Drama Therapy


Emunah, R. (1994). Acting for Real: Drama Therapy Process, Technique and Performance. New York: Brunner-Routledge. The drama therapy text of the time. Rich in hisotry, theory, method, technique, and relevant case studies. Probably every Intro to DT course uses this one. You'll feel like you know something after you're done here.

Sternberg, P. & Garcia, A. (2000). Sociodrama: Who's In Your Shoes? (2nd Ed). Westport, CT: Praeger. This one breaks down to about 2/3 theory and method and 1/3 application to various settings (education, therapy, business, community, religion). Very thorough in both.


Blatner, A. (2003). An interview with Adam Blatner About psychodrama. North American Journal of Psychology, 5(1), 137-146.
Michael Shaughnessy from the North American Journal of Psychology interviews Adam Blatner, a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Blatner, a retired psychiatrist, was recognized with the J.L. Moreno Award for his contributions to psychodrama. This article follows a question and answer format which informs the reader of Blatner's views on psychodrama. It covers some of the fundamentals of psychodrama as well as Blatner's personal experiences in psychiatry. The use of an open ended interview with follow up questions provides a helpful model for developing research questions. - from Sharon

Caso D., & Finkelberg S. (1999). Psychoeducational drama: An improvisational approach to outreach. Journal of College Student Development, 40(1), 89-91.
Psychoeducational Drama or PED is examined through an example of a college group which uses PED for prevention education on campus. The program is described through a six stage model which outlines how to run a PED performance. It also discusses future applications of PED in the prevention field. This descriptive research article is not empirically minded, but serves to guide other practitioners interested in developing PED programs. - from Sharon

Doyle, C. (1998). A self psychology theory of role in drama therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 25(4), 223-235.
Doyle discusses the theoretical underpinnings of his drama therapy practice. An overview of the basic tenets of self psychology is followed by the integration of object relations and role theory. The author views of roles as self objects which can be integrated into a cohesive self. Outlining the psychological basis of his work validates it in the eyes of non drama therapists. - from Sharon

Emunah, R. (1997). Drama Therapy and psychodrama: An integrated model. International Journal of Action Methods, 50(3), 108-135.
This 1997 piece compares the basic components of psychodrama and drama therapy. He follows this discussion with a description of his Integrative Five-Phase Model of drama therapy, so named because of its merging of the two disciplines. This article is typical of the drama therapy research pieces of that period, in that it describes a practice model which can be replicated by other practitioners.- from Sharon

Kedem-Tahar, E., & Felix-Dellermann, P. (1996). Psychodrama and drama therapy: A comparison. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 23(1), 27-36.
The majority of drama therapy literature discusses psychodrama and its influence on the theory and practice of drama therapy. This study gives a clear side by side comparison between the two disciplines. The two are compared in terms of: theory, aims, therapeutic factors, practice, target population, and therapist functions. The clear delineation of the two field provided by the authors is in contrast of other writers who find the intersection quite murky. - from Sharon

Kosters, M., Burlingame, G., Nachtigali, & C. Strauss, B. (2006). A meta-analytic review of the effectiveness of inpatient group psychotherapy. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 10(2), 146-163.
Kosters et al. reviewed the effectiveness of inpatient group therapy. Their meta-analysis examines the methodologies and outcomes of various groups. They shed light on the limitations of researching groups in inpatient settings. The reliance of pre and post testing, the lack of control groups, and the small sample numbers are described as confounding aspects of quantitative research of inpatient groups. - from Sharon

Kruczek, T., & Zagelbaum, A. (2004). Increasing adolescent awareness of at risk behaviors via psychoeducational drama. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 31, 1-10.
The authors examined the use of Psychoeducational Drama (PED) model in a Midwestern middle and high school. The research study was run using the stages of the Caso and Finkelberg PED model. The outcome looked at prevention measures of awareness of risk behaviors and anticipation of behavior change. This study is quite different than others in that the project was initiated as a study, so empirically sound processes were involved in every step. - from Sharon

Landy, R. (1997). Drama therapy and distancing: Reflections on theory and clinical application. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 23(5), 367-373.
Landy describes in this work his theories behind distancing. Distancing is how drama therapists describes how a participant expresses or withholds emotion. His theories on distancing give credence to the concept that drama therapy is so effective because it is less likely to cause flooding in traumatized clients. Landy uses a case example to support his theory. - from Sharon
Landy, R. (1997). Drama therapy--The state of the art. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 24(1), 5-15.
Landy takes it upon himself to editorialize the nature of drama therapy as it stood in 1997. He interprets the history and origins of drama therapy. Because there is no clear path which marks the beginnings of this discipline, writers are left to conjecture its birth. Landy reflects on the small size of the field and the unpreparedness of practitioners to produce empirical studies. - from Sharon
Landy, R., Luck, B., Conner, E., & McMullian, S. (2003) Role Profiles: a drama therapy assessment instrument. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 30, 151-161.
In their examination of role profiles, Landy et al. reflects on Lahad’s 6-psm and BASIC Ph. interpretive tool as well as the work of Johnson. These instruments measure the different roles in dramatic and creative work and how to interpret them. Landy’s more modern version of the Taxonomy of Roles was also explored. The theater-based assessment tools are very similar to one another but are unique to the practice of drama therapy. - from Sharon
Landy, R. (2006). The future of drama therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 33, 135-142.
Landy, in his 2006 work, calls for more research, more practice, and more diligence on the part of drama therapists. Here, he refers to the field of drama therapy as small and insular. He implores the reader to become more involved to ensure the survival of the profession. - from Sharon

Miller, C. (2000). The technique of souldrama and its applications. International Journal of Action Methods, 52, 173-186.
Souldrama is a psychospiritual technique whose conception lies in psychodrama. The author describes how to practice souldrama using a six veil sequence. The sequences uses Judeo-Christian concepts of spirituality as it describes finding your guardian angel; discovering your soul’s mission; forgiveness; the heart of God; confronting evil; and Eden. This model involves enacting a spiritual scenes and using dramatic role activities to connect the client to their spiritual side. - from Sharon

Miller, J. & Johnson, D. (1997). Drama therapy in the treatment of combat-related post- traumatic stress disorder, The Arts in Psychotherapy, 23(5), 383-395.
Miller describes his developmental transformation approach to working with Vietnam veterans. He discusses his three phase model which allows the participants to accept all parts of themselves, good and bad. The model’s phases are rage, shame, and empathy. The goal of this treatment is to experience cognitive and emotive expression with the safety of a therapeutic distance. The protection of the psyche through metaphorical theater work allows difficult experiences to be processed and accepted. - from Sharon

Pendzik, S. (2003). Six Keys for assessment in drama therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 30, 91-99.
Pendzik provides an over view of the most recognized assessment methods in drama therapy. Following a brief historical perspective of the field, the author describes the most referenced tools used for assessment as well as research. She does a brief overview of the following assessment methods: Jenning’s Dramatic Structure of the Mind; Lahad’s BASIC Ph. and 6-PSM; Landy’s Taxonomy of Role; and Johnson’s Role Playing Test. She concludes by laying out her own six anchor points of assessment. - from Sharon

Petitti, G. (1992). Brief report: The operational components of drama therapy. Journal of Group psychotherapy, Psychodrama & Sociometry, 45(1), 40-45
Petitti offers a historical perspective of drama therapy and gives an overview of how a drama therapy program would be run. Through the use of case example, Petitti demonstrates the nuances of drama therapy. This article is important because it introduces drama therapy to the wider audience of group workers and psychodramatists. - from Sharon

Rustin, T. & Olsson, P. (1993). Sobriety Shop--a variation on magic shop for addiction treatment patients. Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama & Sociometry, 46(1), 12-24.
The Sobriety Shop examines a model directly based on the psychodrama technique called The Magic Shop. It is a symbolic exercise where you can “buy” or “sell” qualities of yourself in order to demonstrate a desire to change behavior. This program, used specifically in substance abuse treatment, offers positive change opportunities and relapse prevention tools to the participants. Although rooted in psychodrama, it is similar to Landy’s (2003) role exercise where the client delineates what they are and what they want to become. - from Sharon

Yotis, L. (2006). A review of dramatherapy research in schizophrenia: methodologies and outcomes. Psychotherapy Research, 16(2), 190-200.
Yotis offers an exhaustive overview of drama therapy as it relates to schizophrenia. He examines the work of many drama therapists and the methodology they apply to the assessment and treatment of this population. His examination of qualitative and quantitative research outcomes supports the application of dramatic techniques to individuals with schizophrenia. - from Sharon

Zoepf, K. (2006). In Lebanon, a professor uses theater to help traumatized children. Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(3), 45.
This brief article provides a description of the work a drama teacher has done in war torn Lebanon. Although not written about drama therapy, this real life example of a woman doing expressive theater implies the therapeutic effect of drama. The importance of this article is it exposes the broader academic community to the efficacy of dramatic techniques. - from Sharon



Cassou, M. (2004). Kids Play:Igniting Children's Creativity. New York: Jeremy P.Tarcher/Penguin. An examination of and "how to" steps to foster children's creativity in art. Starting from what she calls the "Point Zero" method (creation for its own sake and the pleasure of the creator) Cassou uses a combination of theory, method and case study . An interesting and enjoyable read. A short section at the end with ideas for setting up one's own creative painting studio for children.

Davis, G. (2004). Creativity is Forever ( 5th Ed). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Davis' style is one you'll either love or hate. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, he takes the reader through a multitude of information and research on creativity and gifted education. Heavy emphasis on creative thinking/problem solving. Sections on assessment and development. Very readable, humorous presentation (Ya just gotta appreciate a guy who tells the reader to pronounce Csikszentmihalyi as "Smith").

Piirto, J. (2002). My Teeming Brain: Understanding Creative Writers. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, Inc. Using her Pyramid of Talent Development, Piirto shows the reader what the creative writer is like. She uses 160 contemporary US writers in this study, which unpacks the creative process as it pertains specifically to this domain. I find her writing style to be fluid and enjoyable, while thorough and thought provoking.
Piirto, J. (2004). Understanding Creativity. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc. First reviewing pertinent theories/theorists and their contribution to the area of creativity, Piirto goes on to reveal her theory, the Piirto Pyramid of Talent Development. She then applies this to various domains. Sections on assessment and training. Enjoyable reading.


Positive Psychology


Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2(3). 300-319.
Fredrickson, B.L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden and build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3). 218-226.
Fredrickson, B. L. & Joiner, T. (2002). Postive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well being. American Psychological Society, 13(2). 172-175.
Fredrickson, B. L. & Branigan, C. (2005). Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition and Emotion, 19 (3).313-332.
I stumbled onto Fredrickson's work in a human motivation class. This list of publications chronicles the development of her "Broaden-and-build" theory.Initially , she posits that the positive emotions of love, interest, joy and contentment broaden momentary thought-action repertoires, which then serve to increase one's physical, intellectual and social resources. This, then is in opposition to what occurs when we perceive threat from the environment. She goes on to show that positive emotions also counteract the effects of negative emotions (and their narrowing tendencies), and that the broadening effect of positive emotions can become self-perpetuating. While she limits her discussion to use of ehe theory to the clinical arena, it certainly would seem to have direct impact on educational practice as well.


Creative Arts in Education/Human Development


Eisner, E.W. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Fowler, C. (1996). Strong Arts Strong Schools. New York: Oxord University Press.

Jackson, R., ed. (2006). Holistic Special Education: Camphill Principles and Practice. Edinburgh: Floris Books. This one details the programming of the Camphill Rudolph Steiner School in Aberdeen Scotland. This approach to special education, among other things, incorporates creative arts and their therapies into the core of its curriculum. Each chapter, written by a different contributor, identifies the philosophies and methods utilized within its area, andn provides case study examples. Makes for fascinating and enjoyable reading.

Jensen, E. (2001). Arts With the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. A quick but informative series of summaries of how the various arts forms inmpact education and neurological/brain development. Good beginning resource/intro to the field.

King, N. (1996). Playing Their Part: Language and Learning in the Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Drama.

Sheridan, S.R. (1997). Drawing/Writing and the New Literacy. Drawing/Writing Publications.
Sheridan, S.R. (in press). The Scribble Hypothesis: How Marks Change Minds. I first ran across this as a paper online. I think it's mind-blowing stuff. Sheridan uses her previous work in conjunction with neuroscience and neuroscience imaging to make the case that children's scribbles not only help with focus and attention, they are a direct outward symbol of inward neurological phenomena. The paper can be found at http://drawingwriting.com/scribble.html .


Arts Education Policy Review (2001). REAP: How Good a Harvest? Symposium on the Reviewing Education and the Arts Project, 102(5).

Deasy, R.J., ed. (2002). Critical Links:Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Compendium commissioned by the Arts Education Partnership's Task Force on Research. Massive amount of relevant research and findings in all areas of the creative arts. The drama section provides summaries for 19 studies, plus an essay by James Catterall that summarizes the studies and points out gaps in the field that need further study and attention.

Journal of Aesthetic Education Special Edition (2000). The Arts and Academic Achievement: What the Evidence Shows, 34(3-4).

National Arts and Disability Center. (2000). Promoting Creative Power: Selected Papers from the ATA and Coalition Partners Conference, May 1999, LA.

Winner, E. & Hetland, L., eds. (2000). Beyond the Soundbite: Arts Education and Academic Outcomes. Conference Proceedings. LA: The Getty Center.

Creative Drama in Education/Human Development


Blatner, A. & Weiner, D., eds. (2007). Interactive and Improvisational Drama: Varieties of Applied Theatre and Performance. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc.

Cullum, A. (1967 ). Push Back the Desks. Citation Press.

King, N. (1993). Storymaking and Drama: An Approach to Teaching Language and Literature at the Secondary and Postsecondary Levels. Heinemann Drama.

McCaslin, N. (2005). Creative Drama in the Classroom, (8th Ed). Allyn & Bacon.

Nelson, G. D. (2001). The Aristotle Effect: Breaking the Learning Barrier. Phoenix, AZ: Insight
Learning Foundation Press. Sarah says this is a great resource.

Sawyer, R. K. (1997). Pretend Play as Improvisation: Conversation in the Preschool Classroom. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Slade, P. (1976). Child Drama. Hodder Arnold H&S.
Slade, P. (1995). Child Play:Its Importance for Human Development. Bristol, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Wagner, B.J. (1998). Educational Drama and Language Arts: What Research Shows. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Drama.

Way, Brian (1967). Development Through Drama. Humanity Books.


Fisler, B. (2003). Quantifiable evidence, reading pedagogy and puppets. Research in Drama Education, 8(1). 25-38. Contains a nice section of background and the debate between theatre education and educational theatre, mentioning the "big names" from another post, and discusses the America Reads Initiative and Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center's puppet theatre projects as its response.

Peter, M. (2003). Drama, narrative and early learning. British Journal of Special Education, 30(1). 21-27.

Roper, B. & Davis, D. (2000). Howard Gardner: Knowledge, learning and development in drama and arts education. Research in Drama Education, 5(2). 217-233.

Rose, D.S., Parks, M., Androes, K. & McMahon, S.D. (2000). Imagery-based learning: Improving elementary students' reading comprehension with drama techniques. The Journal of Educational Research, 94(1). 55-63. Uses cognitive theories about the role of image in memory to develop a drama based reading comprehension program for 4th graders in Chicaog public schools. Using a pre-post test control group design, researchers found a causal link between drama based instruction and improved reading comprehension.

Wilhelm, J.D. (2006). The age for drama. Educational Leadership, 63(7). 74-77


Borody, C. (1995). Reflective-communication: Drama for the development of higher thinking skills. M.Ed. dissertation, the Univeristy of Manitoba, Canada.

Creative Drama - People and Places

Names to look for (and their nationalities) Thanks to Sally Bailey, MSW, MFA, RDT, BCT

United States:
  1. Chorpenning, Charlotte
  2. Cullum, Albert
  3. Goldberg, Moses
  4. Kaste-Polisini, Judith
  5. Koste, Virginia Glagow
  6. McCaslin, Nellie
  7. Siks, Geraldine Brain
  8. Ward, Winnifred
  9. Wheatley, Kim

Great Britian:

  1. Bolton, Gavin
  2. Heathcote, Dorothy
  3. Jennings, Sue
  4. Slade, Peter
  5. Way, Brian


  1. O'Neil, Cecily

Getting started

This is my first time to ever attempt anything like this. It might be helpful to all of us if I tell you what it is I am trying to do (in case it doesn't work off the bat).

My intent is to create separate sections, by topic, of various research resources. What I am hoping is that as I create separate posts by topic they will be accessible by clicking the links to your left (Hey ... I said I was a newbie to this stuff), to make the material and its access more manageable. As I read through what's listed, I'll add my $0.02 worth (annotating the entries). That's my job.

Your job is to add your $0.02 worth (annotating both the entries and my opinions) so we can build a better resource base for our individual and collective efforts.

Ready or not ... here we go!