The Power of Dramatic Play and Creativity:
Sunshine Under the Umbrella

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Early Morning Offerings
8:00am - 9:00am

SM 1: Morning Guided Meditation to Connect with the Beloved Drama Therapy Archetype
Janna Mitchell, LMFT, RDT/BCT 

From the stillness of the inner world springs your archetypal drama therapy guide that resonates with you powerfully and represents your heart.  Begin your conference day with a gentle journey to your inner spirit guide, muse and play partner to guide you through the play.

SM 2: Drama Therapy Review Meeting: Turning Your Thesis or Dissertation into an Article
Christine Mayor, MA, RDT
Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT/BCT

Do you wish you could share your thesis or dissertation research with the wider community? Join us for the annual Drama Therapy Review meeting where, this year, we will focus on how to turn your master’s level thesis or doctoral dissertation into a publishable article. (1.0 CE hours)

SM 3: Alternative Track Meeting 
Adam Reynolds, MSW, MFA, PhD (abd), LCSW, CASAC, RDT/BCT

Open to anyone who is curious or who has questions about Alternative Training in drama therapy.

SM 4: Ethics Meeting
Patrick Hughes, MA, LMHC, RDT

Join a discussion with members of the Ethics Committee about issues pertaining to ethics, the organization and this year’s conference theme. (1.0 CE hours)

All Conference Event - Keynote Address
9:00am - 10:30am

KA: The Lost Treasure of Paidia: Creativity and Intersubjectivity in the Dramatic Process​
Salvo Pitruzzella

Salvo firmly believes that the most relevant therapeutic feature of drama therapy is related to the intrinsic nature of the dramatic process. Starting from Roger Caillois’ reflections on play, Salvo will sound out such a complex and elusive nature, adopting the emerging concepts of creativity and intersubjectivity as guides.

Bio: A pioneer of dramatherapy in Italy. Salvo has worked in many fields, including mental health, education and community care, and founded the first training course at the Centro ArtiTerapie, Lecco in 1998. He has published works in numerous areas, including dramatherapy, educational drama, storymaking, creativity, and theatre, and has edited the first Italian unabridged version of William Blake’s last poem Vala, or The Four Zoas. (1.5 CE hours)

Morning Short Workshops
11:00am - 12:30pm

B 1: Dungeons and Dragons and Drama Therapy: Role playing games as therapeutic intervention 
Adam Davis, MEd
Amy Tichy, MA
Adam Johns, MA, LMFT

Tabletop role-playing games are often associated with the awkward and anti-social.  However, Amy, Adam, and Adam, have been using these games to help their clients become more confident, creative, and socially capable. Come learn how these games fit within drama therapy and can help you and your clients grow. (1.5 CE hours)

B 2: Capturing Magic: Creativity as a Measurable Process in Drama Therapy
Laura Hix, MA

As drama therapists, we utilize and bear witness to creativity as a powerful force of healing and growth, but how do we represent this research?  This workshop introduces various psychological assessments aimed at measuring creativity.  Limitations of these measures will be discussed and new measures imagined, including embodied approaches. (1.5 CE hours)

B 3: Playfully Overcoming Challenges with Inner Guides
Daniel Wiener, PhD, LMFT, Lic. Psychologist, RDT/BCT
Saphira Linden, MA, LCAT, TEP, RDT/BCT

Seeking personal help from Inner Guides is near-universal. Though secular Western people may dismiss belief in them as superstitious, their use clearly confers benefits. Constructing archetypal masks, we will enter the world of imaginative play to enact encounters with personal challenges before and after receiving aid from personified Inner Guides. (3.0 CE hours)

B 4: Playing with the Brain: An Embodied Cognition Account of Drama Therapy
Jason Frydman, MA, LCAT, RDT

Seminal developmental theorists have discussed play as integral to cognitive growth. This workshop outlines and examines the cognitive benefits of play utilizing the emerging framework of embodied cognition: an extended conceptualization of cognitive processing that accounts for the brain, body, and environment. (1.5 CE hours)

B 5: Exploring the Universality of DvT Concepts Using Art, Music, and Playful-Role-Play (PRP)
W Randy McCommons, MFT, RDT/BCT
Aileen Cho, MA, MFTi, RDT
Yu (Eddie) Hon Kit, MA

As Developmental Transformations (DvT) has spread worldwide DvT trainers have used Art and Music from various cultures to elucidate and explore some concepts of DvT theory. In this workshop participants will engage in Playful-Role-Play (PRP) explorations of DvT concepts based on art and music. (1.5 CE hours)

B 6: The Stories We Tell Ourselves: How Cultural Context Impacts Trauma Treatment in Drama Therapy
Lizzie McAdam, MA, MS

One American drama therapist traveled to Germany and Israel for a year to study the development of trauma treatment within our field. Here are some of the artifacts she returned with. What is the link between cultural context and trauma treatment in drama therapy? You decide. (1.5 CE hours)

B 7: VoicingElder: Seniors Reminiscing Through Avatars
Semi Ryu, MFA

VoicingElder is a drama therapy platform for seniors, with interactive avatars reflecting speech, gestures, and emotions, enhanced by sentiment analysis algorithms. Users embody reminiscences through configurable avatars. This session will examine conceptual foundations, multimedia production, and research findings based on feedback from seniors ( (1.5 CE hours)

Afternoon Long Workshops
2:00pm - 5:00pm

B 8: Puppets for the People
Jessica Litwak, MFA, PhD, RDT

Join theatre artist and RDT Jessica Litwak for this fun, creative and therapeutic puppet-making workshop. Learn the tools for building a puppet using simple materials, and bringing it to life. This unique form of puppet building allows participants to express freely and deeply themselves with hands, heart, body and voice. (3.0 CE hours)

B 9: The Art of Parachuting
Bobbi Kidder, MA, RDT/BCT
Maggie Yowell, JD, MA, LMHC, GMHS, RDT
Cleopatra Bertelsen, MA, LMHCA, LMP
Christina Campos, MA, LMHCA
Vida Vasaitis, MA, LMFTA
Leah Batty-Hibbs, MA, LMHCA

Drama Therapists often do guest presentations - short term sessions, with little to no future contact with the clients/students in that particular group. We will present helpful information on how to make the most of these brief encounters. (3.0 CE hours)

B 10:  What about us? Creating a healthier therapist community
David Diamond, BFA, D.Litt.

An adapted version of Boal’s Rainbow of Desire will be used to make theatre about a complex moment (professional / client OR professional / professional) as a way to serve the conference delegates. It will be fun, insightful, not “educational” and about “us”. The more the merrier. (3.0 CE hours)

B 11: Narradrama: Neurological Implications and Developing Novel Practice and Research 
Pam Dunne, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, RDT/BCT
Myriam Savage, PhD, RDT/BCT
Kamran Afary, PhD  
Stephen Breithaupt, MS, RDT

This three-part workshop/panel addresses theoretical, exploratory and pilot studies, which examine the use and benefits-- for a diverse audience-- of Narradrama as a multimodal method with at risk youth and homeless populations, in an exploratory program with adult ADHD, and as a method for strengthening synaptic growth and connections. (3.0 CE hours)

B 12: Canon of Creativity: Spontaneity, Creativity and the Cultural Conserve
Barbara McKechnie, MA, LCAT, LPC, CP, PAT, RDT/BCT

J.L. Moreno’s principles of spontaneity and creativity are central to psychodrama, drama therapy and a life well lived.  These principles and those of the cultural conserve will be explored in this didactic and experiential workshop. Participants will examine their own conserves and explore ways to enhance their own creativity and spontaneity. (3.0 CE hours)

B 13: Recovery Through Performance Using the Co-Active Therapeutic Theater Model
Laura Wood, PhD, LMHC, CCLS, RDT/BCT

Recovery Through Performance is a theater company created to help persons in recovery for an eating disorder support their process. In this presentation, the Co-Active Therapeutic Theater Model will be discussed, results from my doctoral dissertation will be presented, and experiential activities will be used to demonstrate the model to participants. (3.0 CE hours)

B 14: From Survey to Play: Performing Research Findings about Gender and Sexuality
Nadya Trytan, MA, RDT/BCT
Mark Beauregard, MA, LCAT, RDT
Ross Stone, MA, RDT
Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT/BCT

The authors of a recently published study on drama therapists’ attitudes and actions regarding LGBTQI and gender nonconforming communities will perform their research results. By sharing accounts of where this research is personally meaningful, we will catalyze exchanges that deepen our collective knowledge about working with and within these communities. (3.0 CE hours)

Workshop Canceled
B 15: Playing in the Shadows: Shadow Theatre & Drama Therapy
Evan Hastings, MA
Ancient & powerful, Shadow Theatre integrates visual art, physical theatre, music and storytelling. As an intermodal play space, Shadow Theatre offers distancing strategies conducive to playing with taboo or traumatic material in metaphoric, veiled or abstracted ways. In this workshop, participants will learn projective techniques for therapeutic play in the shadows. (3.0 CE hours)

B 16: Dramatic Improv as Arts-Based Emotion Research
Brant Wadsworth, PhD, RDT

Presentation of an arts-based empirical study that used dramatic improvisation and theatrical presentation to analyze data and present results through the live theatre form.  The study explored what influences and impact training in Rocky Mountain Alba Emoting would have on the personal and professional lives of credentialed creative arts therapists. (3.0 CE hours)

Early Afternoon Short Workshop
2:00pm - 3:30pm

B 17: Kindergarten Truck: Therapeutic Public Performance
Andrew Gaines, PhD (abd), LCAT, RDT/BCT

Kindergarten Truck is a mobile street theatre performance that boldly blurs the lines between drama therapy, therapeutic theatre, education, and entertainment. Returning from a national tour, this workshop will reveal the flexibility of drama therapy approaches and applications and invite us to interrogate the political, ethical, and beneficial implications of playing in public and revisiting childhood. (1.5 CE hours)

Late Afternoon Short Workshop
4:00pm - 5:30pm

B 18: Theater of Possibility for Autism and Other Ability Differences
Lauren Marshall, JD, MFA
Theater of Possibility Youth

Theater of Possibility (“TOP”) is geared to kids and adults with autism spectrum and other ability differences. TOP explores relationship skills, combining Theater of the Oppressed techniques with principles of Relationship Development Intervention, acting, improvisation, collaboration and playwriting.  This workshop will feature an interactive performance by TOP youth. (1.5 CE hours)

Evening Offerings
7:00pm - 8:00pm

S 1: Student Meet & Greet with the Board
Jason D. Butler, PhD, LCAT, RDT/BCT, President 
NADTA Board of Directors
NADTA Student Committee 

All student members of the NADTA are invited to a meet and greet with the NADTA Board of Directors. 

P 3: Drama-informed Care: Playback Theatre Performance
Playback Theater Northwest

Members of Playback Theater Northwest will use playback theatre methods of active listening, creating a sacred (and safe) space, and honoring personal stories. The audience will be invited to tell stories of how they use creativity and playfulness for self-care and the troupe will play back the stories. (1.0 CE hours)

All Conference Event - President's Reception
8:00pm - 11:30pm

R 2: President’s Reception
Jason D. Butler, PhD, LCAT, RDT/BCT, President 

Join President Jason Butler in a celebration of our community. We will honor our newest Registered Drama Therapists (RDTs) & Board Certified Trainers (BCTs) and express gratitude to the many volunteers who gave of their time and energy to bring this conference to fruition. Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a no-host bar, and entertainment that is sure to delight.