Hello Drama Therapy Community!!
Your Social Media Committee here to let you know more information about the amazing workshops you can attend during the #NADTA2016 Conference! Today we introduce to you, Gary Raucher, MA, LMFT, RDT/BCT, F. Antonio Ramirez Hernandez, PsyD and Denise Boston, PhD, RDT and their workshop: Dueling Masks: Playing with Discomfort at the Intersections of Privilege & Oppression which will be taking place on Sunday October 30th at 9:00am. Enjoy!
- What is your presentation/performance/workshop about? What are you hoping the community/attendees will learn from it?
Our “Dueling Masks” workshop aims to engage participants in playful ways – improvisation, role-play, sculpting, and mask work – to explore Dr. Ken Hardy’s ideas on engaging diversely composed groups in productive conversations about difference, privilege/oppression, and social justice. As we know, these can be thorny topics. We believe participants will benefit through personal learning about engaging in such conversations, while also acquiring practical skills to bring to these kinds of exchanges in their work and social settings.
Dr. Hardy’s work illuminates several factors that can promote or impede healthy, progressive conversations about diversity in groups. As presenters, we have developed experiential processes to advance participants’ understanding of three central Hardy tenets:
- Engaging in meaningful discussions on identity and difference requires that all participants recognize the need for safety, while further recognizing the difference between safety and comfort! We need to recognize our habituated comfort zones and be willing to forgo them to engage meaningfully. We need to understand and operationalize the difference!
- We need to recognize, explore, and take ownership of the privileged and subjugated “roles” in our own intersectional identities. Further, we need to understand how (and when) we reflexively play out our subjugated roles to defend privileged positions when they feel threatened. Our ‘good intentions’ do not neutralize a hurtful impact.
- We need to commit to improved relationships across difference through dynamic ongoing and engaged interaction, and we must distinguish this from the stagnation resulting from mere tolerance.
- What is one thing you want participants to start thinking about in regards to your presentation/performance/workshop?
The polarization between groups in our current national and international body politic underlines how vital it is to humanize and bring compassion to work on diversity and inclusion. As we know, drama (and other arts) offer distanced, creative, and pro-social means to promote dynamism and fullness in interpersonal exchanges. As drama therapists, we have many skills we can use to support dialog between people across diverse backgrounds, identifications, and affiliations – if we have the heart to do so, and are working on our own healing in this area.
- Why do you think creativity is important in the healing of trauma and the processing of emotions?
Creativity puts each of us in touch with the fact that we are more than our challenges, traumas, or wounds. When we are emotionally identified with our hurts, we lose perspective on how much more there is to us, beyond trauma or wounding. Creativity is one way to engage a vital aspect of our humanity that transcends any hurts we may experience. I think of creativity as an attribute of the spiritual core within everyone, which they can learn to tap into. When we reconnect with our capacity to create, we are lifted out of the absorption in pain we may have fallen into. Not to make this sound easy, but this is a vital first step on the road to recovery and attaining a health-restoring perspective.
- How would you describe what Dramatic Play is?
Suzana Pendzik’s concept of Dramatic Reality is helpful here. It describes what theatre artists have known for eons. Dramatic play enables us to fuse our imagination and inner narratives with embodied enactments in physical reality. We occupy a state of dual consciousness, a liminal condition that enables us to juxtapose the inner and outer realms, learning how we inhabit both, and how we relate each to the other. We learn how our inner processes of thought, affect, and projection shape our relationship to the outer world, and conversely, how playfully experimenting with outward expression reshapes the inward understanding of ourselves and the world. Dramatic play is a tool for transformation. Application of this principle to social justice work is an emergent development starting to come into its own, and we want this workshop to be part of that.
- You will also be an attendee at the conference, what are you hoping to gain during those three days?
A drama therapy conference is a meeting of hearts and minds, an opportunity to learn and expand. As a conclave of creative beings who are also committed to healing, these gatherings provide an intensive environment for exposing ourselves to new inspirations, insights, and approaches to our work. The intensity is stimulating and can feel overwhelming at times! But, we develop skills to pace ourselves and assimilate the treasures.
About the Presenters
Gary Raucher, MA, LMFT, RDT/BCT, (Registered Drama Therapist/ Board Certified Trainer of drama therapists) is Professor of Drama Therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and serves on its Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He is a licensed MFT and Drama Therapist with broad clinical experience in community agencies, hospitals, and in private practice. His community work has included introducing drama therapy as a modality for HIV support-groups in the 1990s, and he has also worked in behavioral research aimed at reducing transmission of HIV-AIDS. Keenly interested in transpersonal and somatic psychology, Gary has presented at conferences internationally on the combined use of meditation and embodied action techniques as a form of integral practice. He is a past Vice-President of the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) and received its 2015 Annual Service Award.
Denise Boston, PhD, RDT, is Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Professor in the MA Expressive Arts Therapy Program at California Institute of Integral Studies. Her programmatic and research interests are in the areas of community-based initiatives and expressive arts intervention. As an Expressive Arts and Drama Therapy consultant/trainer, Denise has implemented multimodal arts programs with diverse populations, particularly African American children, adolescents and families. Over the past 25 years she has devoted her teaching and research to the increased understanding of urban trauma and expressive arts therapeutic approaches to address mental health care disparities of people of African descent. Denise earned a B.F.A in Drama from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts, an M.A. in Psychology and Counseling from Goddard College, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Walden University.
Antonio Ramirez Hernandez, PsyD, has a half-time faculty position in the Drama Therapy program at California Institute of Integral Studies. He has presented at the North American Association of Drama Therapy exploring gender and spirituality though drama therapy. His teaching interests include cross-cultural counseling, transpersonal psychotherapy and clinical training and supervision. He is also in private practice. He is nationally and internationally recognized for creating Centro de Capacitación para Erradicar la Violencia Intrafamiliar Masculina (CECEVIM), a methodology for working with Latino men who abuse their partners. Antonio is the author of the book Violencia Masculina en el Hogar (Masculine Violence in the Home)(Editorial Pax, Mexico, 2000) and the chapter “CECEVIM—Stopping Male Violence in the Latino Home” for the book Programs for Men Who Batter(Civic Research Institute, 2002). He is also researching how shamanic practices can be used in psychotherapy.
Your Social Media Committee