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Play It Through

What is dramatherapy?

As it is currently the first ever International Dramatherapy Week I thought I would do some, back to basics, blogging and look at what dramatherapy is. Dramatherapy is the use of drama with a healing intent. But what is it? Drama means Action or To Do. The word drama can be understood in two ways: an exaggerated version of reality- a break up or a car crash might be described as a drama – “you missed all the drama while […]

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Contact Improvisation: London Embodiment Circle

This week I attended another London Embodiment Circle, a meet up for different styles of body based professionals which includes people who practice yoga, marshal arts, somatic experiencing and dance. This months theme was on Contact Improvisations. The session was led by Jan Lee who teaches contact improviastion and movement presence. Jan says: “I am a dancer, musician and somatic educator. My work is situated in the spaces in-between things, in the movements of transition and translation between different known worlds. […]

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Surfing on a sea of grief

Some types of pain and suffering are unique to each person I meet. Others are shared. Grief is something which affects everyone at some point (probably multiple points) in our lives. This year I had my own experience of grief. I cycled through my own stages of grief and mourning (Kübler-Ross, 1969); the anger, the despair, the fear for what would now change. I thought about Storymaking in Bereavement where Alida talks about a four tasks of grief: “(to mourn […]

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Wellbeing At The Heart Of Support: Khulisa’s Trauma-informed Model For Young People

The final workshop I attended at the Dramatherapy Conference last month was on Khulisa’s approach to working with schools and prisons. I was really excited about this workshop; I had the privileged to support Khulisa’s work in 2015 and saw the transformative impact their Face It programme had in a school. At the time I was training in Person-centered talk therapy but feeling like the counselling experience was lacking in the creative and embodied approaches I like to use with […]

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Working Empathically With Unspoken Trauma In Adoptive Families –An Adopter’s Perspective.

At the dramatherapy conference last weekend, I attended Workshop 11 which included two papers on adoption, one by Catherine Lake and one by Anna Seymour. The two presenters shared their perspective as both dramatherapists and as adoptive parents with a short discussion afterwards. The first presentation (the focus of this blog) was from Catherine Lake “Since the introduction of the Adoption Support Fund there has been significant growth in the area of therapeutic post adoption support leading to an increased […]

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Art in Mental Health

There was an art exhibit called Day 1 at this years dramatherapy conference by Amit Sharma which had been exhibited as part of Mental Health Awareness Week (May) with Shadow Road and OSO Arts Centre. The piece explored a way to use art within supervision within the field of mental health. I was particularly drawn to the wire sculpture. The head was fractured by the wall behind which the torso was attached to creating a brokenness with the impression of […]

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Emotional First Aid, Trauma Tapping Technique

I had an early morning activity on Saturday morning at the BADth Conference, stating even before breakfast was served. I don’t mind an early start but it is rare that I do anything much before breakfast. Here is what the programme said to tempt me to book this activity. “During December 2018–January 2019 I volunteered at Camp Moria Lesvos, Greece. The conditions in the camp are horrendous. Most of the refugees do not feel safe, especially at night and especially […]

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How It Feels To Remember by Erica Hedge and Daniella Budd at BADth Conference

There were four choices for performances we could attend on the Friday night of the BADth Conference. I had been attracted to this one as I was interested in how pre-verbal trauma could be worked with. We had been told in the blurb that: “Often the events that shape us happen to us before we even have the language to re-tell and make sense of our stories. One of the questions we are most commonly asked by parents and care […]

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Psychological Trauma and Resilience. When words are not enough. Planting the Alder. BADth Conference Keynote

This years dramatherapy conference keynote speech was from a group of 7 dramatherapists representing different generations and approaches. Dr. Bruce Howard Bayley and Mary Smail began by wondering what note it would be and which key it would be in. What does an alder tree have to do with trauma? How can resilience be put into words? How can seven different dramatherapists bring together different aspects of this puzzle and will it make sense as a cohesive whole presentation once […]

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