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Drama therapy is the intentional use of theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote health, thus treating individuals with a range of mental health, cognitive and developmental disorders. The Center for Creative Arts Therapy is one of the first organizations in the central region to develop an academic program leading to Alternative Training in Drama Therapy. Graduates of the program will have met the academic requirements for Registered Drama Therapist (RDT). Once graduates are registered, they will be entitled to practice drama therapy throughout North America.


The Drama Therapy Alternative Training Program attracts theatre professionals and educators, therapists, and those working in the fields of medicine, healthcare, and special education. Students come from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds to study and apprentice with leading professionals in the creative arts therapies. Classes are small and instruction individualized. The Drama Therapy Program is in compliance with the North American Drama Therapy Association's Alternative Training Requirements. For more information regarding registration, please visit


The Center for Creative Arts Therapy offers rich opportunities for clinical internships in hospitals and shelters, therapeutic day schools, drug rehabilitation centers, prisons, and special facilities for the homeless, elderly, developmentally disabled, and the terminally ill, among others.


The Center for Creative Arts Therapy also offers CEUs for Registered Drama Therapists and Expressive Arts Therapists.


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Drama Therapy Course Work

The Center for Creative Arts Therapy offers coursework required by the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) for the Registered Drama Therapy credential. These include the following (24 credits total needed):


  1. Creative Drama/Improvisation (3 credits)

  2. Principles of Drama Therapy or Introduction to Drama Therapy (3 credits)

  3. Creative Arts Therapies (3 credits)

  4. Drama Therapy with Special Populations (3 credits)

  5. Research in Drama Therapy/Creative Arts (3 credits)

  6. Psychodrama or Sociodrama (3 credits)

  7. Advanced Electives in Drama Therapy (3 credits)

  8. Ethics and Professionalism in Drama Therapy (3 credits)


Theatre Experience/Training

To become a Registered Drama Therapist, one needs 500 hours of theater experience.

In The Center for Creative Arts Therapy's Drama Therapy Alternative Training Program, each student will do an Independent Study Therapeutic Theatre production toward the theater experience requirement. In addition, the following are theater electives offered:


  1. ​Transformational Theater Direction and Practice (1-9 credits)

  2. Improvisation and Theater Lab II, III (1-9 credits)

  3. Independent Study – Therapeutic Theatre (3 credits)

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Internship and Work as a

Drama Therapist

The Center for Creative Arts Therapy offers multiple internships in Drama Therapy towards the 800 hour Alternative Drama Therapy Training requirements:


  1. Minimum of 300 hours of Direct Client Contact doing Drama Therapy

  2. Minimum of 30 hours of Supervision (1 hr to each 10 hrs of direct client contact)

  3. Maximum of 470 hours of Indirect Service (preparation, cleanup, documentation, meetings, etc.)


Psychology Coursework

To become a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) one needs the following psychology coursework from an accredited graduate-level college. One of these courses, however is allowed to be taken through a non-accredited special institute or program, such as Center for Creative Arts Therapy:


  1. Development Across the Lifespan (3 credits)

  2. Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology (3 credits)

  3. Theories of Personality (3 credits)

  4. Group Dynamics (3 credits) OR Advanced Counseling Techniques (3 credits)

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Additional Training

A minimum of 500 hours of additional hours are required from one or any combination of the following categories:

  1. Drama Therapy Work Experience
  2. Drama Therapy Internship hours

  3. Drama Therapy training or Psychotherapy training (including continuing education workshops, seminars, and conferences)

  4. Up to 100 hours of personal psychotherapy within the past five (5) years


Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on tuition, program length, places to stay, online classes and local dining options.

Calm Woman

Let us inspire and guide you towards healing the world through the arts.


The Center for Creative Arts Therapy's Center for Training offers coursework in the following professional disciplines: Drama Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Therapeutic Performing Arts, Theatre for Change, Sociodrama and Psychodrama. 


Students experience fearlessly progressive education in intimate, experiential programs that are grounded in theory and application, and influenced by historical movements of contemporary practice. Under the guidance of globally influential and award-winning faculty, students prepare themselves as leaders in their career, effecting purposeful and inspiring revolutions in the community.


For more information on the Center for Creative Arts Therapy training programs throughout Chicago and the DuPage County area, call us at (847) 477-8244, email us, or visit us at 2600 Warrenville Rd., Suite 205, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

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