How do you decide what kind of therapeutic intervention to try? With so many types out there, choosing one can be difficult. Apart from trying out lots of different options (which could be time-consuming and expensive – not to mention confusing!) how do we decide which one to choose? Knowing what’s out there is a good place to start, which is why we’re going to delve into more detail about one particular kind of therapy here – Dramatherapy.
You may have been thinking about therapy for a while now – or at least the possibility of having something that’s just for you, something that allows you time and space to reflect and take stock of your life.
Maybe you’re just beginning to think about how beneficial this could be – but whatever the motivation, these thoughts are in themselves, the first steps towards change and creating new potential.
What’s the difference between creative art therapies and talking therapies?
The major difference between a creative arts therapy such as dramatherapy and a talking therapy is that the creative therapy does not (necessarily) rely on the spoken word.
For some, talking will be the most beneficial way to access therapy; communicating verbally will feel comfortable and completely natural. For others, this can be a challenge – perhaps because it feels like there are no words to describe how you’re feeling or because you find it difficult to articulate your emotions and experiences as well as you’d like.
In this case, creative arts therapies which are expressive and intuitive could provide an alternative that’s better suited to you.
The Thinking Mind vs The Subconscious Mind
Working creatively allows us to bypass the thinking mind, which has a habit of continually speaking to us – telling us how we feel about certain situations, people, events and our stories. But by accessing the subconscious (non-thinking) mind, we can often get to the truth of the matter – to find our truth. From here, things that we may not have been able to see or acknowledge can become very clear, resulting in those powerful ‘A-ha! Moments’.
This clarity enables us to be able to respond differently in situations that have previously triggered us and perhaps led to undesirable outcomes. We gain more control over our lives and (most importantly) we find that we have choices where previously, it may have felt like there weren’t any.
Learning More about the Creative Therapies
A colleague (who is an Art Therapist) and I decided to run a free creative therapy workshop in Hoxton recently. We do this from time to time because we know how important it is that creative therapies are both understood and accessible to people – as we’ve both seen the benefits of using the creative arts for therapeutic healing over our combined years of experience.
The result is always the same. So many people who came to us that day had been searching for something like this – and they wanted to know if there were more creative arts therapy workshops available across London. After searching, we found that there was a lack of these available and of the ones we found, none were free to attend.
The aim of this workshop was to share some insight on how creative arts therapies may be helpful. Following the workshop, we received lots of very positive feedback and we were inspired by the willingness of the people who came together, having never previously met, to express themselves creatively and try something new.
So what is a Dramatherapy session like?
In Dramatherapy, we often explore feelings or experiences by using or creating an image or images.
We are interested in making that which is not tangible into something more real so that we can look at it safely at a distance, removed from ourselves. It’s only by doing this that we can really begin to understand ourselves, our subconscious mind and our bodies and how these interact and communicate. It is the job of the therapist to guide the person by offering them pathways to connect with themselves and with others.
Dramatherapy is really a therapy that draws upon all of the creative arts, to find the best way for the person to be able to connect and to express themselves – as we recognise that this is different for everyone.
Dramatherapy as a Flexible Modality
I believe that one of Dramatherapy’s strengths is its flexibility and how adaptable and accessible it is. There’s absolutely no requirement of previous skills or abilities to be able to experience the benefits of Dramatherapy.
How Long Does a Dramatherapy Session Last?
A Dramatherapy session will generally consist of three parts and last for an hour. The first part is the ‘check-in’, where we may talk about what’s been going on in your life perhaps using objects or images to communicate this. Following the check-in is the main body of the session. Prior to this, we will usually have agreed what we’ll be focusing on and how we are going to explore this subject.
As a Dramatherapist, my role is to guide and support this process – to keep you safe (both physically and emotionally) and feed back to you my observations at the end of the session – if it’s appropriate to do so.
The third part of the session is to reflect on the session, discuss any insights that have emerged throughout the hour and ensure that we have a safe and contained ending.
Dramatherapy Group Sessions
We can also run Dramatherapy in groups so do keep checking the events page of our website for details of upcoming taster sessions.
Free Dramatherapy Consultation
If you would like to speak to me about a potential Dramatherapy session, please do get in touch leaving a telephone number, name and suitable times to call. I will contact you to arrange a telephone consultation.
There is no charge for this and we may be speaking for up to half an hour. However, this is not an assessment or therapeutic session – rather a way to ensure that Dramatherapy sessions are the right choice and will bring the most benefit to you.
Until then, I would just like to take a moment to congratulate you on taking your first step in showing yourself some care. By seeking out more information about the diverse range of therapies available, you’re taking a significant step towards positive long-term outcomes.
I wish you well on your journey.
Written by Ali McDonald