John Harley Drama Therapist in Bridport

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What is Dramatherapy?

Dramatherapy offers a safe space in which the client can play, improvise, create and fully explore their imaginative and real worlds. What emerges in this space can be a rich resource to bring back into everyday life and can have the potential to bring new insights and self-awareness to the individual. Dramatherapy does not necessarily involve any drama, though the drama of life can be explored expressively and creatively.

‘Dramatherapy has as its main forms the intentional use of the healing aspects of drama and therapy within the therapeutic process. It is a method of working and playing which uses action methods to facilitate creativity, imagination, insight and growth.’ British Association of Dramatherapists

‘…a unique form of psychotherapy in which creativity, play, movement, voice, storytelling, dramatisation, and the performance arts have a central position within the therapeutic relationship.’ The Health & Care Professions Council

'(Dramatherapy) values the possibilities of the unadorned encounter between a therapist and a client in the play space. Here, the world of imagination with all its contradictions and mysteries can be revealed through the embodied play of two free consciousnesses.' David Read Johnson, PhD, RDT/BCT Director, The Institutes for the Arts in Psychotherapy

'Unlike talk therapy, drama therapy gets there really fast. Role-playing -acting out issues and problems - is more effective than talking.'
Robert Landy, PhD, RDT/BCT Director Drama Therapy Program, New York University

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.

    As a practice, dramatherapy aims to do the following:

  • Promote positive behavioral changes
  • Improve interpersonal relationship skills
  • Integrate physical and emotional well-being
  • Achieve personal growth and self-awareness
  • Improve overall quality of life

    Dramatherapy may be used as a treatment for the following:

  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Interpersonal relationship issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Behavioral issues related to autism
  • Rehabilitation
  • Schizophrenia
  • Dementia
  • Eating disorders
  • Learning difficulties
  • Grief and loss


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