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Drama As Therapy: A celebration of Professor Phil Jones and his work (ONLINE)

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London is holding a 90-minute online seminar to celebrate Drama As Therapy (Jones 1996, 2007) receiving over a thousand citations for its two editions. Prof Jones is well known among drama therapists for his nine core processes. Colleague Dr Alyson Coleman has worked with Prof Jones to prepare this celebration, focusing on the ways his core processes have been developed and changed to offer insights into innovation and research. The majority of the seminar will include short extracts of international interviews with people whose work has been published, including from Australia.


Oct 2024, more information coming soon

Discover Hidden Insights: Role-Reversal and Art Making


Learn how a dramatic role-reversal with an artwork can reveal insights in this live 90-minute webinar.

Learning Outcomes: 

  1. Identify the dynamics of role-reversal

  2. Become aware of possibilities for discovering insights in artwork

  3. Identify strengths for dealing with role-reversal

  4. Reflect on connections with participants' own lives

  5. Consider applications for counseling practice

Nov 21, 2024

7-8.30pm AEDT

Cost $70

Book here

Explorations and Transitions: Dramatherapy in Australia


This online symposium is a celebration of International Dramatherapy Week. We invite you to join us as we come together to raise the visibility of Dramatherapy through the exploration of our practice in Australia.

The day will begin with context setting, past, present and future: posing critical questions for our profession locally and globally.  This will be followed by a number of presentations (theoretical and experiential) as we explore how dramatherapists are practicing across a range of settings through clinical and community interventions. The day will not only be an opportunity to connect and interact, but also a chance to experience dramatherapy processes with the space to reflect. If you are an ANZACATA member, you will be credited with CPD attendance for the day.

Panel Q & A featuring Registered Australian Dramatherapists
Dr. Kirsten Meyer, Dr. Maya Ercole, Natalie Mackenzie, Dr. Russya Connor and Ruby Vadiveloo


Presentation 1 - Dr. Joanna Jaaniste
Dramatherapy with elders: Early life trauma considered


Presentation 2 - Dannielle Jackson
ngini mana mapali

Old stories that cast long shadows


Presentation 3 - Ann Gollan and team
Blood Makes Noise: Co-creating therapeutic theatre with adolescents


Presentation 4- Dr. Amanda Musicka- Williams and Vikki Watts

Dramatherapy for real life: working with disability, diversity and NDIS goals


Who is it for?

Creative arts therapists, allied health workers, those working in community, care and or educational settings, as well as those hoping to learn more about the dramatherapy profession in the Australian context.

Sunday 22 October 9:30am -3:30pm

Cost: professional: $25 | students: $10

View Symposium Program

Sydney Centre for Creative Change - Dramatherapy for People with Dementia


Presenter: Dr Joanna Jaaniste. People with dementia enjoy stories and love to play and perform in ways their families and carers never thought possible. Because they are often disinhibited, (a term sometimes used negatively in the medical model), they are adventurous and playful. Far from infantilising these imaginative people, creative arts therapies encourage them to be in the here-and-now, celebrating themselves and their lives, assisting them to grieve their losses and expressing their feelings. In this 90-minute webinar you will learn how movement and gesture can supplant forgotten words. We will consider initial warmups that can be used with people with dementia and how reflection can bring safety to the process.

Oct 25 2022

7pm Australian EST


More information.

Book Launch: 
Dramatherapy with Elders and People with Dementia:
Enabling Developmental Wellbeing


This book illuminates how targeted sessions of dramatherapy can improve the quality of life of elderly people with dementia.

Thursday 13th October

8.00 pm, Australian EST

Online via Zoom

Free event

International Dramatherapy Week

This is the first year when the World Alliance of  Dramatherapy will host a series of presentations and videos. We are excited to share the lineup of presentations for the week. Here is the link to the schedule.

Oct 17 – 23, 2021



Webinar: Dramatherapy for People with Dementia 


Gain a practical and playful insight into ways to help people with dementia.

People with dementia enjoy stories and love to play and perform in ways their families and carers never thought possible. Because they are often disinhibited, (a term that can be used negatively in the medical model), they are adventurous and playful. Far from infantilising these imaginative people, creative arts therapies encourage them to be in the here and now, to celebrate themselves and their lives, assisting them to grieve their losses and to express their feelings. In this webinar you will learn how movement and gesture can supplant forgotten words. We will consider initial warmups that can be used with people with dementia and how reflection can bring safety to the process.

Presenter - Dr Joanna Jaaniste

Wed 25th August 2021 or Wed 1st December 2021

Duration: 90 minutes
Time: 7pm - 8.30pm AEDT 

Cost AUD$40
Webinar: Drama in Acute Psychiatry

Learn about basic drama therapy terms and conditions. Identify key concepts within role theory, developmental transformations (DvT), and the integrative five-phase models of drama therapy. Learn about how to become a registered drama therapist (RDT).

Mar 9, 2021 830 am  to 9:30 am AEDT 

Webinar: Letting go of the 2020 to new horizons

The first of these will be an international webinar, organized by Ruth Schechner and her team in Argentina. Dramatherapists ritualise the beginnings and endings into their work that often get left unaddressed in our societies. In this session, participants will farewell, mourn and celebrate the year that has gone by with gifts of grace and gratitude. We will explore our hopes and dreams for 2021, sharing them with celebratory ritual. 

December 17, 2020 from 4 pm to 5.30 pm - Buenos Aires, Argentina (GMT-3)

December 18, 2020 from 6 am to 7.30 am -  Sydney NSW (GMT+11)

You can convert the time zone to your city here:

Webinar: More together than alone

While many of us are being forced to shelter in place, perhaps what is being asked of us, is to grow in place; to nurture our common roots by which we all branch out and touch the world. From this corner of isolation, will fear force us to turn against one another or will faith encourage us to turn toward each other? 

Join the dramaterapia online meeting with Michael Molin Skelton who is a teacher and soul motion dancer. 

November  19, 2020 from 4 pm - Buenos Aires, Argentina (GMT-3)

November 20, 2020 from 6 am -  Sydney NSW (GMT+11)

You can convert the time zone to your city here:

Webinar: Harnessing the Power of Transformational Stories

Take a journey with me through stories and Narradrama and make new discoveries, experience surprise, resilience and hope.

November  12, 2020 from 4 pm - Buenos Aires, Argentina (GMT-3)

November 13, 2020 from 6 am -  Sydney NSW (GMT+11)

You can convert the time zone to your city here:

International Dramatherapy Week

This is a self-organizing week where drama therapy colleagues are invited to share insights into their work through lectures, performances, and workshops over social media using the hashtag #dtweek2020. The hashtag will make it possible for anyone to find events on various social media platforms.

Oct 18, 7:00 AM – Oct 25, 11:00 PM


Drama Therapists @ Home

The Theatre & Health lab in the NYU Steinhardt Program in Drama Therapy is proud to host Drama Therapists @ Home, a site-specific community therapeutic theatre festival online in response to the worldwide call to stay home. Join over 45 drama therapists, care providers, students, friends, and family from around the world sharing meditations on being during this time.

May 1&2, 8-10pm / May 3, 1-3pm (US-EST). Please submit this audience RSVP form by April 30th, 2020. click here.

International Dramatherapy Week

Vanquishing Demons, 21 Oct 10am - 4pm, Melbourne For more information click here.

Bachelor of Arts Therapy

IKON now has a Bachelor of Arts Therapy. Open Day: 16 November 2019.

For more information click here.

World Alliance of Dramatherapy 

World Alliance of Dramatherapy (WAD )had its seventh meeting in June with ever-increasing membership. If you go to you will see ANZACATA there, as well as our collaborating members. Pedro Torres is there from Chile, Sol Guerrero from Argentina, Majid Amraei from Iran, just to name a few, as well those from English speaking countries more familiar to Australasian dramatherapists, such as Nisha Sajnani from New York and Ditty Dokter from the UK. It is extraordinary to see how dramatherapy is burgeoning in more and more countries.


An international conference in Sri Lanka for 2021was being planned, until the terrible terrorist attack at Easter. Ravindra Ranasinha now tells us that life is now not as safe and people are anxious to move around in certain areas. We are now considering a conference for 2022, perhaps in Europe. Meanwhile, Stelios Krasanakis from Greece will talk to the European Federation of Dramatherapy about a special day or half day for WAD at the Prague 2020 Conference in May.


World Dramatherapy Week, where dramatherapy events can be planned and shared on the WAD website, will be 21 to 27 October. Please do something special in that week, take some photos and send to us.

Melbourne Art Therapy Studio


Dr Kirsten Meyer explores findings from doctoral research examining an experiential workshop program using arts-focused methods to understand how participants experience core dramatherapy processes.

When: 20 August, 6:30–8:30pm 
Where: Kathleen Syme Centre, 251 Faraday Street, Carlton  

Adrian Łania


It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to announce to you all that our beloved colleague, teacher and friend Adrian Lania has died after a long struggle with emotional and psychological health.

In this link are some words that Joanna Jaaniste has received from colleagues, students and friends from around the globe.

We also have much gratitude to Adrian for his work as treasurer of Dramatherapy Australia (NECTA).

Adrian will be sorely missed.


Understanding Dramatherapy, Auckland NZ

The utilisation of the arts, particularly drama/theatre, as an alternative or in addition to talk therapy for symptom relief has long been established as a credible set of modalities. Those who can access them (particularly youth) find relief from mental health issues. A new culturally relevant, mixed- methods pilot intervention and research protocol within Dramatherapy will be outlined and demonstrated.



New Dramatherapy Graduate Diploma at IKON, Brisbane


Adrian Lania and Joanna spent a year writing a curriculum at graduate diploma level for IKON Brisbane, a private college with branches in three state capitals in Australia. It was envisaged that the course would begin in 2016; however, there were too few enrolees for a viable course. The course started in December 2016, as the Federal Government had discontinued funding for arts therapy at the college, despite IKON having a record of 80% employment after graduation! This timely start has meant that the students receive VET-fee funding until the end of 2017.


We were supported in writing the course by Professor Phil Jones and Dr Sue Jennings and others, which has been an enormous help, especially in clarifying our vision and the associated content. We have ended up with a course which Phil has told us is the most comprehensive he has seen. This is partly because we have not favoured one particular psychotherapeutic modality in creating it, apart from the essential developmental area. Rather than having a Jungian, Object Relations or Narrative bias, we have tried to present the students with this eclectic discipline in its rich range of aspects.


We now have ten committed and hardworking students in the course, who are extremely well-qualified already in the fields of drama and psychotherapy. They have a range of counselling and drama qualifications, and this makes for a lively and interesting group to teach and learn from at the college in Brisbane and on internet for tutorials.

Our next challenge is to find a way to bring the students to Masters level after graduation, which we hope to do with the help of our Western Sydney and ANZATA colleagues.



Graduate Diploma of Dramatherapy


Are you looking to gain higher level skills to advance your career?

Gain new specialised skills in Dramatherapy and help others build strength & capacity to make changes in their life.


Dramatherapy is an active, experiential approach to facilitating psychological, emotional and social change and makes use of role play, voice work, myth, ritual and storytelling to provide the context for participants to tell their stories, set goals, solve problems or express feelings.

It can help increase clients’ self awareness and offer a creative way for an individual or group to explore and solve personal and social problems.




The Byron Bay workshop on Dementia and Dramatherapy was a great success, and Catie Saleh and Joanna had sixteen people involved – art therapists and people who work with those in residential care. The participants actually asked us to come back later in the year, so there will be a second workshop in August, where we will concentrate more on combining Dramatherapy with some of the functional aspects of dementia. And Adrian and Joanna have a brilliant group of eight highly qualified participants in the 2014 Introduction to Dramatherapy course! We are learning a lot from them, and they are contributing so much to their own learning. On Saturday we introduced Embodiment work, and symbolic Projection, and on Sunday we worked with Metaphor and Three styles of Improvisation. We look forward to the second weekend in May.

Dramatherapy Workshop 2014,  Byron Bay (2 days) with Joanna Jaaniste and Catie Saleh


A fabulous opportunity to spend two days immersed in the wonderful world of Dramatherapy! A training workshop in this evidence-based and extremely effective way of working creatively with clients will be offered by one of Australia’s leading experts in the field of using dramatherapy with clients living with dementia. Click here to see the workshop pictures


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