Dramatherapy in Education
Dramatherapy in education can be highly effective for a variety of students.
Dramatherapy offers the opportunity for the exploration, recognition and expression of emotion within a structured setting. It is often used within both mainstream and specialised schools for a wide range of children and young people of all ages.
The Dramatherapist in education settings can work with clients in groups or individually depending on the needs of the client. The work can focus on developing social skills, dealing with loss, easing transitions, building self-esteem. Referrals (made by teachers, SENCOs, educational psychologists, social workers and sometimes parents/carers) may be for:
- Children and young people who are presenting challenging behaviour.
- Children and young people who seem particularly anxious or withdrawn.
- Children and young people who have suffered a bereavement or difficult experience.
- Children and young people with learning and/or physical disabilities.
- Refugee and Asylum seeking children and young people (especially new arrivals).
- Children and young people with difficult family/home situations.
- Young carers.
Through small-group work the client is given the opportunity to explore and develop social skills, empathy and self-confidence. In individual sessions the client and therapist work actively together to meet the needs of the client. Through using, movement, play and drama the client is able to utilise their imagination and have a creative outlet in a supportive environment.
The sessions are private and confidential, structured with the aim to give the client consistency and promote trust in order for them to be able to experiment with different ways of being and alternative behaviours. This provides a space for the client which is a time specifically for them and enables them, if necessary, to express things that might be difficult in other contexts.
The experiences and discoveries made within Dramatherapy sessions can have a wider impact on the clients behaviour, emotional wellbeing and outside experiences.
The Dramatherapist maintains contact with other members of staff and parents/carers in order to monitor the student and best understand and meet their needs.