Sometimes words alone are not enough; they can be hard to find and, sometimes, too hard to say. Dramatherapy creates a safe place to explore feelings, experiences and beliefs without feeling judged or threatened, and to discover new ways of being in the world. Action and reflection, engaging the memories and learning abilities of our bodies and the deep understanding that is embodied in myths and stories, lead us to new insights, to healing and growth.
To benefit from dramatherapy, you don't have to be 'good at drama.' It is led by your needs and how you will gain from the process, and it is not about performance. We use games, exercises, stories and ritual to enable exploration and change to take place in a safe, structured environment.
Dramatherapy can help with a broad range of emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties such as...
- depression, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed by or stuck in patterns of thought or behaviour
- surviving the consequences of abuse or other trauma
- dealing with bereavement, loss and profound life changes
- learning difficulties and associated developmental and emotional challenges
- dependence on alcohol or other substances
- living with serious or terminal illness
- social isolation and difficulty in communicating
Dramatherapy can help you to...
- work through internal and external challenges, significant life events and transitions
- approach problems from new angles with natural creativity and imagination
- develop self-awareness and new ways of relating to yourself and to others
- build self-esteem, have confidence and trust in yourself, express yourself and communicate more effectively
Although it works gently, dramatherapy can have powerful results, as evidenced by its recommendation in the government's 'NICE' guidelines for use in the treatment of psychosis and schizophrenia.
What to expect in a dramatherapy session
Sessions normally last an hour, but for children they can be shorter if necessary. Dramatherapy is flexible and adaptable, and what takes place will depend very much on your needs, both in the immediate present and in the longer term. It will include both doing and talking, and can involve a variety of creative media to help you to know and understand yourself. This means activities such as drawing, modelling, story telling and story making, as well as things that are more obviously dramatic.
Whatever methods we use, there will be no expectation of technical skill, and no pressure to do anything against your will.
The principle of 'metaphorical distance' is very important in dramatherapy. By means of, for example, stories or symbolic actions, our unconscious minds can express things that our conscious selves would find too difficult. Things that deeply trouble us can find a way to be expressed, and we can take them on board in a gradual and managed way. Each session, and series of sessions, is structured so that clients are prepared for and in control of what takes place, and are able to leave it safely at the end.
Dramatherapy, like other therapies, can sometimes be challenging; it can also be playful, enjoyable and satisfying.
If you are considering dramatherapy but would like to know more, I would be happy to talk to you either by phone or in person by arrangement.
As well as therapy for individuals, I also work with couples, families, and groups, where dramatherapy can be very effective in clarifying how people relate and behave together, and in investigating possibilities for change.
Groupwork can be valuable not only where there are specific mental health or learning difficulties but to explore issues that the group may be collectively interested in, or to develop working dynamics, communication and co-operation within teams. I also offer groupwork training for professionals who lead groups or who wish to develop their understanding of how people function together.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am registered as a Dramatherapist with the HCPC and am a full member of the British Association of Dramatherapists. I have a BA (hons) in Drama from the University of Manchester, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Dramatherapy from the University of Surrey (Roehampton).
My interest in the potential of drama beyond performance grew out of my experience in experimental and community-based theatre. Many years of creative and therapeutic activity with a wide variety of individuals, groups and communities eventually led to my training as a dramatherapist.
Since qualifying in 2003 I have worked with clients of all ages, with needs ranging from a simple urge for self-enquiry to serious mental health problems or learning difficulties. Projects have included work with refugees and asylum seekers, dramatherapy in the natural environment, and rite-of-passage residential workshops for young people.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Rites of passage
My standard fees for individual dramatherapy are £45 per session. Concessionary fees are available in cases of hardship.
Fees for couples, families and groups are by arrangement.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|