In Harmony with the Elements: Drama Therapy and Wellness

Saturday, November 1st Conference Schedule

Morning Programs
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

SM1: Morning Walk and Meditation

SM2: RDT Application Informational Meeting
Open to anyone who has questions or would like information and guidance on applying for the Registered Drama Therapist Credential

SM3: Alternative Training Informational Meeting
Open to anyone who is curious or has questions about Alternative Training in Drama Therapy.

Saturday Morning Long Workshops
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

C1: Rituals to Pathway and Healing: Integrating Action and Phototherapy
Pam Dunne, PhD, RDT/BCT

Participants will explore rituals from other cultures (i.e. rebirth, transformation, welcoming, honoring, letting go, & transition) that invite a deeper and alternative connection to their dreams, desires, and hopes for their futures. By deconstructing and reconstructing rituals with phototherapy and action, participants will invite new possibilities for healing & balance.

C2: The Hero's Journey in Drama Therapy
Robert Landy, PhD, RDT/BCT

Participants will be guided through a process of embodiment, storymaking, story dramatization and reflection. All will explore the personal effects and professional applications of a drama therapy model based in role theory and aiming toward balance and integration.

C3: The Laundry of Life: A Collaborative Narrative Expressive Arts Practice
Shoshana Simons, PhD, RDT
Danielle Brunette, MA

Participants engage in a series of individual and collaborative arts processes culminating in the creation of a visual, poetic and performative “wisdom washing line”. Through these activities we bring forth and then embody the individual and collective wisdom that has helped us to endure and embrace life’s stains and challenges.

C4: Co-Active Therapeutic Theatre with Clinical Populations
Laura Wood, MA, RDT, PLPC, CCLS
Dave Mowers, MA, RDT, LCAT

Unlike a drama therapy session, a therapeutic theater presentation involves a third party: the audience. The Co-Active Therapeutic Theater (CoATT) Model provides a conceptual framework for drama therapists using therapeutic theater to negotiate a contract between audience and client. Application to clinical populations (eating disorders/trauma) will be shared in the second portion.

C5: Diversity Forum: Developing Best Practice Guidelines for Cultural Competency in Drama Therapy
Michelle J Buckle, MA, RDT, R-Psych
Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT/BCT

Cultural competence in mental health care involves "a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations" and we are always working cross-culturally (Cross, 1989). Drawing on the guidelines developed by our colleagues in the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth) and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), this workshop will involve a collective, embodied, inquiry into cultural competency for drama therapists towards the creation of best practice guidelines for our field.

Saturday Early Morning Short Workshops
9:00 am - 10:30 am

C6: Drama Therapists As Co-Creators for Sustainable Communities
Craig Chalquist, PhD
Nadya Trytan, MA, RDT/BCT
Denise Boston, PhD, RDT

This panel will include drama therapists from different parts of the country who will discuss their engagement with communities to build balance, health and resiliency. We will address different kinds of community change movements that are occurring, and the impact on urban neighborhoods.

C7: From the Bottom of the Brain: Performance by Residents at a Psychiatric Hospital
Zeina Daccache, MA, RDT
Sahar Assaf

This play is not only different than the others, but also the first of its kind for the Lebanese and Arab public. The actors are residents at Al Fanar psychiatric hospital, receiving treatment, and many of whom have been rejected and discriminated against by society.

Saturday Late Morning Short Workshops
10:45 am - 12:15 pm

C8: Improving Effective Function in ASD Children Through Magic -- Is it Natural?
Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT
James Teagarden, Ph.D.
Kevin Spencer, a professional magician, partnered this summer with Kansas State University’s Drama Therapy Program and an inclusive summer camp to research if magic and the creative arts could enhance Executive Functions in the brain. Numbers are still being analyzed, but members of the research team will present initial findings.

C9: Contradiction in the Classroom: Wait - is this supposed to be therapy?
Jason Butler, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT, LCAT

The drama therapy classroom can be confusing and contradictory, involving multiple therapy-esque experientials requiring a student’s emotional material as well as more distanced lectures and demonstrations. This workshop, based on research examining the experience of drama therapy students, will explore balance in the fuzzy terrain between therapy and education.

Lunch on Your Own
12:00 – 1:15

Community Business Meeting & Regional Meetings
1:15 – 3:15 pm

Saturday Afternoon Workshops
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

D1: We Know What you Are Doing. The NADTA Practice Analysis Results
Paige Dickinson, PhD, RDT/BCT
Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT
Jason Butler, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT
Jami Osborne, MA, RDT/BCT

The results are in! Come hear about what your fellow Drama Therapists are doing and what students are learning. Participants will gain an understanding of the analysis and results of the practice analysis and how these results will inform the development of a knowledge based exam for Drama Therapists.

D2: Finding Balance of Transference and Countertransference as Therapists
Sarah Kelley
Larissa Goncharuk

It begins with a meditation on remembering childhood. Next, is an experiential on relationships and perceived messages. Then, identify the messages coming from 'today you', your current personality to every identified person in relationship. Finally, claim the 'best of you' that came out of the past as a tool.

D3: Trauma-Informed Drama Therapy: A Long Table Conversation
Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT/BCT
David Johnson, PhD, RDT/BCT
Renee Emunah, PhD, RDT/BCT
Bonnie Harnden, MA, RDT
Maria Hodermarska, MA, RDT/BCT, LCAT
Kimberly Jewers-Dailley, MA, RDT
Heidi Landis, MA, RDT/BCT, TEP, LCAT
Christine Mayor, MA, RDT
Renee Pitre, MA, RDT
F. Antonio Ramirez Hernandez, PsyD
Gary Raucher, MA, RDT/BCT, LMFT
Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT
Jason Frydman, MA, RDT

Join the authors of Trauma-informed Drama Therapy: Transforming Clinics, Classrooms, and Communities as they discuss their perspectives on the ways in which improvisation, play, and performance respond to suffering while promoting well-being in diverse contexts. The audience will be invited to come to the table and join the conversation.

D4: Journey to Wellness: Using Drama Therapy in Oncology Support Groups
Jennifer Finestone, MA

A cancer diagnosis impacts a person’s mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, often adversely. Drama therapy provides a beneficial approach for support groups and can help participants to acknowledge cancer-related changes, and cope better with them. This didactic and experiential workshop will balance theory with hands-on creative interventions.

D5: Enact Creative Container
Diana Feldman, MA, RDT, LCAT

In this workshop, participants will experience the ENACT model and learn the criteria and indicators for successful ENACT practice. In addition, ENACT Founder, Diana Feldman will discuss her recent travels to India and how she has adapted ENACT for use in a variety of educational settings.

D6: Will I Ever Be Unbroken? One Woman's Story
Lisa Merrell, MA, RDT, LCAT

Meet Debra. Bi-Polar and hypersexual, she defined herself as “broken” and engaged in dangerous, self-harming sexual behaviors. Using drama therapy, we identified parts of herself that are well and used them as a foundation for change. Part didactic, part experiential, this is Debra’s story told and acted in her words.

D7: Student Forum
Margaret Powell
Adam Davis, MEd
Barrett Scroggs

The Student Forum is an opportunity for drama therapy students to gather, network, and dialogue with one another. Led by members of the Student Committee, this workshop will offer opportunities to meet and greet, exchange ideas, make connections, and share experiences with one another through playful interaction and discussion.

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Ethics Meeting

7:00 pm – 7:45 pm
Student Gathering with Board

7:45 pm
President's Reception