What is dramatherapy?
Dramatherapy is a type of psychological therapy that uses dramatic and creative techniques alongside talking. Physical expression, imagination and creative explorations are used as a means of psychological insight and growth.
Dramatherapy provides an opportunity for a wide range of different issues to be explored.
Dramatherapy can be offered on an individual basis or in groups, and as a long-term or short-term intervention.
People attending dramatherapy sessions do not need to have any past experience or skills in acting, theatre or drama.
I offer confidential, age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive therapy sessions, tailored according to each individual’s needs.
I am trained in the Sesame Approach of Dramatherapy (Drama and Movement Therapy) which is a non-confrontational, oblique way of working therapeutically, based on the power of symbol and metaphor.
The extent to which the sessions are focused on talking or creative explorations – such as drawing, movement, storytelling, story-making or simple improvisations – depends on each individual. Every person is unique, and defines the direction, shape and form that their therapeutic journey takes, including the specific interventions offered.
My role is to facilitate and escort each person’s re-connection with the inner healthy and resourceful part of themselves.
Who can benefit?
People of all ages can benefit from dramatherapy sessions:
- Children often use play – their natural way of processing reality – as a spontaneous way of exploring issues, and self-regulating emotionally and cognitively.
- Adults are invited to access the often-forgotten realm of imagination as a way of discovering inner resources, hidden potential, and psychological change.
- Adolescents can benefit from the space that dramatherapy provides in containing, amongst other things, the emotions around the transition from childhood to adult life.
Dramatherapy has been widely used in working with a variety of populations:
- Students of all ages
- Inpatient clients in hospitals
- People with terminal diseases and their families
- Refugees and asylum seekers
- Individuals with mental health diagnoses
- People on the autism spectrum
- Members of the LGBTQIA+ community
Key areas that can be explored in dramatherapy interventions include social, emotional, existential and/or mental health issues, such as:
- PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties)
- Mental health conditions
- Personal development
- Panic attacks
- Sleep problems
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Psychotic symptoms
- Relationship problems
- Family difficulties
- Challenging behaviours
- Learning disabilities
- Eating disorders
- Palliative care
Frequently Asked Questions
a. Do I need to be good at acting to be able to do dramatherapy?
Very simply: no! Dramatherapy works perfectly for people with no experience or acting skills. All it requires is an interest in expressing oneself through imaginary, creative and/or physical expression. The focus is imagination, rather than acting or performing.
b. What if I prefer to talk? Would dramatherapy still be relevant?
This is absolutely fine. Dramatherapy sessions can involve more talking, or less, depending on the individual. Imagination and creativity are used in dramatherapy to enhance resourcefulness, and this can still be done through talking.
c. Do I have to do ‘dramatic’ activities in a dramatherapy session?
No. Sessions are always client-led, and are adjusted to meet each individual’s needs. Each individual and each moment in a set of therapy sessions is unique, and therefore the interventions that are suggested are unique, too.
d. What if I have no artistic talent?
You don’t need any talent or experience in the arts to benefit from dramatherapy. In dramatherapy sessions, art is the medium, and not the purpose of the process. There is no focus at all on a final art product.
e. Can dramatherapy work alongside other interventions?
Yes. Dramatherapy can work alongside other interventions; however, this varies from case to case. The particular circumstances of each client need to be taken into consideration, and discussed with the interested parties, which can sometimes include other professionals.
f. Is dramatherapy only for children?
Not at all! Creativity, expression and imagination are not only for children. Play is a spontaneous way of psychological insight and creative explorations – as common as human experience itself. Adults who feel comfortable with that playful aspect of themselves, adults who may have forgotten how it feels to play, and children who feel at home when playing, can all benefit from dramatherapy’s playfulness and creativity.