Dramatherapy is a creative form of psychotherapy which uses a variety of creative techniques in order to engage the child or young person, individually or in group sessions. The creative techniques that might be utilised within the dramatherapy sessions are storytelling, improvisation, role-play, puppets, movement and sound activities, dramatization, play, arts & crafts activities.
Dramatherapy has two elements. The DRAMATIC explores the creative and spontaneous potential of the body and mind, through working with drama-related techniques. The THERAPEUTIC allows the psychological needs of the young person to be identified and worked through in a safe and supportive environment and in a non-directive manner. The initial focus is on what each individual brings to the session.
Dramatherapy’s underlying intention is to empower all individuals and group members to gain a better experience of life. It involves verbal and non-verbal work and makes use of a range of theatrical and dramatic techniques.
Dramatherapy enables pupils to cope with change, deal with anxiety, come to terms with loss and develop strong supportive relationships
From The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth):
Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy/psychotherapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapy has as its main focus the intentional use of healing aspects of drama and theatre as the therapeutic process. It is a method of working and playing that uses action methods to facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight and growth.
Who is Dramatherapy for?
Dramatherapy is a flexible form of therapy capable of adjusting to the special interests and different ability levels of each person. Therefore, it is suitable for everyone who would like to try it!
An initial assessment with the dramatherapist will give the opportunity to both the therapist and the child to determine whether the intervention is appropriate for the child at the time.
What are the benefits for the child?
The aim is to help the children to understand their emotions, feel better about themselves and cope better in the future. This often also helps to improve a child’s classroom learning. The sessions provide a confidential environment to explore issues affecting their lives, whether they are aware of what is affecting their psychological development or not.
The Dramatherapy sessions focus on:
- Building self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Building trusting relationships.
- Developing communication skills, verbal and non-verbal.
- Expressing and exploring feelings.
- Developing creative skills and a creative vocabulary.
- Developing social skills.
- Increasing emotional literacy and cooperation.
Does a child need to be good at drama in order to do Dramatherapy?
No! Dramatherapy is not about acting and nobody has to perform. No experience is necessary. Every child has beautiful ideas when it comes to creativity and this is all we want!
How can my child access Dramatherapy?
First of all the child is assessed to see whether the therapy would be appropriate. To do this there is a meeting with the parent/carer and the therapist to talk about the child to get a picture of what they may be struggling with. Once the offer of therapy has been agreed the therapist will introduce the therapy to the child and ask them if they’d like to participate. The role of the Therapist is to keep the child safe and to establish a trusting and reliable environment in which they can freely express thoughts and feelings without judgement. In this environment, the child can develop their emotional literacy, resilience, discover things about themselves, their current modes of behaviour and eventually how they can resolve or change these in order to live a more fulfilling life.
Confidentiality and Supervision
Everything said or done relating to a child and their family is kept confidential at all times (including their art work). Permission is gained from parents and the child whenever it is necessary to pass information on. In the case of a disclosure the Child Protection policies of this school are followed, in which case information is on a need-to-know basis.
Dramatherapists practise under a protected title and must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). All Dramatherapists are in regular Clinical Supervision.
Our School dramatherapist is on site 3 days a week. She is a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council and a full member of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth).