2013 Eastern Region Conference

Saturday, April 6th, NYC

8:00 am to 8:00 pm

            Navigating the Many Narratives of Drama Therapy

Narratives shape people, experiences, practices, and history. To navigate the direction of our medium, we as drama therapists have had to reflect upon, maneuver and determine our own narrative over the last thirty plus years.

In his book Consciousness Reconsidered (1993), Owen Flanagan states, “Evidence strongly suggests that humans in all cultures come to cast their own identity in some sort of narrative form. We are inveterate storytellers" (p. 198). The idea of storytelling and narrative as a function of the construction of one’s identity is an integral part of the theoretical and clinical work of drama therapists. As we well know, narratives are produced and navigated not only by individuals but by groups, communities, societies, and cultures which maintain awareness of the connections between past, present, and future.  As a field, drama therapy has its own identity made up of a vast variety of narratives and stories that provide our history, shape our current self-concept, and fashion the future of our profession. The narrative of drama therapy combines the actions and events that affect all of the human lives involved.  To continue to live our collective story we must know where it is we have come from and honor the narratives that have been told before us, as well as nurture and continue the narratives that will change our professional path.  How are we staying current and updating our narratives to remain relevant and relative to the lives of our clients and the greater mental health community?

As drama therapists our art, techniques, and process form the narrative of our daily professional approach. Our experience of the individual and group work we do with clients as well as the  stories that we share with colleagues, and our personal reactions to this challenging work help to shape the everyday story of drama therapy. These narratives form the foundation and springboard for where we hope to go—personally, clinically, and professionally. As the next generation of drama therapy emerges, we are exploring the stories and narratives that will sustain our practice and direct the future of our field.  A narrative is not the story itself but rather the telling of the story – How has drama therapy been retold over the years and how is the description and work changing to tell a new one? This conference, and its intention, is to begin a dialogue and a new narrative.  Like turning pages of a novel, each passing year is the continuation of drama therapy’s story. This conference wants to pay homage to all of the stories that have brought us to our current point and will explore the personal, clinical, educational, and future-looking chapters of our narrative as a field.

At this conference you will have the opportunity to choose your own path.  Like the chapters in a book, each will build on the other to navigate and guide you in a direction that most fits your curiosity and creativity at this moment in your career. Each chapter will offer insights into our profession’s narrative while giving you a chance to consider where you, the protagonist, envision your role in the narrative.

  • Chapter One: Personal Story These workshops explore stories centered around the personal drama therapy projects and practices of professionals in the field, as well as the effect that this work has had on practitioners.  Who are we as drama therapists? How has our work affected our personal lives? How have the struggles and successes inherent in the work shaped the narrative?
  • Chapter Two: Clinical Story This track will examine the clinical applications and environments of our work. Populations, settings, methodology, and the stories of advanced practices will be discussed within the framework of the arc of our field. How are the settings in which we work changing or embracing our narrative? What are the innovative practices that are bridging the gap between drama therapy and alternative therapeutic methods and modalities?
  • Chapter Three: Educational Story These workshops will examine the theoretical underpinnings from which drama therapy has sprung, and will offer new and innovative ways in which to continue broadening your knowledge base. How does one stay inspired, current, and growing in one’s practice? How can we as clinicians continue to educate ourselves and stay connected to our field, while expanding our scope of practice?
  • Chapter Four: Future Story This cluster of workshops envisions and experiments with the future trajectory of our profession and field.  Where do you believe we are heading as a community? What are we capable of bringing to the larger narrative of the mental health and creative arts communities? How are we advocating for the growth of our field?

It is time to let drama therapy’s narrative navigate the future.

Please join us for the 2013 NADTA Eastern Region Conference, “Navigating the Many Narratives of Drama Therapy,” hosted by the Tri-State Chapter. We hope that you will share your story with us, navigate the unknown, and lend your experience to the development of the narrative.

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Venue:  Roy Arias Theater Center – 777 8th Avenue – Between 47th & 48th Street – Second Floor - New York, NY 10036

Registration begins at 8:00AM – Opening ceremony at 8:30AM.

Regularly scheduled workshops begin and end promptly 9:00AM-5:10PM.

Closing Ceremony – 5:10-5:40PM. 

Special Keynote Presentations
(For participants who attended the entire conference - additional $15.00 includes one workshop and food/beverage)

Attendance for the single workshop including food/beverage – $25


Venue:  New York University – 35 West 4th Street, Third Floor -New York, NY 10012

“Past, Present, and Future: Uniting the Narratives of Generations”


“Bridging into LCAT Private Practice: Vision and Challenges”

If you have any questions feel free to contact the co-chairs of this conference at: nadtatristatechapter@gmail.com or tristatechapter@nadta.org

A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.” ~ Mark Twain

We hope to navigate alongside of you,



On behalf of the Tri-State Chapter board and Conference Program Committee