When our young people are facing challenges and difficulties, it can be hard for them to speak about how they feel or what is going on in their world. Emotions can become over-whelming, confusing, hard to understand or remain a mystery to them.
These young people may be communicating to us in-directly and unconsciously through their behaviour. For example, they may appear anxious or withdrawn, others may hit out at others or hurt themselves.
Through our natural ability to play and create, Dramatherapy offers a different language and way to express ourselves and make sense of our feelings, thoughts and experiences.
Over the last 10 years I have worked alongside young people and families from all walks of life, who have attracted many different diagnoses and labels such as:
- Attachment difficulties and disorders
- Sexually Inappropriate Behaviour (SIBs)
- Life changing injury or life limiting condition
- Neurodiversity – Those on the Autistic spectrum, including those with a PDA profile (‘Pathological Demand Avoidance’)
- Learning and/or Communication Difficulties (Inc. Selective Mutism)
- Voice Hearing
- Disordered Eating
- Panic Attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Anger/Violence to others/destruction of property
- Withdrawn and Socially Isolated
- Low confidence and Self-esteem
- Sleep difficulties and Insomnia
They may be facing issues and life events including:
- Abuse – Emotional, Sexual, Physical, Neglect, Racial, FGM, Grooming and Sexual Exploitation.
- Trauma – Past or Present
- Recent Mental or Physical Health Diagnosis
- Changes in home life – Parental separation/Family breakdown/Moving location/New sibling
- Changes in School Life – Moving year group or school, friendship breakups, exams, social difficulties.
- Relationship or Social difficulties
- Identity and Gender Identity issues
- Bullying and Cyberbullying
- Separation Anxiety
One to One sessions with Family support.
One to One Dramatherapy sessions are offered weekly, at the same regular time slot, for an hour. Depending on the age of the young person this can be reduced or extended depending on need.
It is important to work alongside and support the wider family when working with any young person. Although the one-to-one session content is confidential, I will offer regular family support and review sessions. These can be used to work creatively and playfully together on family challenges and be used for everyone to feedback on the Dramatherapy process.
Karen and the family can share insights and our understanding of issues together to aid homelife, school and any wider services to support the young person in everyday life.
Parent/Carer and Child Play and Attachment Sessions
These play sessions will develop and nurture your ability and confidence to play and relate freely with your child.
The play skills you will be guided and supported to develop, aim to strengthen the trust, safety and bond between you and your child.
These sessions may be particularly useful for:
- People who are experiencing pregnancy difficulties or feel anxious about becoming parents.
- New parents who are not confident in handling their baby.
- Parents who have experienced difficulties with their own parent relationships or challenging childhoods.
- Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents
- Children and young people with attachment needs, developmental delay, emotional and behavioural needs, or those on the Autistic spectrum.
Research* shows us that the playful relationship between the mother/primary caregiver and child, is essential for the infant’s healthy neurological development and for developing a safe and trusting attachment relationship with Caregivers. This safe and nurturing relationship builds the foundations for the child’s healthy growth and resilience in all areas and their ability to go on to develop safe and trusting relationships with others. These sessions can start from 6 months of pregnancy onwards up to late adolescents.
These play sessions use an approach call *Neuro-Dramatic Play developed by Prof.Sue Jennings. Karen was able to train with Sue Jennings and completed her N.D.P Diploma in 2020, which she now integrates into her Dramatherapy practice. Sue Jennings has written about this approach here ‘Healthy Attachments and Neuro-Dramatic Play’ S. Jennings, 2011, Jessica Kingsley Publishing.
Here what others have to say.
I liked the drawings. I also liked the cards with the emotions. I like dramatherapy cos’ it releases the stress. Dramatherapy has helped me with getting to talk about my feelings
Karen has been kind, patient and understanding. My Daughter was very withdrawn and didn’t talk at all. The Dramatherapy has enabled [name] to come out of her shell and feel safe at home and school again. Now we can’t stop her talking and singing!
[Dramatherapy] was fun, we played games and the time flies by. My angry [name] is not so difficult. My anger is less now