What is Drama Therapy?
As the name suggests, drama therapy is a form of psychological therapy that uses drama and theatre to help explore psychological, emotional and social issues – and you don’t need any previous acting experience or skill.
Using techniques like role-play, improvisation, mime, acting out, puppetry, masks and movement, drama therapy allows you to explore issues safely, without the need to talk directly about yourself or your own experiences. It can help you understand and move on from past difficulties or problems and help you with your relationships with other people. You can re-enact situations in order to help you learn to do things differently, or behave – or speak – in ways you would normally find difficult. You don’t even have to act, you could be the director, do the lighting, help make scenery or props – or, of course, the audience.
It can help if…
Drama therapy can help a wide range of people, including children with autism, adolescents who self-harm, those who have been physically or sexually abused, people with mental illness and older people with dementia.
Dramatherapists are trained as both artists and clinicians. During a course of drama therapy, you might use an existing play script or story (or adapt one), improvise a short play or sketch, act out something that really happened or a fictional scenario. Sometimes you will revisit the story or script over different sessions to better understand the issues it raises. You usually do drama therapy in a group but it is also available one-to-one.
For more information, see the British Association of Dramatherapists.