Living Arts is proud to offer a lineup of innovative and transformative workshops, groups & trainings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently providing all offerings online until further notice. Register now to expand your drama therapy and expressive arts therapy skills! Continuing Education credits for health professionals are available on select offerings.

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Theatre as a Therapeutic Act: Transform Your Life through Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance

The Living Arts Drama Therapy Institute presents
Theatre as a Therapeutic Act

Transform Your Life Through
Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance

A 12-week Group & Individual
Drama Therapy Process – Live Online

  • Uncover your life script–the unconscious patterns that shape your personal narrative in both positive and negative ways
  • Explore and embody new life-affirming narratives
  • Create a solo theatre piece as a therapeutic act in an 12-week “rite of passage” process
  • Perform your story to an invited group of reparative and trustworthy witnesses

Group Facilitated by:
Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT

Individual Performances Directed by:

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT
Rose Cha, LCSW, PRDT

12 Group Sessions
September 21 – December 7, 2021 
Tuesdays, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (PST) 

Culminating Performances: December 1 to 5, 2021
Final Integrative Session: December 7, 2021

Group Fee: $900
(12-Week Group Therapy Process, $75 per session)

Additional expenses will include:

  • 10 individual drama therapy sessions with your drama therapist/director, $150 per 1.5 hour session
  • Sessions to be scheduled with your drama therapist/director
  • You will be matched to your director after the initial group session


Group will be taught live online via Zoom
Link sent with registration

For more information contact:

Armand Volkas
(510) 595-5500, Ext 11

Rose Cha
(415) 967-2382

What does the Autobiographical
Therapeutic Performance involve?

  • Twelve 3-hour drama therapy group sessions
  • A small cohort of supportive witnesses accompanying you on your creative and therapeutic journey
  • Ten 90-minute individual sessions with your drama therapist/director, to be arranged based on your schedule
  • Technical and creative design support for your theatre piece

Want to lean more about the process?

Read Armand Volkas’s Chapter on Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance from the Self in Performance.

Workshop Description

Participants will explore formative moments in their lives and identify self-limiting beliefs transmitted by family, society and personal traumas. Group and individual therapy sessions will include an engagement with memories, images and emotions. Through the creation of your Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance (ATP) you will begin to embody new life-affirming narratives. The journey will culminate in a “rite of passage” performance presented to a group of your invited reparative and trustworthy witnesses.

What is Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance?

Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance is an innovative short-term therapy approach that supports participants in identifying and transforming self-defeating “life scripts” through drama therapy processes. Life scripts are unconscious patterns that organize and shape personal narratives and identities in both positive and negative ways. ATP incorporates acting, improvisation, drama therapy, psychodrama and Playback Theatre techniques. The theoretical underpinnings of ATP are informed by Transactional and Jungian Analysis as well as attachment theory. 

In the creation of your ATP you will:

  • Take courageous emotional risks in a safe and supportive environment
  • Embark on, what Joseph Campbell called, “The Hero’s Journey” moving through the phases of a transformative therapeutic process
  • Begin to embody a new life-affirming narrative

ATP is Performance as a Therapeutic Act!

Is the ATP process for me?

ATP is for anyone interested in exploring their life through theatre, metaphor, embodiment and myth — psychotherapists, creative arts therapists, social workers, wellness and life coaches, human service professionals, educators and teachers, community leaders, spiritual guidance counselors, group facilitators, actors, theatre workers and activists.

No prior theatre experience is necessary.
Shy people are welcome!
Use theatre to recreate your life as a living, breathing work of art!

About the Facilitators & Directors

Armand Volkas, MFA, MA, MFT, RDT/BCT is a psychotherapist, drama therapist and theatre director. He is a Registered Drama Therapist in and Marriage, Family Therapist in private practice and Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Emeryville, California. Armand is a Board Certified Trainer with The North American Drama Therapy Association.  

In addition, Armand is Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies and has been Adjunct Professor at John F. Kennedy University, the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and the Canadian School of Peacebuilding. He has developed innovative programs using drama therapy and expressive arts therapies for social change, intercultural conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

Armand Volkas directs Healing the Wounds of History, a therapeutic approach in which theatre techniques are used to work with groups of participants from two cultures with a common legacy of violent conflict and historical trauma. Healing the Wounds of History has received international recognition for its work in bringing groups in conflict together: Germans and Jews; Palestinians and Israelis; Japanese, Chinese and Koreans; Armenians and Turks; African-Americans and European-Americans, to name a few.
He is also Artistic Director of The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble. Playback Theatre transforms personal stories told by audience members into theatre pieces on the spot using movement, ritual, music and spoken improvisation. Sometimes a story becomes myth, sometimes a realistic enactment: some stories are tragic; others are funny or illuminating. The ensemble is in now in its 30th year of existence. At the heart of Armand’s work is a profound respect for the power of personal story to build bridges between people and cultures. 
In his approach to autobiographical therapeutic performance, Armand combines his extensive experience as a professional actor, director, teacher and playwright with his skills as a clinician.

Contact: (510) 595-5500 | Ext 11 |

Rose Cha, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Alternative Track Drama Therapy Trainee with ten years of experience providing trauma-informed experiential therapy. She has extensive training in gestalt, sandplay, psychodynamic, and cognitive behavioral therapy, self psychology, and neuropsychological and personality testing. She also received training and consultation in child-centered play therapy, EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing. Rose comes from a strong research background, co-authored a chapter publication on forgiveness and health, and worked on studies examining brain processing of social emotional stimuli, empathic accuracy, embodied emotion, attachment and delay of gratification. Rose is a life-long learner, currently studying psychodrama, Playback Theatre, Developmental Transformations, Rehearsals for Growth, Jungian oriented psychotherapy, and shame.

Rose prioritizes safety and holding. She believes people are the experts of their own experiences, for which she has genuine curiosity. Clients describe her as naturally empathic, warm, non-judgmental, and intuitive. Friends and colleagues describe her as having authenticity, generosity, passion, and integrity. She sees the drama therapist’s role as a fellow human and guide who assists the client in their journey to the underworld to encounter their inner demons and return home transformed. Her understanding is informed by her personal experience as a client, insights from her experience as a writer and performer, and Jungian concepts such as archetype, personal and collective unconscious, persona and shadow, and synchronicity. Rose frequently uses improv and chair work in sessions. Her approach has been described as loving and firm: you will feel cared for, and she will keep you on track towards your goal.

Rose earned a masters degree in clinical social work from NYU, and a BA in English from Vassar College. At Vassar, she fell in love with Shakespeare, and acted in a women’s ensemble group that performed original pieces written by its members, working alongside peers who were also professional stage and Hollywood actors. Rose lived in NYC for 20 years, where she absorbed hundreds of plays and performances, from fringe theater, to Broadway, to Barrow Street. More recently, she began training at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, studying physical theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed, and at HB Studio in NYC, studying Uta Hagen’s Acting Technique, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Knight Thompson Speechwork, Alexander Technique, and Michael Chekhov’s “psycho-physical” approach to acting. Improv is Rose’s passion and addiction. Thanks to the pandemic, she has been training in long-form and narrative improvisational acting daily from instructors and coaches all over the world, and performing with international ensembles weekly. As a result, she has global exposure to the art of spontaneous theatre, ranging broadly in influence from Viola Spolin to Del Close to Jacques Lecoq, as well as significant up-to-date experience and technical know-how in acting with the camera, specifically over Zoom.

Contact: (415) 967-2382 |


September 21 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

| $900


September 21
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: