Dramatherapy for adults and children with a Learning Disability
Dramatherapy has many benefits for people who have a Learning Disability.
Mencap has produced a brief factsheet that explains why arts therapies (including Dramatherapy) are useful for people with a learning disability.
As Dramatherapy isn't reliant on cognitive ability it addresses the needs of clients at different levels. Through the use of touch, musical instruments, music, objects and fabric the clients are able to gain a sensory experience. Dramatherapy is a highly interactive and intensive therapy but can be enjoyable, playful and fun. Games, songs and movement can be fun and can give a sense of mastery and achievement which can build self esteem.
The Dramatherapist is working with the client’s inner psychological material but as a result the clients experience building relationships, social skills and different ways of being. For example, an adult with a Learning Disability may have a fixed way of responding in a certain situation and their support network may view them in a certain way. Dramatherapy sessions are a place where new behaviour and emotions can be explored and later can be transferred to the client’s everyday life.
Dramatherapy sessions ensure that all clients are equal and have an equal contribution; not only equal with each other but with the staff and therapists that work in the sessions. This leads to a sense of empowerment, promotes independence and confidence in the client's own abilities. The sessions can be tailored to include clients with varying levels of mobility, cognition, illnesses and problems.