Monday, 6 June 2011

Playing has no rules

People with memory loss can rapidly become isolated from those around them. They don't communicate the way they used to.

I keep coming back to how much we all rely on talking to stay connected to each other. And how difficult that is for many of us as we get older. We place so much judgement on how someone speaks. Get a word wrong, mispronounce something or just muck up your grammar and a lot of negative judgements may come in to play. Heaven help you if you stumble a bit. If your memory is not working the way you want it to, so the right words don't come, that can be very frightening. That is even harder on family and friends who struggle with this loss of contact with the person they love and care for.

But playing has no rules. We can make them up as we go along. There is no way we can fail or feel anxious about being second rate, not up to standard. If something doesn't work, we just change it with no baggage, no regrets or worries that it wasn't right. “It's just a story” - how safe does that make whatever we do?

Using play works so well because it just takes away any anxiety. People relax , have some fun and start communicating any way they wish. They use their early memories and the rest of start get a glimpse of amazing lives and achievements. With time this could take many people so much further or at least make daily life a less unhappy and worrying thing.

That's what I have come to love about the action methods of Drama Therapy. It allows us to act out what we want, how we want. No one can query our choice of words. If we don't use words at all just gestures, we are still communicating. If we're communicating, we can be in touch.

It is wonderful for me to see how people respond and reconnect when they get the chance to rediscover memories through Drama Therapy.

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