Raising the Curtain on Drama Therapy: Healing Benefits for Youth and Older Adults


  • Vanessa Boila
  • Lanette Klettke
  • Stephanie Quong
  • Ciara Gerlitz




The vast majority of people around the world have been exposed to dramatic arts in some way, shape, or form, but only recently has drama therapy been accepted as a therapeutic treatment for individuals across the lifespan. This paper provides a general introduction to drama therapy and some of the techniques (e.g., role playing and storytelling) employed in its delivery and hands-on practice. In addition, the paper explores how drama therapy has been used to treat young people (approximately 10-17 years old) who have autism and/or social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties, and older adults (approximately 60-90 years old) who are experiencing normative or non-normative aging. The findings presented here suggest drama therapy may be an efficacious, healing treatment for a myriad of age groups. For instance, its positive effects on individuals with dementia have been observed, and an assortment of intra- and inter-personal improvements have been documented in youth. Considering drama therapy is still a growing field, less drama therapy research exists in comparison to its alternative treatments.




How to Cite

Boila, V., Klettke, L., Quong, S., & Gerlitz, C. (2020). Raising the Curtain on Drama Therapy: Healing Benefits for Youth and Older Adults. Behavioural Sciences Undergraduate Journal, 3(1), 45–50. https://doi.org/10.29173/bsuj494