The purpose of these Standards of Registration is to identify as Registered Drama Therapists those people who have: expertise in dramatic, theatrical, and performance media; understanding of psychotherapeutic processes with different populations in a variety of settings; experience with the integration of the artistic and psychological aspects of drama therapy; professional work experience in the field of drama therapy, mental health and special education.

To apply to become a RDT:

Click here to fill out the 2022 Registered Drama Therapist Application (RDT)

List below are forms to upload in the online forms links above:

If you have multiple forms please upload them as 1 document in the online submission above.

The application deadlines for the credentialing cycles are March 15th and August 15th each year. 

Please allow 6-8 weeks for our Volunteer Registry Committee Team to review all applications. Letters will be generally sent out in the second week of May for March 15th cycle and the second week of October for August 15th cycle.

Registration Requirements

To qualify as a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT), the applicant must:

  1. Meet all the Educational Requirement
  2. Meet all the Basic Eligibility Requirements
  3. Meet all the Requirements for Additional Training / Work Experience

Education Requirements

The applicant must have either:

  1. Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree in Drama Therapy from an NADTA accredited college/university.
  2. Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree in a field related to Drama Therapy (i.e., drama/theatre, psychology, counseling, special education, social work, occupational therapy, recreation therapy, art therapy, music therapy, dance/movement therapy, etc.) from an accredited college or university AND completion of Alternative Training Education requirements under the supervision of a RDT/BCT.

In addition, the applicant must have completed:

  • Drama Therapy Internship consisting of a minimum of 300 direct-client contact hours with a minimum of 30 hours of supervision by a Registered Drama Therapist, credentialed creative arts therapist, credentialed special educator or credentialed mental health professional and an additional 470 hours of additional internship hours (including, but not limited to, staff meetings, preparing for sessions, contact notes, reviewing professional materials, and other administrative work).
  • A maximum of 50% (150 hours) of the direct-client contact time may be one-on-one contact, while the remaining 50% (150 hours) must be group work.
  • During the internship, applicant must have worked with a minimum of two (2) different populations (e.g., emotionally disturbed, physically disabled, adolescent, elderly, etc.). It may be that the applicant is able to work with two populations at one internship site. If not, the applicant may need to do an internship at two different sites. The total hours of internship does not change in any case (i.e., 800 for one or for both counted together).

Basic Eligibility Requirements

500 hours of drama/theatre experience. This may include acting, directing, and/or improvisational work studied or performed in a college, community, or professional setting.

1000 hours of paid experience as a drama therapist.  You must be supervised by a Registered Drama Therapist, credentialed creative arts therapist, or credentialed mental health professional or special educator.

  • Not more than 40 hours per week can be counted.
  • The 1000 hours may begin to be accrued before students graduate from their Master's program in drama therapy once all of their coursework and internship hours are completed (and while they are working on their thesis).This is the same for alternative training students working on their Master's in a related field. Alternative training students who had already completed a Masters or Doctoral Degree before entering alternative training, may begin to accrue hours once their core drama therapy coursework and their internship is completed.
  • HOWEVER, whenever the hours begin to be accrued, the rule for one calendar year from when the Master's degree was granted stands for the application process.
  • If you have acquired drama therapy experience in a position that was unpaid, it can be counted toward the paid work hours; however, you must have a letter from a representative of the agency to document that the position was recognized by the agency as professional and which provides a brief narrative justification for the non-paid status.

You cannot apply for the RDT until at least a calendar year after your Master's degree is granted (however, if your degree was granted in May of the previous year, you may apply for your RDT in the March 15th cycle as the RDT will not become official until May).

You must be a member of NADTA for at least one year prior to applying for registration.

You will need to write a one page essay describing your work and your philosophy of drama therapy in relation to the NADTA definition of drama therapy.

Additional Work/Training Experience

500 hours of additional training/work experience. This may include:

  • Additional hours of drama therapy internship over and above the 800 required hours.
  • Additional hours of work experience over and above the 1000 required hours.
  • Additional hours of clinical training in drama therapy or a related therapeutic field. This can include workshops, conferences, post-graduate institutes, practice, institutes, or apprenticeship programs.
  • Up to 100 hours of personal psychotherapy within the last 5 years. To document this you will need a signed letter from your therapist noting that you attended the stated hours of psychotherapy and the dates it occurred. No additional personal information is to be included in the letter.

Some applicants may want to utilize college or university level course work done in addition to their MA degree. In accordance with the National Post Secondary Education Standards, a 1 credit course is worth 45 hours of clock time, a 2 credit course is worth 90 hours of clock time, and a 3 credit course is worth 135 hours of clock time.

Help and Questions

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation, Navigating the RDT Process