CANY logo CANY E-News - October 2012 

Update on a Former Client; Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month & More
A Former Client's Story
Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month
New Program Assistant
Using Drama Therapy with Adolescents
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In Her Own Voice:  A Former Client's Story

It is not often that CANY can track the changes we have fostered in our clients as they move out of shelters or special schools and on with their lives.  We are lucky when a former client sends us a short message.  So we want to share a message from Alana,* who was a drama therapy group participant at a safe shelter for domestic violence survivors.   

During her recent studies in college, Alana was assigned to write a paper about "something that changed her life."  She chose to write about the CANY "Drama Mamas" drama therapy group.  Here is an excerpt from her paper:


"The experience we had at the domestic violence shelter with CANY was unforgettable and inspiring.  We learned not to internalize any negative emotion.  At times we would cry and at the end give each other something.  I received from a group member the gift of "Fight" to never give up and never stop fighting.  I never gave up and never stopped fighting and that encouragement led me to work harder in finding adequate housing and enrolling in [my school].  A friend that I met at the shelter told me: 'If it wasn't for Drama Mamas, I don't know how I would have made it.  Once I started going I noticed that I wasn't as depressed as I was before.'  Drama Therapy is a form of escape for a wounded heart and mind.  Lives are being touched and cared for with this method of healing.  CANY's work has proven to be the type of psychological therapy a traumatized person can benefit from."

Since writing this paper, Alana has graduated and found permanent housing for herself and her son.  She, like many others, inspires us to continue helping those who have endured trauma to build the personal skills they need to thrive.

*Not her real name. 
Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Purple Ribbon  

Creative Alternatives of New York is proud to provide drama therapy groups for women and children affected by the trauma of domestic and intimate partner violence.  While October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, CANY works year-round with survivors.  We are mindful of the widespread trauma and violence affecting this population and the incredible need for services.


For over a decade, CANY has partnered with Palladia's Aegis House, serving over 100 women and children last year alone. In November 2011, CANY expanded its domestic violence services to include the women at Safe Horizon's Parrish House, where we facilitated drama therapy groups with over 80 survivors of domestic violence.


Why the need for adding new programs?  For starters, there were over 50,000 reported cases of domestic violence in the state of New York in 2006.*  And there were over 38,000 adults and 20,000 children assisted by domestic violence programs in New York State in that same year.**  


Help us continue to empower victims to become survivors.  We want to expand our domestic violence programs.   


You can make this happen with your donation.   



* New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (2006). DCJS, Uniform Crime Reporting System. [Deborah J. Chard-Wierschem (personal communication on October 31, 2007)]. 


**New York State Office of Children & Family Services. (2006). 2006 Domestic Violence Annual Report.   


Learn more by visiting the NCADV online.  

CANY Welcomes New Program Assistant
Britton Williams
CANY welcomes Britton Williams, LCAT-Permit to our staff.  Britton (left) will serve as Program Assistant and co-lead many of our drama therapy groups.

Prior to coming to CANY, Britton received a BFA in Theatre and a Master's in Drama Therapy, both from NYU.  As a former teaching artist, she worked in a variety of settings, including psychiatric units, adult day care facilities, domestic violence shelters and forensic units. 

When asked why she applied for a job at CANY, Britton responded, "The mission and vision of CANY align with my personal mission to serve those affected by trauma through drama.  CANY is a great fit for me because of the opportunity to work within various locations with multiple populations.  Working in various settings is exciting to me because it helps me grow as both a clinician and an artistI couldn't be happier to be a part of the CANY team."

CANY is thrilled to have such a passionate new staff member who is committed to empowering individuals and communities affected by trauma through drama therapyWe wish Britton all the best as she continues her work with us.

Interested in learning more about the process of becoming a drama therapist?  Send us a message! 
Join us at Using Drama Therapy with Adolescents

CANY drama therapy training workshop

Thank you to everyone who joined us on October 6th at An Introduction to Drama Therapy!  Now, it's time to register for our next training. 

Using Drama Therapy with Adolescents
Saturday, December 1, 2012

Not sure if this is the right training for you?  Listen to what past
participants have to say about their experience with CANY.

Or, call the CANY office at 212.222.1969 and ask to speak to our trainers, Heidi Landis, RDT-BCT, LCAT and Meredith Dean, RDT, LCAT, CASAC-T.