Drama Therapist

In the jobs and career industries, drama therapy is a field that few consider or even know about, but a great career to enter due to the growing need for traditional therapy combined with drama.  As more and more children are diagnosed with autism and abuse of children and adults continues to rise, the need for those skilled as drama therapists increases.  While economic conditions over the past several years have led to job shortages, this is a field in need of capable individuals.  If you are interested in learning more about this career that allows you to help others, read on.

Skills, responsibilities, industries, future sustainability and other factors relevant to drama therapy

What skills and/or qualifications are necessary for you to become a drama therapist?  In most cases, you will need post graduate qualification in drama therapy.  Those who are capable of planning and organizing their own workload, who are creative and have a flexible schedule and are able to communicate clearly through written work and verbally are good candidates for this position.  Past history of working with children and families in often complex situations is also a plus.

As far as job responsibilities go, a drama therapist may be appointed a number of job tasks which range from planning and directing recreation programs for patients in institutions or hospitals to taking part in department reviews, audits and research.  The true purpose of a drama therapist is to help others deal with anxiety, grief or personal growth in a safe environment where those individuals can on their own or in a group setting explore and learn to deal with their personal and social difficulties.

Other responsibilities may include reporting on children who have been assessed and are in treatment, ensuring appropriate liaisons with other professionals, care givers, parents, agencies and external networks, and providing treatment services for children.

Particular areas of study which are helpful to those who are considering drama therapy include recreational therapy or therapeutic recreation.  The career of a drama therapist falls under the broader career category of recreational therapists.  Because drama therapy actually uses drama/theater processes for therapeutic purposes including relief from symptoms, personal growth and emotional/physical integration, many course studies are beneficial including developmental psychology, improvisation, group process and theories of personality.

Given the nature of the work, a drama therapist can usually find work in a variety of industries including medical/hospital environments, mental health care, education theatre and community clinics.  Many choose to begin their own private practices as well.

What is the future outlook in regards to employment for those who choose drama therapy as a career?  There are great opportunities in the career field across several of the above mentioned industries.  With the average growth rate for all occupations between the years of 2010 and 2020 being about 14%, a career as a drama therapist is a wise choice.  This job field is expected to grow by about 17% during the same time period.

Experienced individuals who have worked in related fields or even as a drama therapist in the past are good candidates for employment in the field, as working closely with children and adults who are emotionally or psychologically damaged requires a certain type of individual.  However, those new to the job marketplace and who have the right skills and training are desirable as well.