Sunday, 7 August 2011

Directors Cut

(and finding a Drama Therapist)
The Directors Cut drama therapeutic activity has its roots in both Gestalt and Creative therapeutic methods. Both the final product and the process of getting there are hugely important.

The client becomes the director, directing the other person (therapist), projecting their own fears and feelings, as well as being in control of what the end product looks like. The drama therapist can make suggestions and steer the process into ‘difficult’ territory. The client can accept or reject these inputs, or even criticise the ‘actor’ for doing things wrong (a high - low status mechanism). As with many other drama therapy techniques, this technique can help the client to reach the point of catharsis (having a strong emotional response / aha moment or epiphany).

Suffice to say that when practising drama therapy, you need to know what you are doing. During my time working as a drama therapist, I have met people who claim to be providing drama therapy. When I ask about qualifications, and practice methods, sometimes the answers are surprising. Some think that teaching drama is the same as therapy. Sometimes therapists think that working towards catharsis is the main responsibility of a therapist and the end goal. In my opinion, all good therapists and counsellors know (or should know) that this is not the end goal. Often the work only just starts at this point.

If you are looking for a drama therapist or counsellor, please ask for their credentials and experience. Where did they train and for how long? How much supervised therapeutic practice have they undertaken? What therapeutic methods are they trained in and what do they actually use? How long they have been practising? What client groups or issues do they work with/have experience in working with?

As anyone reading this will appreciate - a person not knowing what they are doing can cause more harm than good.

I invite other Drama Therapists to leave a comment setting out their experiences – wherever you are – Linda and I are pleased to see that our blogs are reaching a truly worldwide audience.

Until next time…

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