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Alumni in Action

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Because of my work with the amazing and caring professors at Steinhardt, I am a strong clinician that can function in multiple areas in the field with ease, including collaborating with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, school staff, and faculty, to name a few. The NYU Drama Therapy program prepared me to go out into the world and be the best and most authentic form of myself.

Amber N. Smith ('12), MA, MEd, LPC, MA in Drama Therapy
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Carlos Rodriguez-Perez ('94)

  • Director of Wellness and Recovery Division at NYC H+H Kings County
  • Director of the Therapeutic Rehabilitation Department
  • Director of the Peer Counseling Department reports to me
  • Coordinator of Artist in Residence programs

My training in the NYU Drama Therapy program prepared me to grow and develop as a Drama Therapist in a moment when the opportunities were limited. The curiosity and inquiry developed during my training led me to understand that I should seek further growth in the form of supervision and therapy. The community I acquired at NYU nurtured and guided my professional development. Furthermore, a sense of responsibility was imbued in me for the growth and development of the field of Drama Therapy. This resulted in me taking leadership roles at local and national organizations. As I was once nurtured and given opportunities to develop my identity as a Drama Therapist, today I aim to provide a work environment that celebrates the gifts of Creative Arts Therapists and elevates the contributions of Creative Arts Therapists in the field of psychiatry and medicine. My degree at NYU has opened doors for me, and in turn I aim to open doors for a new generation of Creative Arts Therapists.

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Anupriya M. Banerjee Puthran ('16)

  • Founder and Creative Director at Doctor Drama
  • Assistant Course Coordinator, P.G. Diploma Expressive Arts Therapy at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
  • Representing Member, Drama-Therapy India, World Alliance of Drama Therapy 

Attending the Drama Therapy program at NYU was a life-changing edification on what it means to be a constantly evolving voice in the praxis of drama therapy. As an intersectional, trauma-informed feminist Indian drama therapist, the program equipped the artist, researcher, therapist, and advocate in me to find indigenous, inclusive, and creative routes to supporting mental well-being. It helped me challenge and channel my uniqueness to a breadth of universal possibilities in the spectrum of mental healthcare by cementing the foundations and intention of strength-based, client-oriented, supportive frameworks via drama. My training and the program continues to be a source of strength and pioneering vision in the profession.

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Zeneida Disla ('97)

  • Integrative Therapist at BronxCare Health System in the South Bronx

I entered the program in 1989 but even before I graduated I was working in the field. I think the Drama Therapy program allowed me to keep one foot in the artistic world and simultaneously taught me to help my community, something I have done through my jobs since 1991. I won't say I am "Zeneida the über-drama therapist," but I believe I have done as much good as I could with my training. One thing I know, drama therapists are trained to be creative thinkers.  We are as well-trained and prepared for the current moment in mental health care as any other mental health care practitioners.

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Wanning Jen (‘15) 

  • Founder, Uncle One Cafe

Drama therapy paints my life and career into a beautiful rainbow.  The Drama Therapy program at NYU not only incubated me to be a clinician but raised me to be a whole person. The faculty is compassionate, loving, and caring. They’ve supported me to find a sense of belonging for the first time in my life. They are my role models, family, friends, and colleagues. My experience at NYU was invaluable personally and professionally. I’ve started to use what I learned to create my own unique work. At this moment in my career, I am on a mission to create a drama therapy community in Taiwan to serve more people and promote drama therapy. Thank you to the Drama Therapy program at NYU for everything you’ve done for me.

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Julia Dobner-Pereira (‘17)

  • Pre-doctoral psychology intern at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at Boston Medical Center
  • Rotations: The Children and Adolescent Transgender Center for Health at Boston Medical Center, and Upham's Corner Community Health Center in Dorchester, MA
  • Graduating in 2021 with Psy.D. from James Madison University 
  • 2022, will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychosocial Rehabilitation - LGBTQ Track at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Connecticut with a joint appointment at Yale School of Medicine. 

My degree in Drama Therapy from NYU changed my life personally and professionally. During my journey through the drama therapy program, I was able to process my own life history and reflect on my identities, examining intersections of power, privilege, and oppression. My process at NYU strengthened my own self-concept and self-compassion, deepened my relationships and ability to connect with others, and provided the foundation for my clinical identity. The critical social justice frame offered to me as a researcher at NYU continues to inform my work. My doctoral dissertation was a participatory, mixed methods study of a group psychotherapy intervention that integrated drama therapy and Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy. As a clinician, I continue to use drama therapy both as a primary intervention and integrated into other psychotherapy approaches. I am committed to a career that centers social justice and the arts in all that I do. I am excited for the next stage of my training as a postdoctoral fellow at the VA, working with LGBTQ+ identified Veterans.

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Brooke Campbell (‘05)

  • Founder and Director of Creative Kinections, LLC, Creative Kinections Institute, and The Mighty Oak 

One of the best decisions I made back in 2003 was to pursue my Drama Therapy degree from New York University. The clinical, research, drama therapy skills, and methods I learned have positively impacted my world view, how I identify as a woman, how I parent, and how I show up professionally for those I serve in my community. Within my work with Creative Kinections and The Mighty Oak, I find that I am intentional, present, attuned, able to advocate for others and our field and I have developed strong clinical skills to help support those I am grateful to service. Overall, I am tremendously appreciative for my education and my degree in Drama Therapy from NYU. It has profoundly shaped the way I live, the way I work, and the way I show up and hold space for others and myself.