Concordia University, Montreal, QC

PhD, Individualized Program, Interdisciplinary Studies, awarded October 2014

New York University, New York, NY

Master of Arts degree in Drama Therapy awarded May 2003

University of Phoenix, Salt Lake City, UT

Master of Arts degree in Educational Counseling awarded July 2001

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre Education awarded May 1996

Post-Graduate Training


New York, NY

Graduate #15.  Training in specialized form of drama therapy, Developmental Transformations (DvT).  Approved trainer.  Experience leading DvT seminars.  Monthly weekend intensive trainings.  International Developmental Transformations supervisor.

Professional Experience


Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Full-time, Expressive Therapies Division. Drama Therapy program coordinator.Teach courses in Masters program including, Research, Theories of Drama Therapy, Performance and Practice, and Developmental Transformations.  Also teach and advise in the doctoral program.  Supervise student theses.  Serve on university Institutional Review Board.  Develop new curriculum for low-residency program.  

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR (Limited Term Appointment) (2014-2017)

Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Full-time, limited term teaching appointment in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies. Teach courses including, Research, Assessment in Drama Therapy and Readings in Drama Therapy.  Supervise first-year practicum students in a group/classroom setting as well as on an individual basis.  Supervise final research project.  Student advisement. Serve on department committees. 

TRAINING DIRECTOR (2010- present)

DvT Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada

Founder and training director of the Montreal satellite of the Institutes for the Arts in Psychotherapy and the Institute for Developmental Transformations.  Lead monthly training workshops and supervision in the method.  Develop and support training community and advanced cohort in progress toward graduation. 

DRAMA THERAPIST (2010- present)

Private Practice, Montreal, QC, Canada

See individual clients for drama therapy, utilizing Developmental Transformations as well as other forms of drama therapy to address quality of life issues with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of presenting concerns.

ADJUNCT FACULTY (2013- 2016)

Lesley University, Cambridge, MA

Teach intensive courses, Principles and Practices of Drama Therapy, Developmental Transformations with Children and Adults and low-residency course, Power, Privilege and Oppression in Clinical Practice.

PART-TIME FACULTY (2012- 2014)

Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Teach reserve courses, including Introduction to Drama Therapy, Research in the Creative Arts Therapies and Research in Art Therapy.  Advise students on research papers.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR (Limited Term Appointment) (2009- 2012)

Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Full-time, limited term teaching appointment in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies. Teach courses including, Group Therapy, Improvisation for Drama Therapy and Readings in Drama Therapy.  Supervise first and second-year practicum students in a group/classroom setting as well as on an individual basis.  Supervise final research project.  Student advisement.  Program recruitment.  Serve on department Curriculum, Research and Supervision Committees. 


The Other Place, Goddard Riverside Community Center, New York, NY 

A psycho-social rehabilitation program for individuals who are homeless or formerly homeless with a severe mental illness or substance abuse disorders.  Supervised staff of 14 including creative arts therapists, social workers, professionals and interns from multiple disciplines.  Clinical treatment and safety of all program participants including crisis intervention.  Led groups, including Developmental Transformations, video, Therapeutic Theatre, gender issues and creative writing.  Led staff in strategic planning and program reorganization.  Created full-length, original theatrical pieces in connection with clients.  Supervised drama therapy, social work, occupational therapy and psychology interns.  Managed a budget of $600K.  Liaison with the community on behalf of clients and the agency.  

ADJUNCT FACULTY (2005- 2009)

New York University, New York, NY

Developed new curriculum for Advanced Practices in Drama Therapy course, required for all graduate students in Drama Therapy Program.  Reader and advisor for graduate research thesis.  Participation in yearly audition/interviews for program applicants. 

DRAMA THERAPIST (2007- 2009)

Private Practice, New York, NY

Individual clients in both talk therapy and drama therapy sessions.  Clinical supervision of candidates for New York State licensure in Creative Arts Therapy and NADT credential of Registered Drama Therapist.  Supervise drama therapists from Holland, Belgium, South Africa and Israel.


The Other Place, Goddard Riverside Community Center, New York, NY 

A psycho-social rehabilitation program for individuals who are homeless or formerly homeless with a severe mental illness or substance abuse disorder.  Lead groups, including Developmental Transformations, video, and creative writing.  Supervise weekend psycho-social programming.  Supervise four staff members plus interns.  Assist in creating full-length, original theatrical pieces.  Individual psychotherapy and case management.


The Foundling, New York, NY 

Treatment program for at-risk adolescents in foster care.  Lead drama therapy groups with teens in foster care and group-home system.  Create original productions with clients about their experiences in foster care.  Wrote service summaries.  Consulted with agency on future creative and therapeutic pursuits. 


New York University, New York, NY

Responsible for daily operations of the program, including class scheduling, liaison with other programs and universities, student academic advisement and program promotion.  During this time period, the program director was on sabbatical, requiring the program assistant to take on many additional tasks including assisting in teaching the introductory course and primary academic advisement.  Facilitated monthly group process sessions with first-year students.


Granger High School, West Valley City, UT

Expanded the theatre program from an initial three courses to eight.  Taught beginning, intermediate and advanced theatre, stagecraft, video productions, and a senior production course.  Developed a summer school elective course on creativity.  Directed multiple productions including Carousel, Pirates of Penzance, The Pajama Game, Woman in Mind, Taming of the Shrew, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  Coached students for regional and state drama competition.  Advised Drama Club and Thespian Troupe.  Served two years as faculty association representative. 

Teaching Experience

Courses Developed

GEXTH 6009                                         Lesley University

Developmental Transformations with Children and Adults. Intensive advanced practice course looking at the Developmental Transformations form of drama therapy.

E86.2121                                              New York University

Advanced Practices in Drama Therapy, focus on Playback Theatre, Therapeutic Theatre and Developmental Transformations

Drama I-III                                         Granger High School

Three individual courses (beginning through advanced) covering aspects of theatre including acting, directing, design, genre and media

Technical Theatre                             Granger High School

Designing, building, and managing productions. 

Senior Productions                           Granger High School

Advanced level course focusing on creating original performances through playwriting, improvisation and performance art.

Creative Thinking                              Granger High School

Strategies for enhancing creative thinking skills with focus on problem solving.

Courses Taught

GEXTH 6105-83                                   Lesley University

Power Privilege & Oppression in Clinical Practice. Examination of critical issues of power, privilege and oppression and how they manifest in professional practice.

GEXTH 5047-01                                   Lesley University

Principles and Practices of Drama Therapy. Basic introductory course in drama therapy.  Exploring foundational theories and concepts.

DTHY 301                                              Concordia University

Introduction to Drama Therapy.  Survey course looking at introductory principles and approaches to drama therapy.

DTHY 600                                             Concordia University

Readings in Drama Therapy.  Specific focus on object relations, attachment theory and exploration of theory through performance.

DTHY 603                                             Concordia University

Improvisation and Drama Therapy.  Experiential and didactic course exploring improvisation and therapeutic intervention.

DTHY 604                                             Concordia University

Drama Therapy and Groups.  Exploration of group theory and practical applications to drama therapy.

DTHY 613/614                                      Concordia University

Drama Therapy Practicum Supervision I/II. Group and individual supervision for first-year students in drama therapy internships.

DTHY 623/624                                       Concordia University

Advanced Practicum Supervision I/II. Group and individual supervision for second-year students in drama therapy internships.

DTHY 645                                             Concordia University

Drama Therapy Methods, Processes & Assessment Models II.  Intensive course looking at assessment and processes in drama therapy, with focus on Developmental Transformations.

DTHY 691                                             Concordia University

Research in the Creative Arts Therapies. Overview of research, theory and practice as it applies to the creative arts therapies for first-year students.

DTHY 693                                             Concordia University

Research in Drama Therapy. Examination of intermediate research methodologies and application to drama therapy research, research proposal design.

ATRP 693                                             Concordia University

Research in Art Therapy. Examination of intermediate research methodologies and application to art therapy research, research proposal design.

Television and Video Productions           Granger High School

Scripting, filming and editing of original short films.

Sophomore English                          Granger High School

Basic course focusing on literature, vocabulary and grammar. 


Butler, J. D. (2017). Re-examining Landy’s four-part model of drama therapy education. Drama Therapy Review, 3(1), 75–87.  

Butler, J. D. (2017). The complex intersection of education and therapy in the drama therapy classroom. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 53(2017), 28–35.  

Gaines, A. M. & Butler, J. D. (2016). North American Drama Therapy. In C. Holmwood & S. Jennings (Eds.) International Handbook of Drama Therapy. London, UK: Routledge.   

Gaines, A. M., Butler, J. D., & Holmwood, C. (2015). Between drama education and drama therapy:  International approaches to successful navigation. p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e , 2 (1).

Butler, J. D. (2015). Playing with reflection in drama therapy education. In E. Vettraino & W. Linds (Eds.), Playing in a House of Mirrors: Applied Theatre as Reflective Practice (pp. 109–122). Boston, MA: Sense Publishers.

Butler, J. D.  (2014) Navigating the Intersection of Education and Therapy in the Drama Therapy Classroom.  Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation.  Concordia University. 

Butler, J. D. (2012). Playing with madness: Developmental Transformations and the treatment of schizophrenia. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 39(2), 87-94.

Landy, R. J., & Butler, J. D. (2012). Assessment through role theory. In D. R. Johnson, S. Pendzik & S. Snow (Eds.), Assessment in drama therapy (pp. 148-176). Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Butler, J. D.  (2003) Shakespeare as Muse:  Using Shakespearean roles to influence Role Theory in creating a therapeutic performance with the homeless/mentally-ill.  Unpublished Master’s Thesis.  New York University. 

Professional Presentations & Workshops

Butler, J., Drama therapy intensive workshop El Rakhawy Psychiatric Hospital.  Cairo, Egypt.  December 7-13, 2014.  Week-long workshop for counselors in the addiction treatment program.

Butler, J., Contradiction in the Classroom: Wait, is this supposed to be therapy?  NADTA National Conference.  Yosemite National Park, CA.  November 1, 2014.  Conference workshop sharing doctoral research.

Butler, J., Hey, I Think That's My Stuff:  The Use of Students' Personal Affective Material in the Drama Therapy Classroom.  ISSOTL 2014.  Quebec, QC.  October 23, 2014.  International Society for the Study of Teaching and Learning.

Butler, J., Willemsen, M., The Titanic and the art of going down First International Developmental Transformations Conference.  Maastricht, Netherlands.  May 30, 2014.  Exploration of therapist vulnerability in the DvT form of drama therapy.

Butler, J., Performing to Learn: Drama therapy educators’ forum NADTA National Conference.  Montreal, QC.  September 29, 2012.  Conference workshop exploring issues of pedagogy and education in drama therapy.

Butler, J., Playing the Unplayable: Drama therapy and creative forms of engagement Department of Psychiatry, Grand Rounds, Dalhousie University.  Halifax, NS, Canada.  September 18, 2013.  Presentation on drama therapy for full department.

Butler, J., Gaines, A., Betwixt and Between: Drama education and therapy American Alliance for Theatre and Education Annual Conference.  Washington, D.C.  July 25, 2013.  Conversation between theatre educators and drama therapists.

Butler, J., Gaines, A., Holmwood, C., Between Drama Education and Therapy: International approaches to successful navigation 8thDrama and Education World IDEA Congress.  Paris, France.  July 12, 2013.  Comparison of two fields and exploration of ethical practice.

Butler, J., No Longer Alone in the Dark: Drama therapy educators’ forum NADTA National Conference.  New Haven, CT.  November 3, 2012.  Full-day conference workshop creating a coalition of drama therapy educators.

Butler, J., Training firewalkers: Examining pedagogy in drama therapy NADT National Conference.  San Francisco, CA.  November 3, 2011.  Full-day conference workshop fostering dialogue among drama therapy educators.

Butler, J.,  Keynote Address: Fueling the Fire.  Utah Advisory Council of Theatre Teachers.  Cedar City, UT.  June 27, 2011.  Presentation looking at motivation and appropriate boundary setting for theatre teachers.

Butler, J. & Ashworth, J., Exploring the Relationship Between Drama Therapy and Educational Theatre.  NYU Forum on Theatre for Public Health.  New York, NY.  April 23, 2011.  Presentation exploring results from a survey looking at relationship between the two fields.

Butler, J. Teaching the Liminal Space.  NADT National Conference.  Evanston, IL.  November 5, 2010.  Conference presentation examining the pedagogy and teaching methods used in training drama therapists.

Butler, J.  Examining the Myth of DvT. International Developmental Transformations Conference New York, NY.  April 17, 2010.  An exploration of preconceived ideas and perceptions of developmental transformations and other approaches to drama therapy. 

Butler, J.  Playing Full Circle: Unlocking your playful potential through Developmental Transformations. Full Circle : Discovering the Arts in/of Therapy, Association des Arts-Thérapeutes du Québec.  September 24, 2010.  Introduction to DvT and its application to other forms of psychotherapy.

Butler, J. & Pazdernik, K.  Creating Home: From homelessness to family NADT National Conference.  White Plains, NY.  November 8, 2009.  Conference presentation looking at the combination of creative arts therapies to create a therapeutic community for the homeless.

Butler, J. & Ashworth J.  When Theatre Becomes Therapy Theatre Pedagogy:  Teaching the art form.  New York, NY.  April 26, 2009.  Workshop exploring the differences between drama therapy and educational theatre.  An exploration with educational theatre practitioners about the ethical limitations of their work.

Butler, J. & Gatta, T.  DvT and Schizophrenia.  NADT Eastern Regional Conference.  New York, NY.  March 28, 2009.  Application of Developmental Transformations with clients with schizophrenia.  Recent research into facial expressions, affect attunement and motivation as it relates to working with positive and negative symptoms of the illness in DvT.   

Butler, J.  Just Another Gay Mormon.  NADT National Conference.  San Francisco, CA.  November 7, 2008.  Original self-revelatory performance piece examining my upbringing in a conservative Mormon home.  Re-staging of previous performance.

Butler, J. & Steiner, N.  Queer Therapist Workshops. Institutes for the Arts in Psychotherapy.  2007-2009.  Series of workshops for LGBTQ mental health practitioners.  Exploring issues of discrimination, transference, advocacy and identity through creative exploration. 

Butler, J. & Hurd, K.  Developmental Transformations Weekend Intensive.  Institutes for the Arts in Psychotherapy.  May 9-11 2008.  Intensive exploring the Developmental Transformations form of drama therapy.  A mix of lecture, group work and individual work.   

Butler, J. & Ashworth, J.  Drama Therapy vs. Education Theatre. Brigham Young University.  March 6, 2008.  Workshop for theatre education students to examine the difference between drama therapy and educational theatre.  Exploration of practical and ethical topics.  

Butler, J., Jensen, J., Landers, F., Martin, F., Schnee, G., Sandulli, K.  Returning to the Source:  Exploring Current Theory and Practice in Developmental Transformations.  NADT National Conference.  Montreal, QC.  August 9, 2007.  Full-day intensive conference workshop introducing the basic theory and practice of Developmental Transformations.    

Butler, J.  Just Another Gay Mormon. International Developmental Transformations Conference New York, NY.  April 14, 2007.  Self-revelatory performance piece examining my upbringing in a conservative Mormon home.  Examining themes of belonging, love and identity. 

Butler, J.  (Moderator)  From Getting Started to Being Successful.  NADT National Conference.  New Brunswick, NJ.  August 11, 2006.  Panel discussion on private practice and drama therapy.    

Butler, J.  Spreading the Word: Sharing Drama Therapy.  NADT Tri-State Chapter Education Meeting.  New York, NY.  October 22, 2006.  Sharing techniques and methods for publicizing drama therapy to the community.   

Butler, J.  The Healing Power of Theatre:  An introduction to Drama Therapy.    Utah Theatre Association Conference.  St. George, UT.  January 27, 2006.  Giving participants a basic understanding of the principles behind drama therapy.  Drama therapy experiences as well as explanations of drama therapy principles. 

Butler, J.  Ethics and the Student/Teacher Interaction within Educational Theatre:  Setting boundaries for effective learning and development.  Utah Theatre Association Conference.  St. George, UT.  January 27, 2006.  A workshop for teachers intended to explore interactions between the theatre teacher and the student.  Looking at stages of development and the nature of adolescence, workshop participants examined professional relationships and ways to establish appropriate boundaries.  Both experiential and didactic. 

Hurd, K. & Butler, J.  These are the Dark Days: Exploring trauma through therapeutic theatre.  NADT National Conference.  Portland, OR.  August 12, 2005.  Looking at a therapeutic production by homeless mentally-ill clients, facilitators examined creative ways of addressing and healing trauma. 

Butler, J.  Basic Introduction to Drama Therapy Brigham Young University, University of Utah.  February 2005.  Introductory large group workshops including didactic segments and experiential exercises.  Workshops looked at various techniques of drama therapy as well as specific applications.  The process for becoming a drama therapist was also outlined. 

Hurd, K. & Butler, J.  Creative Unfoldings:  Styles and approaches to the development of a therapeutic theatre performance.  NADT National Conference.  Newport, RI.  August 13, 2004.  Explored different creative springboards for creating therapeutic performances.  Examining three different plays, the facilitators looked at both scripted and improvisational ways of working.  

Internship Experience


The Other Place, Goddard Riverside Community Center, New York, NY 

Homeless, mentally ill population.  Independently facilitate groups in Developmental Transformations, Therapeutic Theatre, and video productions.  Some limited case management. 


North Central Bronx Hospital, New York, NY

Acute, in-patient psychiatric unit.  Created original groups, including men’s issues, drama therapy, video, and storytelling.  Drama therapy sessions with individual clients.


Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT

Acute, in-patient latency unit.  Created weekly drama groups with children ages 8 to15.  Used fairy tales and super hero motifs to explore trauma and increase socialization skills.

Professional Licenses & Registrations

Licensed        New York State Creative Arts Therapist                LCAT                #132

Registered    Registered Drama Therapist, NADTA                                RDT                 #303

Certified        Board Certified Trainer, NADTA                              BCT                  #69

Production Experience

Directing (traditional theatre)

Cinderella   Granger High School                          2001

A Woman in Mind   Granger High School                          2000

Ordinary People   Granger High School                          2000

A Midsummer Night’s Dream   Granger High School                          2000

The Mystery of Edwin Drood    Granger High School                          1999

Pajama Game   Granger High School                          1999

The Saga of Sugarhouse                      Sugarhouse Community                     1998 

Don’t Drink the Water   Granger High School                          1998

Carousel   Granger High School                          1998

The Mousetrap                                    Granger High School                          1997

Pirates of Penzance   Granger High School                          1997

Taming of the Shrew   Granger High School                          1996

The Importance of Being Earnest   Mountain View High School               1996

Directing (devised and collaborative therapeutic theatre)

As Life Goes On                                   The Other Place                                  2009

History of TOP   The Other Place                                  2008

Freak Show   The Other Place                                  2007

Blood on the Tracks   The Other Place                                  2006

Voices   The Other Place                                  2005

I Am   New York Foundling                           2004

Where the Wild Things Are   The Other Place                                  2004

Charenton   The Other Place                                  2003

Shakespeare Stew    The Other Place                                  2002

Professional Service

PRESIDENT ELECT (2013-present)

North American Drama Therapy Association

Oversee organization.  Ex officio member of all committees.  Liaison with president and board of directors to guide organization.  Executive committee member.


Concordia University, Creative Arts Therapies Department

Supervising departmental research initiatives including student research papers and faculty research agenda.  Chair monthly research meetings.


North American Drama Therapy Association

Working committee to begin the process of creating a national exam for the evaluation and

accreditation of drama therapists.


North American Drama Therapy Association

Conference chairperson for the 2013 annual conference of the NADTA held in Montreal, QC, Canada.


National Association for Drama Therapy Board of Directors

Oversee all organizational communication including website and publication of NADT quarterly magazine, Dramascope.  Converted Dramascope to an online.  Chair Public Relations Committee. Create fact sheets and information packets about drama therapy.  


New York Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Board of Directors

Maintain connection between drama therapy community and larger creative arts therapy community in New York State.  Work to assist creative arts therapists with new New York State licensure law and application process. 

VICE-PRESIDENT (2003-2005)

Tri-State Chapter of the National Association for Drama Therapy

Founding member. Chaired two regional drama therapy conferences.  Organized monthly gatherings of drama therapists in the New York, Connecticut, New Jersey area.  Liaison with National Association for Drama Therapy and other creative arts therapy organizations. 

PRESIDENT (2000-2001)

Utah Theatre Association, Salt Lake City, UT

Planned and executed the annual Utah Theatre Association/Utah Thespian Society Conference involving over 1200 students.  Served as advocate for theatre in the state of Utah. 


Granger Education Association, Salt Lake City, UT

Advocate for rights of teachers with administration.  Mediate between conflicting teachers as well as between teachers and administration.  Participate in annual negotiation and contract modification.


INDI Research Travel Grant $5,000

Doctoral Scholarship, Fonds Quebecois de la recherche sur la societe et la culture, 2013-2015, $46,666

Teaching Excellence Award, North American Drama Therapy Association, 2012

James W. Burns Graduate Award, Concordia University, 2012, $3,000

Concordia University Conferences and Expositions Award, 2011 & 2012, $1,500

Concordia International Student Tuition Remission, Concordia University, 2011-2012, $8,700

NADT Student Service Award.  Recognized for service to the North American Drama Therapy Association, 2003. 

Distinguished Contribution to NYU Drama Therapy Program Award, 2003.