38th Annual Conference
October 26 - 29, 2017

DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore
50 Ferncroft Road 
Danvers, Massachusetts, 01923
(978) 777-2500

From Theory to Practice:
The Drama Therapist’s Toolbox

"If the environment permits it, anyone can learn whatever he or she chooses to learn; and if the individual permits it, the environment will teach everything it has to teach." ~Viola Spolin

The field of Drama Therapy is rich and encompassing. It spans across multiple methods and models but a mainstay is that we utilize action to help our clients through the experiential. We engage our clients with myriad techniques in the hopes that they cultivate strength, courage, and resiliency in the face of adversity or challenges. But what of the theory behind each exercise? How do we get from point A to point B? What are the essential tools and techniques that every drama therapist could benefit from having in their "toolbox" and could help us move from one point to the next? One of the beauties of this work is its malleable nature and that we can always adapt.  While we may become adept at metamorphosis, we must not forget the theoretical bases for such interventions.

Do you recall a time you adapted a theatre game for a specific population with which you work or a time you merged different techniques and theories to suit your clientele? Whether you specialize in role theory, improvisation, projective techniques, attachment theory, or another methodology: how do the theoretical components commingle with the experiential?  Their interaction is cyclical in nature, one goes back to the other. We cannot have practice without theory and we cannot continue to improve theory if we do not practice. Each drama therapist has their own styles of working and what may work for one may not work for another. This then begs the questions: how can these tools, methods or theories be applied to the different styles of each drama therapist? What is in your toolbox that you wish to share with others?

Presenters and participants will actively engage in thoughtful demonstration and participation. We are all our most valuable resources in the field. We are all teachers and students. We ask with consideration for proposals: what have you learned or read that has informed your own "flavor" or "art" of helping? How have you combined evidence based practice with symbolism and the abstract? What have you cherished in your learning, continued in your practice, or shed as it did not fit what the work needed? How can we share these with others in and around our fields, to assist our clients and communities with substantial change? We often are developing our own adaptations of what we have learned to fit our own unique talents and style, and to fit the needs of the client/community.

It's time to come together to share, to inspire one another to continue to push limits, and enter into the unknown with respect and curiosity. The committee is looking for innovative, yet useful, proposals where participants can walk away with concrete concepts and tools for assisting others; proposals such as roundtable discussions, interactive workshops, performances, and papers that demonstrate the ever-changing nature of the work, highlighting creative exercises in conjuncture with theory. Interdisciplinary proposals that bring drama therapy into dialogue with allied professions are encouraged. It is our hope that by the end of this conference you will be able to replenish your own toolbox, that you will feel reinvigorated and rejuvenated to carry the banner and show the professional world that we as drama therapists continue to thrive as our field matures. Please join us for the North American Drama Therapy Association's 38th Annual Conference!

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please email: 2017conferencechair@nadta.org

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If you have any questions regarding the conference, please email: 2017conferencechair@nadta.org