma in schools. Drama Therapy Review, 5(1), pp. 27-47.
  • McAdam, E. & Johnson, D.R. (2018). Reducing depressive symptoms in adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder using drama therapy. In A. Zubala & V. Karkou (Eds.), Arts Therapies in the Treatment of Depression (pp. 48-67). New York: Routledge.
  • McAdam, E. (2018). Play in family therapy: Engaging the whole family system. Drama Therapy Review, 4(1), pp. 135-138.


Research Interests

  • Trauma-informed drama therapy in schools
  • LGBTQ youth mental health and identity development
  • Young adult development
  • Critical pedagogy in the Creative Arts Therapies
  • Role Theory
  • Developmental Transformations


Drama Therapy

Translate your theatre skills and love for improvisation into culturally responsible, creative, and effective care in hospitals, shelters, schools, and more.

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