Dramatherapist

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    Dramatherapists perform controlled sessions where theatre and drama-based activities are used to observe and explore the behaviour, attitudes and emotions of individuals experiencing physical, psychological, emotional or mental health problems.

    Working either on a one-to-one basis or with groups of clients, you’ll use a range of interventions, for example stories, puppetry, masks, role play, drama and movement, to allow them to explore their experiences and express themselves in a way that might be easier than directly talking about it.

     

    Employers of Dramatherapists

    Dramatherapists work in a variety of settings with a range of clients. Education is a big employer, often through third sector organisations. As a dramatherapists, you may be employed by:

    • educational establishments, including schools and training centres
    • services for offenders, including prisons and probation services
    • support services for individuals with substance misuse issues, such as drug/alcohol dependency units
    • social services departments, including services for people with learning disabilities, behaviour support services and pupil referral units
    • the voluntary and community sector, including community centres, charities, voluntary agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and overseas aid organisations
    • private sector.

     

    Duties

    • assessing and monitoring clients’ needs
    • planning and providing appropriate treatment
    • liaising with and taking referrals from other professionals including doctors, psychologists and other therapists
    • maintaining confidential records and case notes
    • helping clients understand and address inner conflicts through drama processes such as role-play, storytelling, improvisation and script work
    • enabling clients to learn new skills and build confidence
    • making use of props, equipment and materials
    • writing reports
    • attending short courses and workshops to keep skills up to date

     

    Qualifications

    It is essential to gain an approved postgraduate dramatherapy diploma. For entry onto an approved course it’s normally necessary to have a degree qualification in a relevant subject, for example drama or psychological health.

    It is possible to be accepted onto a dramatherapy diploma or MA without a degree if you have a professional qualification, for example in nursing or social work.

    Alternatively, you could have a relevant professional qualification such as social work, teaching, nursing or occupational therapy and current evidence of theatre experience.

     

    Skills

    • a thorough knowledge of drama and theatre and good performance skills
    • the ability to adapt to different clients or group members, locations and situations
    • emotional strength and the ability to deal with challenging situations
    • a commitment to your clients’ well-being and to continually improving professional practice
    • excellent communication skills for dealing with a range of people, including clients, carers, colleagues and other health and education workers and agencies
    • time management and organization skills, particularly if working for more than one employer
    • administrative and report writing skills.

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