Drama Therapy is “an active, experiential approach to facilitating change. Through storytelling, projective play, purposeful improvisation, and performance, participants are invited to rehearse desired behaviors, practice being in relationship, expand and find flexibility between life roles, and perform the change they wish to be and see in the world.” (from the North American Drama Therapy Association website)
I am a “trauma-focused” creative arts therapist and I practice a non-directive approach. I offer an expressive arts approach to both individuals and group. Some of my group work is housed in existing organizations (shelters, drug rehab programs, jails, foster care homes, hospice organizations, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, etc) where licensed counselors are working. Other groups are focused on particular social needs and are highlighted on this website.
Working as a drama therapist comes naturally to me with my experience directing, teaching and producing theatre for over 30 years. In fact, I would say my experience as a director/actor has been very important to my growth as an RDT. I understand the nature of group dynamics and have learned to be an empathic listener. I am usually successful in forging a positive therapeutic relationship with people, especially the adolescents with whom I work. I’ve been able to integrate art, writing and music into my drama therapy work.
One particular focus of my drama therapy is among marginalized and at-risk groups: youth in foster care and detention, the homeless, adults and adolescents in substance use treatment programs. I am oriented to drama therapy through a trauma lens. As I trained in drama therapy I also attended numerous trauma therapy trainings. My wife and I are foster parents and much of our training (which continues to this day) has been trauma-informed. I work under the code of ethics of the NADTA.
In addition to my membership in the NADTA, I am a member of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, the Greenville County Foster Parents’ Association and the Southeastern Theatre Conference.
If the expressive arts approach to therapy is appealing to you, please reach out to me. I look forward to talking with you about how the arts can be useful to you.
Dale Savidge, PhD, RDT
Registered Drama Therapist
Applied Theatre Center