Drama and theatre-based approaches to healing empower individuals to articulate their feelings in a less traditional and embodied way. Various methods make use of symbols and metaphors so clients who are unable to express themselves verbally can find new ways to navigate difficult issues and subjects. We need drama therapy researchers, scholars and practitioners to engage with clients in the language of play and lead the healing process through dramatic expressions and practices.
The MA in Creative Arts Therapies, Drama Therapy option, provides you with an environment to facilitate personal growth by integrating dramatic and theatrical techniques with other therapeutic approaches. Our distinguished faculty members employ diverse approaches to drama therapy and place a tremendous emphasis on clinical training that relies heavily on experiential learning opportunities.
Benefit from two eight-month-long practicums where you will work directly with clients in conjunction with an on-site co-therapist and supervisor, as well as your departmental supervisor. Montreal provides a myriad of local sites to carry out your practicum, including the Centre for the Arts in Human Development at Concordia University. Other placement possibilities include hospitals and health care institutions, community centres, geriatric facilities, and schools.
The Drama Therapy option is a professional program approved by the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA). You will receive a one-year complimentary membership in the NADTA and graduate from our program, having met the association’s educational requirements, to become a Registered Drama Therapist. Graduates can apply for the Canadian Certified Counsellor designation offered through the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and qualify in many states and provinces that require licensing.
Entry into the program requires a bachelor’s/baccalaureate degree with courses in Theatre (24 credits or approved equivalents): Psychology (24 credits, which must include courses in Introductory, Developmental, and Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Personality, and a research methodology course to be approved by an academic faculty advisor, or approved equivalents); and An Introduction to Drama Therapy (3 credits). Since enrolment is limited, applicants are selected on the basis of a past academic record of no less than a B average, a 500-word letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation. Applicants must submit documentation, which may include video material of their involvement in drama and theatre. Previous work experience in a clinical, rehabilitative, or educational setting is expected. Direct experience with the therapeutic process is highly desirable.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete 60 credits.
Courses. All students are required to take the following core courses (with a 3-credit value, unless otherwise specified): DTHY 600, DTHY 603, DTHY 604, CATS 610, CATS 611, DTHY 613, DTHY 614, DTHY 623, DTHY 624, CATS 639 (1 credit), CATS 641 (1 credit), CATS 643 (1 credit), DTHY 643, DTHY 644, DTHY 645, CATS 691, and DTHY 693. Six additional elective credits, to be chosen in consultation with an academic faculty advisor, are required of all candidates. With the approval of the Chair of Creative Arts Therapies and that of the cooperating department, some or all of the elective credits may be chosen from other graduate programs in the Faculty of Fine Arts, other faculties at Concordia University, or other universities.
Additionally, students choose to enter one of two streams of research in the program containing the following requirements:
CATS 689: Research Paper (9 credits)
OR CATS 698: Applied Research Project with Report (6 credits) and CATS 699: Comprehensive Exam (3 credits).
Practicum. In addition to the credit requirements, and as stipulated by the professional program approval of the National Association for Drama Therapy, each student must successfully complete a minimum of 800 hours (350 direct client contact hours and 450 agency hours) in the practice of drama therapy, under faculty supervision, in an approved practicum setting. The program emphasizes experience with individual, group, and family formats for therapeutic interventions. Students work with different client populations during the first and second year of the practicum.
CATS 689: Research Paper. The research paper represents the formal culmination of graduate studies in the creative arts therapies. This paper includes a literature review and may also include methodology, specific procedures, research population or sample, data collection and analysis, as appropriate to the topic approved by the Creative Arts Therapies Research and Ethics Committee. Students develop their proposals for submission to this Committee as a course requirement for CATS 691. The required research courses (CATS 691 and DTHY 693) aim to provide students with knowledge of specific research methodologies.
CATS 698: Applied Research Project with Report and CATS 699: Comprehensive Exam. The student chooses this project to further explore specific pilot project reports, feasibility studies and research with performance, photographic or video documentation relevant to the creative arts therapies. All applied projects must include a written component, and be presented by each student as a public seminar upon completion. An oral/written comprehensive case study examination must be taken to demonstrate integrative aspects of learning and knowledge in the study of drama therapy.
Language Requirements. While there are no formal language requirements, students intending to work in Quebec are strongly encouraged to develop a working knowledge of French.
Priority will be given to those who apply within the official deadlines listed above. Some programs may continue to accept applications after these deadlines. For more information, please contact the department.
Our department hosts a semi-annual workshop for prospective students where faculty members will walk you through a drama therapy exercise. The day offers you the chance to explore your thoughts on drama therapy and provides information on Concordia, our program prerequisites and how to complete an application. You will also be introduced to a number of international creative arts therapy organizations.
New students are automatically eligible for fellowships and select awards offered within the Faculty of Fine Arts and the School of Graduate Studies, ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 per year. Some awards have specific criteria and can be based on academic excellence and financial need.
The practicum component of our program provides you with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that you are acquiring in your coursework. It is the vehicle for integrating theory with clinical experience – a critical element in the development of the professional competence of a drama therapist. Practicum includes both clinical experience and supervision. You must successfully complete 800 hours (350 direct client contact hours and 450 agency hours) in an approved practicum setting.
Clinical experience is acquired in a variety of agencies in the greater Montreal area, providing you with a practical application of drama therapy. Supervision is provided at both the agency and at the university.
The Creative Arts Therapies Student Graduate Association promotes stronger interdisciplinary ties with the Concordia community at large. Become an elected officer and participate in a number of committees that make a vital contribution to university activities.
An MA in Drama Therapy prepares you for careers in various sectors, including health care institutions, schools and prisons. Many of our graduates also work in domestic violence and addictions treatment centres and shelters. Read about our alumni career stories.
The practicum is of tremendous benefit in familiarizing you with the working environment. Occasionally, graduates have gone on to full or part-time work at the health care institution of their practicum. Graduates from the program have found employment throughout Canada as well as internationally.