About Me

About me

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My background

I grew up as a fearful and shy child that found it difficult to talk “human”, as I called it. It became my life mission to learn how to trust enough to express myself freely, clearly and accurately and to live a full and whole life, free from fear.

It was as a young girl that I found ‘drama’ to be a medium which could teach me how to express myself. Drama gave me the words (script), the movements and gestures in a safe, contained space within which to express and explore feelings. I became a drama teacher wanting to share this gift with others. It was some years ago that I heard that the University of Witwatersrand is actually proving a fully accredited Masters drama therapist degree. So here I am, being that person.

Since early adulthood the works of CG Jung brought meaning and understanding to my life. I have been active and passionate reader and scholar of his work and theories. I grew up in a small Afrikaner, Christian community during the height of Apartheid and it seems as if I spent my whole adult life trying to integrate and heal the pain that this separated and dualistic worldview imposed on me. In short, I was seeking ‘wholeness’ or a sense of ‘completeness’.

Jung believed in a “constant and often creative development, the search for wholeness and completion, and the yearning for re-birth” (Hall & Lindzey). The Jungian process of individuation is a process in which the various parts of a person, including the conscious and unconscious, become completely integrated so that the individual becomes his or her ‘true self’. And what a beautiful way to explore and integrate the different parts of ourselves but through the medium of drama, art, storytelling and play.

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Keeping up to date

I regularly attend workshops and conferences to aid my continuing professional development as a therapist. I also run workshops and present at conferences for teachers, therapists, professionals and students throughout the year.

I am also a drama therapy lecturer at Wits (Drama for Life), heading the Wellness and counselling department at Drama for Life (WITS), drama teacher, facilitator and teacher trainer, actress, writer, director and producer.

A passion to empower all

My passion has always been to apply drama therapy and use theatre-for-development techniques to support human initiatives to better our world and support life. I have worked for the last 35 years towards community empowerment, environmental education, literacy training, capacity and organisational development, rural development, gender empowerment, children’s rights, education, social rehabilitation, public and mental health and education.

What I'm working on currently

I am doing my PhD, investigating education and how trauma affects the physical, psychological and cognitive development of learners, their teachers and parents.  Trying to find way to address this problem through a drama therapeutic intervention.

Welma de Beer - Qualifications and training

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Welma de Beer

Welma has completed a BA Drama, BA Drama Higher Education Teaching Diploma, a MA in Applied Theatre as well as a MA in Drama Therapy (Wits). Welma is currently enrolled for her PhD in Drama Therapy.

If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.

—Carlos Santana