I AM MORE THAN MY SUFFERING: trauma & role in drama therapy

Profound work

Drama therapists are guided by the concept of role. If story is the body, role represents the internal organs, the pumping heart of the work.

Our work at Creative Alternatives of New York (CANY) focuses on the implementation of a trauma-informed model of drama therapy. Facilitating weekly groups in a variety of treatment settings, CANY group leaders spend a good deal of time exploring the ways in which trauma is performed through role.

  • What roles are available and/or unavailable to trauma-affected individuals and communities?
  • How might the drama therapist facilitate a transformation of traumatic experience through addressing role in therapeutic play?
  • What might lie beyond the role of survivor? Can our clients transcend their suffering through an exploration of alternative roles?

Twenty years ago, Dr. Robert Landy (1993), director of the NYU Drama Therapy Program, published a taxonomy of roles that consisted of 84 role types derived from…

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