Welcome back to Musings About Musicals’ weekly series, Alternative Broadway Careers. This week, we will be discussing a career that is certainly unique and different from other theatre-related careers: drama therapy!
1. How Do I Get This Job?
First, you’ll need one of two things. You may choose to get a master’s degree in Drama Therapy from an accredited school, according to the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA). Or, if you have an existing master’s degree in something else, such as theatre or a mental health profession, or are in the process of getting one, you can go through NADTA’s Alternative Training Program. Either of these paths will lead you to becoming a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT).
2. What is This Job Like?
Drama therapy is a form of therapy that uses theatre techniques to achieve mental health goals. So, for example, a drama therapist may work with their client using roleplaying, whether using a script or improvisation. Or maybe a drama therapist will do projective play with a toy or prop to help their client express their feelings. These processes are intended to help the client express themselves and tell their stories, while also giving them a way to solve their problems, boost their confidence and perhaps even experience catharsis.
3. What Skills Do I Need?
A drama therapist requires the same caring and patience a regular therapist requires. But a drama therapist naturally will also need knowledge of theatre, as well as a lot of creativity. They need strong communication skills as well as a lot of emotional strength – being a therapist is certainly not an easy job.
4. Where Can I Get More Information?
The best place to get information is the NADTA website. This website will give you essentially everything you need to know. Or, if you are UK based, you can check out the NHS website instead. There are plenty of resources that are just a Google search away!
This is Part Three in Musings About Musicals’ Alternative Broadway Careers series. CLICK HERE for Part Two: Theatre Management.