This book is a concise introduction to the background, theory, and practice of a method of therapy which uses the dramatic process to help people during times of stress, emotional upheaval, illness or disability. Illustrated throughout with vivid examples from dramatherapy sessions, An Introduction to Dramatherapy shows how drama can be used in an intentional and directional way to achieve constructive change with individuals or groups. In particular, the book highlights the power of drama as a therapeutic medium because of its foundations in metaphor, power which can be harnessed through the use of techniques such as role play, enactment, story-telling and the use of puppets and masks.
Chapter 7: Dramatherapy and ‘Mental Illness’
Dramatherapy and ‘Mental Illness’
As was made clear in Chapter 1, dramatherapy has the potential to effect change in a wide spectrum of conditions and problems if applied and conducted appropriately. In later chapters, the efficacy of dramatherapy with particular client groups (for example, prisoners, older people, children, victims of abuse) has been explored but it is also an approach of great value in working with people who suffer mental and emotional distress, sometimes of an extreme nature. Even here dramatherapy may be efficacious. In this chapter, there is an exploration of dramatherapy in the context of mental health issues and with reference to the diagnostic categories used by the medical and psychiatric professions. This is not because dramatherapy is necessarily based ...