Mario Cossa, M.A., RDT/MT, TEP, CAWT

Senior Trainer

Mario Cossa, Senior Trainer

Mario has worked with children and adolescents as a teacher, theatre arts instructor, and psychodramatist/drama therapist for nearly four decades.  He specializes in work with adolescent groups and trauma survivors, and is certified by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama and by the National Association for Drama Therapy. He travels globally offering trainings in the USA, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Mario currently resides in Bali, Indonesia, for a major portion of the year, returning to the San Francisco Bay area in the fall to provide trainings for Community Matters' programs and services.

In 1989, Mario created ACTINGOUT, a program for youth in New Hampshire that combined expressive arts group therapy with training and performance opportunities in issue-oriented theatre. Mario developed its unique brand of issue-oriented, audience-interactive, improvisational theatre focusing on contemporary issues like substance abuse, violence prevention, and HIV.  In 14 years of Mario’s direction, ACTINGOUT offered over 1,000 performances, presentations and workshops.

Mario is recognized by his peers as a leader in the fields of adolescent development, education, and therapy. He has conducted workshops around the world on utilizing action methods with adolescent groups, and is a trainer in a number of other science-based prevention curricula in the areas of violence prevention, substance abuse prevention, and HIV prevention.  His book, REBELS WITH A CAUSE: Working with Adolescents Using Action Techniques, was published in 2006 by Jessica Kingsley Press, in London.

“Working with Community Matters as a trainer in the Safe School Ambassadors® Program excites me to no end.  It combines all the best features of a successful youth prevention program with sound structures for community development and sustainability. It provides me the opportunity to bring all of what I believe and all of who I am into the work.  I am delighted to be on the team.”