THE DRAMA THERAPY REVIEW PREMIERS THIS WEEK! Check out this interview with the editorial leadership!

The following interview was conducted with the editorial leadership of the Drama Therapy Review. The first issue which will be free open access debuts this week on 10/24/14.

  1. Can you tell me who has been working on Drama Therapy Review and what sort of process you have gone through to bring this into being?

Drama Therapy Review is an international, peer-reviewed journal published by Intellect in partnership with the North American Drama Therapy Association. The editorial leadership consists of Nisha Sajnani (Editor), Christine Mayor and Meredith Dean (Associate Editors), and Elizabeth McAdam (Reviews Editor). DTR has an active editorial and advisory board comprised of international leaders in the field.

The realization of this journal took many years, many people, and many conversations. I remember conversations with Stephen Snow in 2007 about the need for a journal in our field and remember Jason Butler presenting options for the creation of a journal when he was Communications Chair on the Board in 2008. Our Association did have a publication in Dramascope, a quarterly newsletter that was printed and mailed to members between 1981-2008. However, costs associated with this publication along with our increasing use of social media presented an opportunity to rethink the Association’s overall communication strategy.

In 2011, Christine Mayor and Meredith Dean who were, at the time, editors of Dramascope, renewed efforts to create a journal for the Association. We consulted with leaders in our field and the directors of drama therapy programs as well as Anna Seymour, editor of our sister journal, Dramatherapy: Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists. We surveyed the NADTA membership to assess their willingness to support a professional journal and they came back with a resounding “yes”! In addition, Christine and Meredith recruited Ligia Batista, Michelle Buckle, Jason Butler, ElyssaKilman, Lucy McLellan, Sarah Harkness, Colleen Gallagher, Tara Van Ness, Daniela Bustamante, Jason Frydman and Lizzie McAdam as a working committee to research the feasibility of developing our own publication. This initial research informed the Board’s decision to approve moving forward with the formal creation of the journal.

As the President of the NADTA Board at the time, I formed a relationship with Intellect, our publisher, to ensure that this journal had a solid, professional platform that we could be proud of. This involved completing a substantial journal proposal form which Intellect used to assess the viability of this journal. In December 2013, we entered into a contract with Intellect and the future of Drama Therapy Review was secured. I agreed to assume the role of editor-in-chief with Christine and Meredith as invaluable associate editors. Together with our editorial board and community of reviewers, we have spent the last year moving the idea of journal into a reality.

  1. Can you tell us why this journal is so important to our field and what impact you hope it will have?

As I wrote in the editorial for our first issue, Drama Therapy Review is a venue for an open conversation in the field. It is a journal for drama therapy which means that each article published in DTR must grapple with current theoretical frameworks and previously published research in the field. This deepens the dialogue we have with each other’s work and allows us to advance our understanding of why, how, when, where, and with whom drama therapy is useful.

The journal is also important because the editorial team acknowledges the varied ways in which drama therapists produce knowledge. This journal will provide a platform for quantitative, qualitative, and qualitative arts-based practitioner research as well as interviews and clinical commentaries. We are excited to have a forum where veteran authors and emerging writers can present new research. In fact, we have developed a mentorship program to encourage those who are newer to the publication process.

Perhaps most importantly, published peer-reviewed research about drama therapy increases our ability to advocate for the provision of drama therapy services in our communities, within our institutions, and with our government representatives. It also gives us the leverage we need when we join with the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations to lobby for the inclusion of arts therapy services for diverse groups in need of creative, effective care. DTR is a crucial expression of our Body of Knowledge.

  1. Can you tell us what you have planned for the conference as far as the unveiling of Drama Therapy Review?

The journal editorial team along with the research committee for the NADTA will be hosting the Body of Knowledge where we will unveil the print version of  Issue 1.1, get into conversations about collaborative research opportunities, and answer questions about the publication process.

If you’d like to sneak a peek at Issue 1.1, click here . This inaugural issue is open-access, which means it is available to the general public. We hope this will generate interest in the journal and in the field.

  1. Have any of you been to this location before and if so can you describe what you are most looking forward to?

Nisha: I haven’t been to Yosemite before. The pictures of the park are breathtaking and promise inspiration. I’m looking forward to enjoying the conference as a participant because I know, firsthand, that it takes an immense collaborative effort to make it a reality each year.

Christine: I also have never been to Yosemite, and actually have never been to any national parks in the US, due to me being born and raised in Bermuda. I am looking forward to being in the mountains, enjoying the community, and celebrating this historic moment of DTR 1.1.

Meredith: Yosemite has been on my list of places to go for a long time. Attending this conference not only means I can check this wish off my list, it also provides the opportunity to celebrate DTR’s inaugural issue – in itself a beautiful thing – in a beautiful place with our community.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to add?

The Call for Papers for upcoming issues are available online.  Issue 1.2 is a general issue (due Feb. 1, 2015) and Issue 2.1 is a special issue on Diversity and Social Justice in Drama Therapy (due Aug.1, 2015). If you are interested in submitting a paper, interview, or clinical comment for consideration, please be in touch:journal@nadta.org

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