Drama Therapist

Use role playing or puppets to help patients deal with emotional issues.

What does a Drama Therapist do?

Drama therapists use different theater techniques such as role playing, improvisation, storytelling, and puppetry to help patients work through emotional problems and better understand themselves and others. Using this form of expressive therapy, you help patients gain more self-awareness and learn to deal with different social situations. Many patients find this treatment to be very cathartic.

This is not your stereotypical therapy session, but it is used for much the same end: drama therapy can be used in the assessment and treatment of individuals, groups, couples, and families. In your work as a drama therapist, you might help a troubled couple learn how to express their feelings better and improve their relationship, assist an aging patient to reduce their feelings of isolation, or teach a teen with a substance abuse problem new coping skills—all in one day!

By experimenting with dramatic role-play and other creative techniques, patients are able to safely explore thoughts, behaviors, and experiences. By guiding them through these techniques, you help the patient solve problems, understand and change behavior patterns, and allow for personal growth. In a sense, then, you help patients step outside their comfort zones. From there, both they and you can gain a different perspective on their problems and come up with solutions.

As a drama therapist, you have the ability to practice in a wide variety of settings including, but not limited to, schools, hospitals, mental health centers, nursing homes, and prisons. No matter where you choose to practice, you will find this a very challenging and rewarding career.