Who it’s for
Who benefits from it
Drama therapy is particularly effective with children but is similarly enjoyed successful when engaged with by adults. It can be practised in groups or with individuals either in institutions or in private practise. Having a safe and defined space that is protected through a mutual consent, confidentiality and professional containment is essential for drama therapeutic session.
As Dramatherapy is not about performing, no previous interest or experience is needed. As with any form of counselling or psychotherapy, all the work is confidential.
“These theatre programs are not for aspiring actors but for angry, frightened, and obstreperous teenagers or withdrawn, alcoholic, burned-out veterans…”
—Bessel van der Kolk
“….participating in drama and theatre allows connections to unconscious and emotional processes to be made. Participation is seen to satisfy human needs to play and to create. The festive act of people coming together through drama and theatre is seen to have social and psychological importance.”
“Confrontation of the painful realities of life and symbolic transformation through communal action. Love and hate, aggression and surrender, loyalty and betrayal are the stuff the theater and the stuff of trauma….Traumatized people are terrified to feel deeply. They are afraid to experience their emotions, because emotions lead to loss of control. In contrast, theater is about embodying emotions, giving voice to them, becoming rhythmically engaged, taking on and embodying different roles.”
—Bessel van der Kolk
What happens in Drama Therapy
Group and individual session generally start with a warm up that leads and develops into the exploration of problematic areas of the clients and ending with a closure that includes reflection and discussion of the work done in the session. Drama therapy is practised during weekly sessions lasting over a number of weeks (generally negotiated beforehand).
Sessions last from 40 minutes to 1 and a half hours depending on the group size.
What can Drama Therapy Achieve
- Build self confidence
- Create greater presence through fully ‘inhabiting’ our bodies
- Improve social skills, build connections, engagement and relatedness
- Provide purpose, focus and concentration
- Create coordination and easy rhythms in the body
- Build unity, cohesion, unity and a sense of community – a place of belonging
- Get in touch with your feelings, discharging feelings
Who is best suited for Drama Therapy
Drama and play therapy is particularly suited for people who find it difficult to express, relate and connect with others. It is a therapy that assists us to explore our ‘self’, in relation to our body, our psyche, our family and the communities we live in.