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What is Drama and Movement Therapy?

Drama & Movement Therapy, or Dramatherapy as it is often called is an expressive form of psychotherapy which uses creative mediums in order to communicate and explore feelings and issues. These creative mediums can include drama, story, myth, improvisation, voice and play, and may often also include aspects of movement, art, and music. It can be verbal and non verbal, and be found in a variety of different settings to help people with a range of different issues.

About Drama and Movement Therapy #01

Dramatherapy is useful for children, adolescents and adults who feel that a talking therapy is not appropriate at the time, and wish to explore their feelings within a creative context. Clients are invited to do as much or as little as they like and to explore feelings in an indirect way, therefore they may find it less intimidating and confrontational than other forms of therapy.

Dramatherapy is not about performing and no previous experience or interest in performing arts or drama is necessary. All the work is confidential as with any form of psychotherapy or counselling.

Dramatherapy is an evidence based approach and one of the four recognised and accredited Creative Arts Psychotherapies (Drama, Dance & Movement, Art and Music). In the UK Dramatherapists are required to complete recognised professional training at MA level in order to work, as well as registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Only those who fulfil these criteria can use the title Dramatherapist.

Although Dramatherapy has been around since before the 1960’s, due to substantial research in the last two decades it is now seen readily in many settings including:

  • Mainstream Schools
  • Special Schools
  • Mental Health Settings
  • NHS & Private Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Adult Care Homes
  • Child Care Homes
  • Young Carers Organisations

The Sesame Approach

The Sesame Approach to Dramatherapy is client led and non confrontational. It is valued for its suitability for clients with a wide range of needs. The Sesame Approach is based on Jungian Psychoanalytical Psychology, Human Development Theories such as those of Winnicot, Bowlby, Piaget & Erikson, Slade’s Theories of Play and of Laban Movement Analysis.

Unlike other Dramatherapy methods, Sesame also uses a method called Movement with Touch along side other techniques. This is particularly suitable for non verbal clients, and those with profound or complex learning disabilities. This entitles Sesame Dramatherapists to use to title Drama & Movement Therapists as well as Dramatherapists.

If you are interested to find out more about The Sesame Approach you can visit for more information.

About Drama and Movement Therapy #02

My Integrative Approach

As a Sesame trained Dramatherapist from a background of Theatre and Performance, I use a wide range of methods in my practice. I often use Movement with Touch techniques in my work with non verbal clients, those suffering from extreme trauma and those with learning disabilities, along side more traditional dramatic techniques such as ritual and play, story and character, puppets and objects, masks and costume, role and improvisation, poetry and text, music and art with other clients.

Every Dramatherapy session is different and the content of any session will be unique to each individual’s needs and preferences. The aim of all sessions is to provide a safe and contained space in which the client can feel comfortable to explore themselves in a non judgemental and supportive environment and can do as much or as little as they wish.

What are some of the common aims of Drama and Movement Therapy?

  • Build self esteem & confidence
  • Explore difficult feelings or issues in a supported environment
  • Encourage self expression
  • Improve communication and relationship
  • Encourage greater social awareness
  • Develop appropriate social boundaries/relationships/trust
  • Explore body awareness & personal space
  • Explore and manage challenging behaviour
  • To connect physical feelings with emotional feelings