The general aims of a Dramatherapy session include exploring ideas, issues and problems using drama-derived activities; expressing and exploring feelings, developing spontaneity and imagination and creativity, improving self-image and self-confidence, developing social and relationship skills.
Dramatherapy involves several different forms of expression such as movement, voice work, body language and speech. Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists (IACAT)
Dramatherapy is suitable for groups or individuals. No drama experience or skill is necessary for participation. It is open to participants of all ages and physical and cognitive abilities. Dramatherapy often involves working ‘within the metaphor’, which means that difficult topics or emotions can be explored through the frame of, for example, a story, a poem, a play or a role, creating a safe distance between clients and their troubles. There is no obligation to talk about yourself or your feelings. This makes dramatherapy a useful and effective therapy for those who do not wish or are unable to express themselves using words.
Dramatherapy can involve stories; games; music; movement; drawing and craftwork; voice and breath work; costume and fabrics; role-play and acting; puppets and small objects, all in keeping with the needs, abilities and wishes of the client. Sessions can be very lively and active or quiet and gentle, depending on how the client likes to work. Dramatherapy sessions are very structured, having a clear beginning, middle and ending. There is a strong emphasis on the emotional safety of the clients, for example, before closing each session, there is a “de-roling” where everything is put away and clients let go of any characters or roles they took on during the session.