Sometimes words just aren’t enough to express the extent of our feelings. We need metaphor, images, creative writing or expressive movement to gain greater awareness of ourselves and connect on a deeper level. We all have times of adjustment in our lives that may feel stressful and difficult to deal with. Using an experiential approach such as drama therapy can be a powerful approach as a way to integrate mind, body and spirit.
We tend to live a lot of the time in the logical, left brain, leaving the emotion-filled creative right brain in the shadow of our childhood. Sometimes we get stuck in limited roles and forget that there are many parts to who we are as individuals. This may leave us feeling empty, incomplete or unseen. A specialization within the Creative Arts Therapies (also referred to as Expressive Arts Therapy), Drama Therapy allows for a safe and supportive space to improvise and rehearse the roles and experiences we want to integrate more into our lives in order to feel whole, creating a new narrative for our lives.
“Drama therapy is the intentional use of drama and/or theater processes to achieve therapeutic goals. Drama therapy is active and experiential. This approach can provide the context for participants to tell their stories, set goals and solve problems, express feelings, or achieve catharsis. Through drama, the depth and breadth of inner experience can be actively explored and interpersonal relationship skills can be enhanced. Participants can expand their repertoire of dramatic roles to find that their own life roles have been strengthened.” – North American Drama Therapy Association
Drama therapy uses both verbal and non-verbal approaches such as art, improvisation, music, photography, poetry, script writing, and/or movement, making it uniquely useful in figuring out how to verbally communicate feelings that may be hard to identify. It may help individuals see a new path, by experiencing it in a playful way. Evidence shows that feelings get stuck in the body, resulting in physical, emotional and spiritual distress. Using a mind/body approach allows these feelings an opportunity to release what is being held.
I use Drama Therapy with my private practice clients as well as with organizations that may benefit from working with a drama therapist for groups, workshops or trainings. Some examples of groups and trainings that I have created and facilitated include:
- Drama Therapy for Women’s Wellness
- Creative Arts Therapy for Moms
- Creative Drama for kids 4-7
- Drama Therapy for kids 8-12
- Introduction to Drama Therapy
- Therapeutic Improvisation