Dramatic & Narrative Approaches to Trauma: Global Perspectives-Certificate Program - New York, USA

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This certificate program explores mental health and psychosocial responses to trauma and loss within various cultural contexts, examining individual and collective trauma through a trans-local and global lens.

Creative processes are placed front and center of the learning experience as participants explore the use of arts-based post traumatic interventions, focusing on trauma- informed drama therapy and the individual and collective narration of trauma.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of principles that underpin global psychosocial and mental health programming, including the use of arts-based and community interventions
  • Examine concepts of trauma and loss, identifying best practices for working with trauma-affected populations
  • Experience drama therapy as an action-oriented approach to facilitating change, acquiring therapeutic drama concepts and skills
  • Focus on care for caretakers, identifying caretaker responses to working with trauma, individual and group protective factors and the development of a resilient learning community.

The program draws on classical and recent readings from the field of traumatic stress studies, and features live presentations, global conferencing, case studies and consultations, and employs a model of experiential learning throughout. Community-based group work will allow participants to explore current issues and challenges facing trauma-affected populations, utilizing approaches based on drama therapeutic concepts and practice. Participants who are not currently working with a population will identify and engage a group to work with during the spring semester. Participants will have access to the ITSP audiovisual archive of workshops, performances and presentations.


A joint Certificate of Completion from the ITSP and CANY is awarded to participants who meet the course requirements.


Founded in 1997, the International Trauma Studies Program (ITSP) provides intensive training in trauma theory, prevention and response for professionals from such diversified fields as health and mental health, law, human rights, community activism, the arts, and media, seeking to create competency in the practice and implementation of trauma responses through practical skill building for everyday work and life.

For more information - http://www.itspnyc.org

Since 1983, Creative Alternatives of New York (CANY) has empowered people who have endured trauma to rebuild their lives. In addition to partnering with a broad range of leading New York social service agencies, providing trauma-informed drama therapy to children and adults, CANY facilitates training programs with mental health professionals, artists, and educators, in the NY metropolitan area and beyond. For more information - http://www.cany.org


Directorship: The certificate program in Dramatic & Narrative Approaches to Trauma: Global Perspectives is co-directed by: Jack Saul, PhD, Director, International Trauma Studies Program, Assistant Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Heidi Landis, RDT-BCT, LCAT, TEP, CGP, Program Director, Creative Alternatives of New York Core Faculty: Saliha Bava, PhD, Soeren Buus Jensen, MD, PhD, Peter Fraenkel, PhD, Heidi Landis, RDT-BCT, LCAT, TEP, CGP, Lucy McLellan, MA, RDT-BCT, LCAT, Esther Perel, MA, LMFT, Steven Reisner, PhD, Jack Saul, PhD, and Sonali Sharma, MS, MSc. Resource Faculty: John Burt, MA, Meredith Dean, MA, RDT, LCAT, Maria Sorbara Mora, MS, RD, PRYT, RYT, and Megan Rosen, MA.


The program consists of monthly symposia in which participants will discuss assigned readings, converse with leaders in the field, and develop therapeutic drama skills for clinical and community-based implementation. Symposiums are scheduled on a back-to-back Thursday (6:30-9:30pm) and Friday (9:00am-5:00pm) once a month from September 2013 - June 2014. In addition, ten monthly integrative salons provide participants opportunities to share their own work and participate in ongoing supervision of dramatic group work. Salons take place once a month, in between monthly symposia, on Thursday evenings (6:30-9:30pm). Full program schedule available on request.


Qualifications: Applicants with a graduate degree in mental health, health, and allied professions are encouraged to apply.

Applicants without a graduate degree but with experience in the trauma field will be considered for acceptance to the program.

Complete the Application Information Form:

• 500-word essay describing your interest in the program

• A recent curriculum vitae or resume

• Two letters of professional recommendation

• An application processing fee of $40 (US). Download Application: Click Here Following the submission of the application form, each candidate will be contacted for a personal interview before acceptance to the program. Enrollment is limited to 30 participants per year. Early application is encouraged. Deadline to apply is June 15, 2013. Tuition: $5,000 Upon acceptance, a $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a space in the 2013-2014 course. The remainder of the tuition is due August 15th. Please note that ITSP & CANY do not facilitate the travel or other arrangements of subsistence for any participants in the Training Course. All arrangements for travel, accommodations, and daily subsistence costs are the exclusive responsibility of the participants themselves.

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Contact phone: 
+1 (212) 222 1969