Staff profile

Dr Drew Bird

Senior Lecturer in Therapeutic Arts

Drew Bird


Therapeutic Arts


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


School of Arts

Research centre

Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre




Derby Campus



As a dramatherapist, I am aware of the benefits of drama to enable people to find new ways to express themselves. Dramatherapy is a unique psychotherapy that uses drama and theatre for the purposes of therapy to explore difficulties and find a new relationship with a problem. The creative expressive model used within the Creative Expressive Therapies course is about developing the healthy parts of the self through the use of imagination. 

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on two programmes within therapeutic arts. The MA in Dramatherapy and the BA in Creative Expressive Therapies. I also currently supervise three doctorate students. 

Professional interests

I am involved with dramatherapy studio, clinical supervision, independent scholarship supervision for Dramatherapy students and Creative Expressive Therapies students as well as experiential groups that use different art forms to explore student experience as being part of a group. 

I am a peer reviewer for the Arts in Psychotherapy Journal, The Drama Therapy Review, The Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal and The Journal of Music, Health and Wellbeing. 

Research interests

My research interests are in arts-based research using heuristic inquiry, autoethnography and a/r/tography. 

Membership of professional bodies

Recent conferences

I presented in April 2018 at the European Federation of Dramatherapy in Nurtingen, Germany, where I presented a paper and performance that explored performance as an arts-based approach to research that informs professional development as a dramatherapist. 

Experience in industry

My background as a dramatherapist and social worker has been working in palliative care, child and adolescent mental health, looking after children, inpatient care of older people, learning disabilities, community-based adult mental health, Young Offenders Institute (YOI) and children and young people secure units. 

Recent publications