2nd Edition

Acting For Real
Drama Therapy Process, Technique, and Performance

ISBN 9781138849655
Published September 30, 2019 by Routledge
382 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

This second edition takes the reader further into the heart of using drama for healing. Dr. Emunah offers an expanded understanding of her Integrative Five Phase model, a foundational approach that embraces the wide spectrum of possibilities within the playing field of drama therapy. Grounded by compassionate clinical examples, including ones that reach over time into deep-seated issues, the book offers tools for action-oriented treatment, embodied therapeutic interventions, and creatively engaging a wide variety of clients.

This comprehensive text also contains over 120 techniques, categorized by phases in the session and treatment series, and subcategorized by therapeutic objective. Process-oriented drama therapy with group and individuals, as well as performance-oriented forms, are described in vivid detail. New to the second edition is an exploration of drama therapy outside of the clinical arena, including dramatic methods in family life and parenting, and drama therapy geared toward social change.



Table of Contents

Praise for the First Edition  Acknowledgements  Prologue  Introduction  Part I: Process  1. Stages  2. Sources  3. Stories  4. Sessions  5. Scenes  Part II: Techniques  6. Beginning of the Session and Series  7. Mid-Session and Mid-Series  8. Closure of the Session and Series  Part III: Performance  9. Self-Revelatory Performance  10. Therapeutic Theatre Performance  11. The Post-Performance Process  Part IV: Life  12. Toward Well-Being in the Home  13. Toward Well-Being in the World  Epilogue  References  Index

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Renée Emunah, PhD, RDT, BCT is a pioneer and international leader in the field of drama therapy. She is the founder/director of the graduate Drama Therapy Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies; co-editor of the books Current Approaches in Drama Therapy and The Self in Performance; and recipient of the NADTA Distinguished Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Drama Therapy.


This second edition of Acting for Real is a luminescent polishing of one of the field’s core texts. Dr. Emunah’s many decades of experience as clinician and teacher lend substance, intelligence, and humility. Developmentally sequenced organization of methods are conceptualized within a humane, rational, and culturally competent framework. It’s rare that a second edition is so much more valuable than the first, but such is the case here! This book will be a primary reference for drama therapists across the globe. 

David Read Johnson, PhD, RDT, BCT, co-director, New Haven Post-Traumatic Stress Center; associate clinical professor, department of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine

Acting for Real presents an all-encompassing arc of drama therapy, from a therapeutic art to an understanding of the neuroscience of changes in the brain from experience. With a heart-warming style of writing that draws the reader to want to go onto the next chapter, Dr. Emunah offers an excellent progressive structure for using drama therapy. The book will also bring you to tears as you read about the author’s work with people. A must-have book for anyone seeking to use experiential methods in therapy or for societal change.

Kate Hudgins, PhD, TEP, Author, Experiential Treatment for PTSD:  The Therapeutic Spiral, and Healing World Trauma with the Therapeutic Spiral Model

Drama therapy transcends ordinary psychotherapy! This book merits being used by all drama therapists, psychodramatists, and creative arts therapists. 

Adam Blatner, MD, child psychiatrist; author, Acting-In and Foundations of Psychodrama

Dr. Emunah’s clinical work inspires me to integrate drama into my own practice and teaching, for it clearly fosters vulnerability, authenticity, mindfulness, empathic connection, and the courage to change. This book also depicts the use of drama to foster well-being and inclusion outside of clinical arenas, including acting against injustice, thereby creating a healing force for community.

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, PhD, professor, Stanford University School of Medicine; author, Multicultural Encounters and From Mindfulness to Heartfulness.