What is Dramatherapy?
Dramatherapy draws upon the world of the imagination to facilitate psychological change and mental well being. It has long been understood that we interpret the world through a metaphorical lens.
Dramatherapy actively encourages the use of metaphor in the therapeutic space to help us understand and make meaning of our day to day lives and issues. The metaphor can come in many guises in Dramatherapy such as story, objects, body work or drawing to name just a few.
When entering therapy it can sometimes be hard to find the words to explain or describe adequately how you feel. In fact for some people, words become a barrier or a mask to recognising the feelings behind them. These techniques promote distance from difficult material and encourage the projection of feelings outside of oneself.
This projection can enable us to engage with the emotion in a way that feels much safer and less overwhelming. It is this witnessing of our own material outside of ourselves that promotes the psychological shift as it encourages us to view the difficulty from many angles and viewpoints and then have the opportunity to feel differently about it. It could be argued that part of any psychological issue is the way we think about it and when our thinking becomes very fixed, problems can arise. Life itself is not predictable and being able to develop flexible thinking patterns can promote long term mental well being.
What happens in a session?
In spite of its name, you do not need to have any drama prowess or skills. Many a time I have had to explain that Dramatherapy is not only for actors or performers, but rather for anyone that wishes to use creative and illuminating techniques to explore themselves and their relationships. As suggested above, there are a number of techniques and ways of working within this therapeutic approach and how the session gets shaped will largely depend on where you as a client wish to take it.
I practice Dramatherapy within a solution-focused framework. This means that like the other two approaches, there will be a clear understanding about what you wish to achieve from the work we do together. Initially we will discuss what has bought you to therapy and why Dramatherapy in particular is the way of working that appeals to you. We will also discuss how you will know the sessions are useful and how you will know when your goal has been achieved. This will alert us both to when the therapy itself has reached its end.