Arts therapies

Explains what arts therapies are, what they are for, what happens during therapy and how to find a therapist.

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Katie Evans
Posted on 04/12/2013

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Guest blogger Marion Janner overcomes her day centre discrimination.

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What is dramatherapy?

Dramatherapy uses a range of different drama and theatre techniques, such as:

  • improvisation — making up short plays or sketches
  • role play — acting the part of a particular person in a specific situation, such as a parent or child
  • mime — acting without using words
  • movement — using your body to express yourself
  • speech — using your voice in ways that you otherwise find difficult
  • acting out — replaying a behaviour or situation that has caused you problems in the past.

You don’t have to act in dramatherapy. You can also be involved in other parts of theatre, such as:

  • being the director or producer
  • doing the lighting
  • creating scenery, costume or props
  • being the audience — this can be particularly helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed or want some space without having to leave the group.

The therapists were able to tell a lot from what you had created... and it helped open up topics for conversation or get a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions out of your head.

How might dramatherapy help me?

Dramatherapy can help you to:

  • express yourself and help you to put difficult experiences behind you
  • explore difficult or painful things that have happened to you from a safe distance by using stories, imagery or symbols, without having to repeat the details of your own story
  • explore and understand your relationships with other people, and may help you address any problems. For example, if you feel you're controlled by other people, you can practise being assertive.

This information was published in 2016. We will revise it in 2019.


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