Play It Through

Embodied Approaches to Eating Disorders Part 2 meditation and theatre

Last month I attended a three day training course called Embodied Approaches to Eating Disorders led by Laura Wood, Martin Redfern and Naomi Nygaard – all creative therapiss who are also trained in IFS. I am reflecting on and sharing some of the different strands of that training. Yesterday’s blog looked at an embodied approach to IFS which works with parts of self. Tomorrow’s blog will look at movement, improvisation and Developmental Transformations. Today’s blog will start with meditation and […]

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Embodied Approaches to Eating Disorders Part 1 Eating disorder and IFS Parts

At last years conference I attended a fantastic workshop called ‘Embodying the dis-embodied: dramatherapy interventions for every stage of eating disorder treatment’ led by Dr Laura Wood. In that three hour workshop, Laura introduced some of the approaches she used when working with clients at an eating disorder treatment centre. Laura asked important questions like “What happens when the identity of an eating disorder is what sustains the person?” – some of her clients believe they can not function without […]

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Going Slightly Mad by BigMind Theatre Company #DramatherapistAtEdFringe

Based on a true story, this play follows Max (Lizzie Lewis) who has just been sectioned under the mental health act. Only Max knows she is not mad. She she may be on some kind of reality TV show, she may have mind altering powers to control other people, she may be God or a god. But she is definitely not mad. Locked away with four other supposedly mad people, all waiting in this Short Term Assessment Centre; waiting for […]

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The Words Are There by Nth Degree Productions #DramatherapistAtEdFringe

I’m spending 10 days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and wanted to share my dramatherapy thoughts on some of the productions. First in the spotlight “The Words Are There” by Nth Degree Productions. In this one-man show we meet Mick as he recounts moments of his relationship with Trish (absent except for a mop as an avatar and a voice-over). The tender moments when they meet and fall in love, the funny moments where they find joy, the harrowing moments […]

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Empowering Children through Art and Expression

In September I will be starting a new school-based project. This week I have been reading “Empowering Children through Art and Expression: culturally sensitive ways of healing Trauma and Grief” by Bruce St Thomas and Paul Johnson. This book is easy to read but offers some really insightful ways that the two authors have supported traumatised and bereaved children including child refugees from the Cambodian genocide and children who lost a parent during the 9/11 terrorist attack in America. The […]

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Non-verbal client? Try beat-boxing

Some of my clients have learning disabilities which make speech difficult so I was really interested to see this therapeutic beat-boxing programme at Lavelle School for the Blind in the Bronx New York. Working with a professional beat boxer and a speech therapist, beat-boxing is a way for these students to fully express themselves and to gain learn about their voice. “It was the first time that those students of our who are non-verbal, really have a lot of disabilities, […]

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The school that puts wellbeing first

On the BBC Sounds currently is an episode of People Fixing the World from Highgate Primary School in London. Currently about 3 children in every class will have a diagnosed mental health condition and many schools struggle to meet the complex needs. This primary school employs or gives placements to several different therapists. 39 children have a weekly therapy session with 14 different therapists; that is about 10% of the school population. There are interviews with a few of the […]

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Therapy Contract

This month I started seeing a new client. People often ask me “what happens in a dramatherapy session” – a tricky question for a therapy where every session is as unique as the client and current situation. But in that first session, actually there are some essential building blocks which get slotted together. It is important to explain what dramatherapy is to begin to build the therapeutic relationship. It is also important for the client and therapist to agree the […]

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Nature Play Therapy in Countryfile South Wales

“As well as improving self esteem, tree climbing also encourages team work” This weeks episode of BBC’s Countryfile, Matt Baker visits a charity called Down To Earth on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales. One of the staff members he speaks to is Lois Woodward (from 53:21 mins in) who has an MA in Developmental and Therapeutic use of Play. Matt: Give us an idea of the science behind the therapy of play? Lois: For children it is their natural form […]

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