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Rehearsals! for Growth

2023-24 Certificate Program

Program Summary

      • RfG Certification Intro
      • Admission Requirements
        • Candidacy
      • Certification Levels:
        • Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
      • Curriculum
        • Direct Training
        • Demonstrated Leadership
      • The Faculty
      • Joining the RfG-CP
        • Application
        • Training Registration
        • Tuition

Rehearsals! for Growth (RfG) is a novel method of psychotherapy and education which uses techniques from theater improvisation to achieve individual and interpersonal growth. RfG, a distinctive Drama Therapy of relationships, facilitates change by playfully exploring alternative roles through dramatic enactment. RfG provides vivid, immediate experiences and reaches all populations, including those who do not respond well to talk-only methods.

RfG Certification

Over the past 30 years, more than 2500 clinicians have attended RfG workshops and training seminars; many have expressed interest in receiving further training in these methods. The Rehearsals! for Growth Certificate Program (RfG-CP) offers hands-on instruction in RfG methods through intensive training workshops and co-training with Dr. Wiener and/or RfG Certified Trainers, live or video supervision of the trainee’s work and the completion of written assignments. The RfG-CP is designed primarily for mental health professionals wishing to add these techniques to their practice.

RfG-CP training workshops offer instruction in principles, concepts, techniques and applications of the following topics:

  • Social risk-taking
  • Action-based Assessment
  • Expanding emotional range
  • Experiential learning
  • Physical and virtual enactment
  • Relationship enhancement
  • Encouraging adult play
  • Exploring other roles
  • Therapeutic narrative enactment
  • Status Work

The RfG-CP provides Drama Therapy students pursuing NADTA Registry (RDT) through Alternative Track training with 4 credits when combined with the satisfactory completion of written assignments.

Continuing Education credits for Licensed Mental Health professionals can be applied for at the time of the student’s registration. Ordinarily, CEUs will be applied for when four or more trainees desire them from the same licensing profession, pay an additional fee and apply at least 45 days in advance of a RfG training event.

The RfG-CP is not offered for academic credit.

RfG-Certified Therapists may display the RfG logo with their name, degrees and licenses and use the title “Rehearsals for Growth Certified Therapist” when offering playshops, therapy groups, or educational workshops.

  • A Certificate of Participation will be given to each trainee upon satisfactory completion of all work at each training level.
  • A Certificate of Completion will be given to each trainee upon satisfactory completion of all RfG-CP requirements.

Admission Requirements

Candidates must have an undergraduate degree, AND either:


from a recognized program in psychiatry, psychology, social work, psychiatric nursing, pastoral counseling, occupational therapy, expressive arts therapy, or marriage and family therapy.



in an accredited program leading to the awarding of such a graduate degree. Ordinarily, candidates will have had some professional work experience in a clinical capacity.

Candidates lacking the above-mentioned academic training but who present extensive or unusual related training and/or work experience in the mental health field will be considered.

To participate in RfG training at the Intermediate and Advanced Levels participants must currently be working with clients in a clinical or psycho-educational capacity.

Candidacy in the RfG-Certificate Program

Candidacy signifies that a trainee is pursuing RfG Practitioner Certification by taking further RfG training beyond the Basic Level. Ordinarily, trainees apply for candidacy at the time that they register for additional RfG training after completing their first 15 hrs of Direct Instruction. Candidacy applicants must have presented a completed written RfG Survey and Questionnaire (SAQ) at the Basic Level before any additional RfG training hours are credited.


The RfG Certificate Program (RfG-CP) consists of two parts:

Part 1. Direct Training  and  Part 2. Demonstrated Practice/Leadership

The RfG-CP has been offered since 1999. Starting in 2014, progress toward the completion of the RfG-CP is offered in intensive, multi-level weekends, and one-day trainings. “Multi-level” training differs from the previous practice of holding a fixed sequence of trainings, each devoted exclusively to instruction at one of the levels described below; it means that the participants in these RfG workshops now share in most activities during the workshop but may be assigned different tasks, before, during and after that workshop.

Trainees pursuing Certification sign up in advance for the level(s) in which they wish to acquire hours and then participate in any workshop at the next, uncompleted one of the four Certificate Program levels: Basic, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. Completion of each level is contingent on participating in the required hours of direct training; doing assigned readings; and, satisfactory completion of the written assignments for that level.

Part I: Direct Training (60 hrs total)


Improv Enactment Training designed primarily to impart the experience of being a participant in RfG exercises. Prior recent RfG experience in graduate courses, RfG workshops and attendance at conference workshops featuring RfG may reduce the number of required hours at this level, or exempt participants entirely from taking Basic Training. Within one month of completing a training day or weekend at the Basic Level, trainees wishing to proceed to the Beginning Level answer the RfG Survey and Questionnaire (SAQ).

A bid for Candidacy is accomplished by merely completing the SAQ and checking the box next to: “I wish to continue RfG training and hereby apply for Candidacy in the RfG Certificate Program” when you sign and date it at the bottom.

The Certified Trainer(s) who lead training workshops are responsible for conducting a screening review of any Candidacy applicants’ SAQ. Only in exceptional cases will an applicant be deemed unsuitable for candidacy and barred from continuing in further RfG Certification Program training.


Continuing to learn from experiencing more advanced RfG techniques. Introducing, directing and learning Post-Enactment processing of RfG games and exercises. At this level there is both some prior assigned reading and some preparation/familiarization with the directing of others in assigned games and exercises.

The required Text for completion of the Beginning and subsequent Levels is:

Wiener, D. J. (1994). Rehearsals for Growth: Theater Improvisation for Psychotherapists. New York: W. W. Norton.  New and Used copies of the book are available on Amazon.

Within one month of completing a training day or weekend at the Beginning Level, trainees wishing to proceed to the Intermediate Level answer self-assessment questions in writing. Participants wishing to complete this level should contact Dr. Wiener at least one week prior to training events for assignments.


Training in offering RfG techniques to:

  • assess client readiness to participate
  • examine ethical and safety considerations in applying these methods
  • make clinical inferences from client performances
  • use therapist’s’ own emotional reactions to identify treatment issues crucial to the success of these methods
  • conduct Post-Enactment Processing (PEP) with participants in-role as clients

The required Text for completion of the Intermediate and subsequent level is:

Wiener, D. J. (2004). Rehearsals for Growth: Collected papers Vol. I, 1991-2004. Leverett, MA: (Self-Published). AVAILABLE HERE

Within one month following training at the Intermediate Level, trainees wishing to proceed to the Advanced Level shall: (1) review videotaped material of that workshop; (2) provide written answers to reflective questions provided by the Trainer; and (3) hand in their answers to a take-home exam on RfG principles, practices and concepts.


Training and personalized practice in:

  • integrating RfG with other therapeutic modalities
  • using repetitions and sequences for RfG exercises
  • dealing with unexpected events arising in the use of enactments

The required Text for completion of the Advanced Level is:

Wiener, D. J. (2016). Rehearsals for Growth: Collected papers,Vol. II, 1991-2005-2016. Northampton, MA: (Self-Published). Available here.

At the Advanced level trainees are required to present videotaped case material or to bring material for the simulation of cases for consultation. Within one month following training at the Advanced Level, trainees wishing to complete the Direct Instruction part of the RfG-CP shall: (1) review videotaped material of that workshop; (2) provide written answers to questions provided by the Trainer; and, (3) submit a written case vignette featuring their use of RfG methods.

In preparation for this Level, review of the following demonstration video is required:

Wiener, D. J. (2010). Rehearsals for Growth: Couple Therapy. Leverett, MA: (Self-Published).

Visit Bookstore to get the DVD or Streaming edition.

Trainees wishing to complete the Advanced level should contact Dr. Wiener at least one week prior to training events and should be prepared to present on at least one clinical case during training.

Part II: Demonstrated Practice/Leadership

In addition to workshop attendance for the requisite number of hours at each Level, trainees wishing to complete the requirements for RfG Certification (RfG-CP) must demonstrate their practice/leadership of RfG methods, typically in one of the following two ways:

  1. Co-leading one RfG playshop, workshop, and/or psychosocial group session with an RfG Certified Trainer
  2. Presenting for supervision videotapes of two different psychotherapy sessions in which they functioned as the therapist and which feature prominently their use of RfG techniques

Other formats proposed for meeting this requirement need prior approval from Dr. Wiener.

Following each demonstration, the trainee presents a critique of his or her own work during a supervision session with a RfG trainer. Trainees pay an additional fee for this supervision. Trainees may invite other trainees to observe these supervision sessions. The RfG trainer will later provide an evaluation of each trainee’s demonstrated skill.

The Faculty

Daniel J. Wiener, Ph.D., RDT/BCT (Director)
Emeritus Professor at Central Connecticut State University in the Graduate Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Licensed as a Psychologist in Massachusetts, he has been an APA Diplomate (Board Certified) in Marital and Family Psychology, an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, a Certified Group Psychotherapist, and is a Registered Drama Therapist/ Board Certified Trainer.

Dr. Wiener has over 40 years of experience in academic teaching, psychotherapy practice, postgraduate clinical training, and organizational consulting. Since founding RfG in 1985, he has offered RfG training to clinicians, educators and lay-people and has presented this work both nationally and internationally at over 200 professional conferences and trainings. In addition to numerous book chapters and journal articles, Dr. Wiener has written or edited five books.

RfG-CP training sessions are co-taught by Dr. Wiener and one or more of the following RfG Trainers:

Margot Escott, LCSW has practiced psychotherapy in Naples, Florida since 1984. A Rehearsals for Growth (RfG) Certified Trainer and Therapist, she has presented workshops on “Improvisational Theatre Therapy,” “Using Improv in Therapy,” and “Improv for people with Parkinson’s Disease.” Margot also hosts a podcast, Improv Interviews, https://margotescott.com/podcast/) having conducted over 150 interviews to-date.

Mark Beauregard, RDT-BCT, LCAT, (he/him) is a licensed creative arts therapist with over twenty-two years of experience in mental health, working with people of all ages and backgrounds, throughout New York City. Aligned with his passion and belief in the healing effects of improvisation, he is a certified practitioner and trainer in Rehearsals for Growth. Mark is a faculty member at New York University where he teaches a course on Improv and Mental Health.

Maureen “Mo” Sand, LMFT, has been a clinician for over thirteen years and has been offering weekly group action therapy to children at two agencies for many years. Maureen has also offered RfG exercises and games in her individual and family sessions.

As an RfG Trainer, Maureen has participated in RfG Conferences and Workshops, directed Practice and Support Groups, and has presented the therapeutic approach to master level classes and outpatient clinics. Maureen has most recently been teaching RfG Action Methods, along with her colleagues, to Chinese students via a zoom platform. Maureen states, “I enjoy helping others to be ‘in the moment’ and playful as they engage in their healing journey.”

Joining the RfG-CP

Note: In 2021, all RfG training modules are being held over ZOOM video conferencing workshops. Hours from these modules are counted toward Direct Instruction of the Certificate Program, the same as in-person training.

Read the Admission Requirements and Candidacy sections above before applying to the RfG-CP

For NEW Basic Level trainees, be sure to check the box on the SAQ following your most recent workshop, and return it to the Trainers.  This must be done either before, or around the same time, as submitting the online application and following the steps, listed here:


RfG-CP Online Application Form