CTH6400EN - Principles of Drama Therapy

Course description

Introduction to the field of drama therapy. Students will compare and contrast leading practitioners and their approaches/theories with techniques from various psychodynamic and psychotherapeutic perspectives. The requirements for registry as a drama therapist and typical sites for practice will be examined, as well as basic ethical considerations for drama therapists.

How this course benefits students

An introductory survey course that acquaints the student with the field of Drama Therapy in clinical and non-clinical settings. After examining approaches in drama therapy, students compare and contrast these to well-known psychological approaches. The course may fulfill a requirement for the Registered Drama Therapist credential with the North American Drama Therapy Association.

Why this course is important

This course will provide an introduction to the many ways that theatre can be used in a therapeutic context, which will be beneficial for ministry efforts. This course will also acquaint the student with the basic tools to pursue the Registered Drama Therapist credential with the North American Drama Therapy Association

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Creative Therapy
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Drama Therapy is a dramatization of an issue or problem. In similar fashion, the Old Testament events are essentially a dramatization of God’s gospel message. For this reason, the Old Testament will serve as the backdrop to this course, reminding the student of God’s frequent use of actual events to bring about the dramatization of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Missionally driven

Drama Therapy is not therapy, per se, but is defined by the NADTA as “the intentional use of theatre to bring about therapeutic results.” The therapeutic results we aim for as evangelists is the understanding that man has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but that Christ died while we were yet sinners. Drama therapy is not therapy, but drama that is therapeutic or in this case, missional.

Contextually informed

This is an applied course and will focus on the actual context in which drama therapy best takes place. Emphasis will be placed on churches, missional activities, youth groups, and other non-clinical settings where drama might be beneficial in sharing the gospel. Discussions of ethics will also take into account ethical situations in context.

Interculturally focused

By its very nature, drama therapy is interpersonal and therefore, intercultural. One of its primary functions is to heal broken communities and to establish understanding between people of different origins, cultures, and backgrounds.

Practically minded

Drama Therapy is not limited to therapists, but is used in non-clinical settings such as schools, hospitals, community centers, and churches. Students will be able to bring these skills into these settings to bring about evangelistic results. Unlike clinical therapy, certain drama therapy techniques to not require confidentiality from the participants. This makes it a very easy and practical approach even for the unlicensed practitioner.

Experientially transformed

Theatre arts, by nature and definition, is an experiential medium. Students will be equipped to take the lessons learned from the course and apply them directly in their church or missional assignments.