What is drama therapy?

I was doing drama therapy on myself long before I ever heard the term.

Humans are creative by nature, and have been healing ourselves with the arts throughout history.

The creative arts therapies (art therapy, drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy) or what is also known as expressive arts therapy make this process intentional, and focus on the use of creative processes to promote insight and catharsis (emotional release) to create positive change in people’s lives.

We all have many different parts of self, or what drama therapy would call “roles” that we play in our lives. This could be things like parent, child, sibling, partner, friend, or neighbor. It could come from our work identities, or be related to our hobbies and interests. We might identify with archetypes from literature or history, or connect to role models, which represent something we aspire to be.

By being able to see the interactions and relationships between these parts in a new way, we can have more agency over choosing how to react, or which part we want to put forward in a given situation.

Drama therapy is also beneficial because it is embodied, meaning it pulls in sensory information and how emotions feel inside our bodies, instead of just relying on thoughts.

Psychological research is beginning to prove that our emotions are connected to our nervous systems and internal organs. When you have a “gut feeling” about something, that’s real – data is being sent from your brain through the Vagus nerve, which extends from your brain and circles around all your vital organs.

I am queer and non-binary, and I also became a drama therapist because I know from lived experience how harmful it can be to seek out therapy as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I can provide affirming and sex-positive services to anyone who is struggling with issues related to gender and sexuality, or who values the perspective of someone with lived experience.

I believe strongly in cultural competency, and working from a social justice lens. Living in a white supremacist and capitalist system as a marginalized individual is in itself traumatic, and has real, tangible impacts on physical as well as emotional and psychological health.