The History, Trends, and Future of North American Drama Therapy

The ongoing professionalization of drama therapy in North America has been wrought from an interdisciplinary and intercultural crucible. In this chapter, my colleague Jason Butler and I update and synthesize disparate accounts of the field’s contentious genealogy amidst themes of solidarity, territorialism, incommensurability, marginalization, and validation. Building upon a metaphor of human development (Landy, 1996; Johnson, 1994), we cast the field as an adolescent with conflicting needs for both independence and affiliation as it forges a more cohesive identity and consensus of practice. Our narrative also integrates the international expansion of the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA), tracing its negotiation of social and emotional challenges alongside political, ethical, and legal concerns. Looking to the future, we illustrate the potential for North American drama therapy to mature further as it faces the next stage of development.

The Routledge International Handbook Of Drama Therapy (pp. 52-64). New York/London: Routledge.

Edited by Sue Jennings & Clive Holmwood