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Laura Wood

Associate Professor, Drama Therapy Coordinator

Headshot of Laura Wood

Dr. Laura L. Wood is a Registered Drama Therapist, Board Certified Trainer, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, and a Certified Child Life Specialist. Dr. Wood is a Past President of the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA). Previously, Dr. Wood served as an Assistant Professor and the Clinical Coordinator at Molloy University, where she spent four years collaborating and launching an accredited program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and supported the start of a community wellness clinic.

Prior to being a full-time professor, Dr. Wood was the Lead Therapist at an eating disorder and trauma treatment center in the Midwest where she facilitated individual, group, and family therapy. She also spent time working in pediatric hospitals with critically and seriously ill children and in assisted living with older adults. Her focus and research areas include the treatment of trauma and dissociation, eating disorders, attachment, recovery, and grief/loss. More specifically, Dr. Wood is interested in how therapeutic theater can support individuals in various forms of recovery. She created the CoActive Therapeutic Theater (CoATT) Model with her colleague Dave Mowers. CoATT is the first manualized model of therapeutic theater and Dr. Wood is engaged in on-going research and collaboration with various recovery communities including persons with eating disorders, substance use, and aphasia.

Most currently, Dr. Wood is a co-collaborator with the UMASS Mind Team and received a National Endowment for the Arts grant using the CoATT Model with individuals in mental health recovery. Dr. Wood presents, publishes, supervises, and consults nationally and internationally. She sees clients in private practice and facilitates intensive healing retreats using drama therapy. In the classroom, Dr. Wood is passionate about teaching and supervising students to develop into present, attuned, and embodied clinicians that listen deeply. Dr. Wood works to inspire each student to think critically about the material presented and examine the role of power, privilege, and intersecting identities in the clinical encounter. Dr. Wood prioritizes mirroring and reflecting to each student their unique capacities and supporting students in unfolding into the practitioner and scholar they want to embody.


Selected Publications

  • Wood, L.L. & Mowers, D. (accepted book manuscript). The CoActive Therapeutic Theater Manual: Finding Recovery and Reconnection Through Performance. Routledge.
  • Wood, L.L., Hartung, S, Al-Qadfan, F., Wichmann, S., Cho, A., Bryant, D. (2022) Drama Therapy and the Treatment of Eating Disorders: Advancing toward clinical guidelines. The Arts in Psychotherapy.
  • Cheung, A., Agwu, V., Stojcevski, M., Wood, L. L., et. al. (2022). A Pilot Remote Drama Therapy Program Using the Co-active Therapeutic Theater Model in People with Serious Mental Illness. Community Mental Health
  • Wood L.L (2021). Empirical Research directions in drama therapy in The International Handbook of Creative arts therapy in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Springer.
  • Wood, L.L.(2022). Tapestry of transformation: Pathways in the arts professions. In Introduction to the Creative Arts Therapies. Bailey, S. (Ed). Routledge, New York.
  • Wood, L.L., DeGennaro, M., Eisenbach, B. (2022). First Person Perspective: Understanding Adolescent Eating Disorders Through the Text Good Enough. In B. B. Eisenbach, & J. S. Frydman (Eds.), Fostering mental health literacy through adolescent literature.
  • Rowman & Littlefield. Wood, L.L., McAndrews, L., Frydman, J.S. (2021). Will to meaning: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study Examining Creative Techniques That Support Learning. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision.
  • Wood, L. L., White, S., Gervais, D., Owen, M., Moore, S., Boylan, Z., ... & Michel, A. (2020). Challenges and strategies delivering group drama therapy via telemental health: Action research using inductive thematic analysis. Drama Therapy Review, 6(2), 149-165.
  • Cheung, A., Reid-Varley, W. B., Chiang, M., de Villemejane, M., Wood, L. L., Butler, J. D., & Fan, X. (2020). Dual diagnosis theater: A pilot drama therapy program for individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorder. Schizophrenia Research.
  • Wood, L.L., Bryant, D., Scirocco, K., Datta, H., Alimonti, S., Mowers, D., (2020). Aphasia Park Pilot Study: The CoActive Therapeutic Theater Model with clients in Aphasia recovery. The Arts in Psychotherapy.
  • Wood, L. L. (2020). Rev. of The Self in Performance: Autobiographical, Self-Revelatory, and Autoethnographic Forms of Therapeutic Theater: SUSANA PENDZIK, RENÉE EMUNAH, & DAVID READ JOHNSON (Eds), Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 271 pp., $99.99 (Hardback), ISBN 978-1-1375-4153-6.
  • Bechdel, A., Wood, L.L., Teoli, L. (2020). Re-Shaping Body Image: Tape Sculptures As Arts-Based Social Justice. The Arts in Psychotherapy.
  • Wood, L. L., & Mowers, D. (2019). The Co-Active Therapeutic theatre model: A manualized approach to creating therapeutic theatre with persons in recovery. Drama Therapy Review, 5(2), 217-234.
  • Wood, L.L. & Pignatelli, E.C., (2019) The Scribble Story Technique: An Arts-Based Supervision Process, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/15401383.2019.1566041
  • Frydman, J. S., Segall, J., & Wood, L. L. (2018). Themes of career advancement among North American drama therapists: A secondary qualitative analysis. Drama Therapy Review, 4(2), 271-286.
  • Young, J. & Wood, L.L. (2017). Laban: A guide figure in drama and dance movement therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy.
  • Wood, L. L. (2017). The use of therapeutic theater in supporting clients in the first year of eating disorder recovery: A qualitative study. ProQuest Dissertations
  • Wood, L.L. (2015) Eating disorder as protector: The use of Internal Family Systems and drama therapy to treat eating disorders in creative Arts Therapies in Eating Disorders. Ed. Annie Hershifelt. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, England.
  • Wood, L.L. (2015). Building response flexibility in clients with eating disorders through embodying their addiction and improvisation. The Drama Scope (on-line).
  • Wood, L.L. (2014). Setting the stage for self-attunement: Drama therapy as a guide for neural integration in the treatment of eating disorders. The Drama Therapy Review 1(1) 55-70.


PhD: University of Missouri, Saint Louis

MA: New York University

BA: Marymount Manhattan College

Registered Drama Therapist/Board Certified Trainer

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS)