Research, the Crazy Things That The Scientists Are Finding Out About The Brain,
Dramatherapy is sometimes science and we have to prove it,
and REFERENCES that support our dramatherapeutic way of doing the work of healing!


There was a debate on the N.A.D.T.’s listserve about the reason, need, danger of assessment of dramatherapy . It ranged across the board from “dramatherapy is at its best when it is a mystery of almost spiritual dimensions” to “if we can’t measure it ,then we may be deluding ourselves!” Unfortunately, the global followers of fashion are hooked on “what works”, “evidence based principles of treatment”, “spending limited resources on what is in the literature”. This affects our livelihoods, as well as the currency of our standing with other professionals.

There are a number of people who have been looking at this nut - Phil Jones in Drama as Therapy, Robert Landy in his most recent assessment tools, David Read Johnson has been onto this and Kim Dent-Brown who has a whole site devoted to all of this. And we have stats coming out this year ( a year late) about the linkeage between left hemisphere deficits and drama therapy in the treatment of civilly committed sexual offenders.

There is, we think, a huge amount of material proof of the efficacy of dramatherapy’s effectiveness but it is lost in a hundred journals and fields—in theatre, social work, psychology, education, movement, physiology, linguistics, drama in education, in proofs of the efficacy of theatre in AIDS education, in new material that Kim Dent-Brown has found on creativity, in the therapeutic spiral work and much, much more.

In no order, and sure that most of you will know some of this material, we will sporadically add and subtract references. As we organize this page more, we hope that you will get in touch with us and let us know what you have found. We are hot on this issue and we will bring new material, and ideas as we get told them and stumble across them.

Whether for the sheer excitement of finding out what works with who, what got forgotten, what paradigm is hiding under the actions, or just to keep the work rolling in despite the fear of our work that some professionals in mental health have - here t’is.



Badger,G., Clark,L.,(2000) Augmenting Cognitive Behavioural Techniques with Satir Action Modelling and Psychodrama in Group Treatment of Adolescent Sex Offenders: An Integrated Experimental Model. Poster Session for Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers 19th Annual Research and Treatment Conference, November 1st to 4th, 2000—San Diego, California.


Bannister, A. (1991). Learning to Live Again: Psychodramatic Techniques with Sexually Abused Young People. Holmes and M. Karp (Eds.), Psychodrama: Inspiration and Technique (pp. 77–93). London: Routledge.

Bannister, A. (1997). The healing drama: Psychodrama and dramatherapy with abused children. London: Free Association Books.

Bergman , J. , Hewish , S., Challenging Experience , Woods ‘n’ Barnes, Oklahoma. 2003

Black ,B ., Weisz ,A ., Coats ,S ., Patterson ,D., (2000) Evaluating a psychoeducational sexual assault prevention program incorporating theatrical presentation, peer education, and social work. Research on Social Work Practice 2000 Sep; Vol 10(5): 589-606.
Sage Publications.


Burton,D.L.,Smith-Darden,J.P., (2000) North American Survey of Sexual Abuser Treatment and Models Summary Data 2000. Brandon,VT:Safer Society Press Inc.

Cattanach , A (1992) Play Therapy With Abused Children . London , Jessica Kingsley


Carpenter, P., & Sandburg, S. (1973). The Things Inside: Psychodrama with Delinquent Adolescents. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practise 10, pp. 245-247.

Elliott ,R., Leslie S. Greenberg ,L .S., Lietaer , (2001) Research on Experiential Psychotherapies G., M. Lambert, A. Bergin, & S Garfield (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (5th ed.), New York: Wiley.

Gendlin, E.T. (1962). Experiencing and the creation of meaning: A philosophical and psychological approach to the subjective. New York: Free Press of Glenroe

Gendlin, E.T. (1981) Focusing New York: Bantam Books, Inc
Harvey , S. (1995) Sandra: The Case of an Adopted Sexually Abused Child. Dance and Other Expressive Art Therapies. pp167-180. Ed. Levy .Froutledge,1995.

Klontz, B., Wolf, E., Bivens, A., (2000) The effectiveness of a multimodal brief group experiential psychotherapy approach.
International Journal of Action Methods ,2000-2001 Fall-Winter; Vol. 53(3-4): 119-135.

Lambie, I., Robson, M. Simmonds, L. (1997). Embedding Psychodrama in a Wilderness Group Program for Adolescent Sex Offenders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. Pp. 89-107

Landy, R., Luck, B., Conner, E., & McMullian, S. (2003). Drama profiles:
A drama therapy assessment instrument. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 30 (3),
151-161.

Reiss, D., Quayle, M., Brett, T., & Meux, C. (1998). Dramatherapy for mentally disordered offenders: changes in levels of anger. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 8, 139-153.

Goldman ,R.,( 1998) Change in thematic depth of experiencing and outcome in experiential psychotherapy.1998 Dissertation- 1998 Apr; Vol 58(10-B): 5643.

Sasson, F. (1990). Psychodrama with adolescents: Management techniques that work. Journal of Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Sociometry. pp. 43, 121-127.

Stallone, T.M. (1993). The effects of psychodrama on inmates within a structured residential behavior modification program. In Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama & Sociometry. Vol 46(1), Spr 1993, 24-31.

van der Kolk, B.A. (1996b). The body keeps score: Approaches to the psychobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder. In B.A. van der Kolk, A.C. McFarlane, & L. Weisaeth (Eds.), Traumatic stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. (pp. 214-241) New York: Guilford Press.

Valente, T.W. and Bharath, U. (1999) An evaluation of the use of drama to communicate HIV/AIDS information. AIDS Education and Prevention 11, 203-211. Ref ID 8528

AND a few references from the dance/movement/music world on Touch!

Adolescence. 1999 Winter;34(136):753-8. PMID: 10730699; UI: 20192942
American adolescents touch each other less and are
more aggressive toward their peers as compared with
French adolescents.)

Adolescence 1999 Fall;34(135):529-34 Jones NA, Field T
Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter 33458, USA.
Massage and music therapies attenuate frontal EEG
asymmetry in depressed adolescents.

EEG asymmetry, specifically greater relative right frontal activation, is associated with negative affect. Depressed adults show stable patterns of this asymmetry. The present study assessed the effects of massage therapy and music therapy on frontal EEG asymmetry in depressed adolescents. Thirty adolescents with greater relative right frontal EEG activation and symptoms of depression were given either massage therapy (n = 14) or music therapy (n = 16). EEG was recorded for three-minute periods before, during, and after therapy. Frontal EEG asymmetry was significantly attenuated during and after the massage and music sessions.

Willis C." (1987) Legal and ethical issues of touch in
dance/movement therapy" in the AJDT no. 10, 1987.

Caldwell C. wrote "The ethics of touch" (1994) Rocky Mountain ADTA Chapter Newsletter . Winter and Spring published in two parts .


Proof Still To Be Elaborated from the Body/Mind work of neuropsych:


Fosha, Diana. (2000). The Transforming Power of Affect. Basic Books, New York: NY.

Greenberg, Leslie S. (2002). Emotion- Focused Therapy. American Psychological Association, Washington: DC.

Pert, Candace. (2000). Your Body is your Subconscious Mind. Sounds True, Boulder: Colorado. (A cassette book)

Rothchild , Babette . (2000). The Body Remembers- The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment. W. W. Norton and Company, New York: NY.

Schore, Allan. (1994). Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, New Jersey.

Siegel, Daniel. (1999). The Developing Mind. The Guilford Press, New York: NY.


For more info on the cutting edge of Theatre and Drama Therapy,
contact Artistic Director
John Bergman at: Macflap@aol.com or macflap@optusnet.com.au




February 2004