What is Dramatherapy?

Dramatherapy (in Germany: Theatertherapie) is a type of artistic therapy (such as music, art and dance therapy), which uses the transforming power of the theatre for psychotherapeutic purposes.

Dramatherapy is applied in all psycho-social fields for individual, pair and group therapy, and has particularly proven itself with otherwise hard to reach clients and problems.

Above all, the fun, action and body-oriented approach as well as the emphasis on experience and the expression of open new perspectives and possibilities, allows access to emotions that go far beyond the verbal level, and thanks to its artistic, creative form (so-called “aesthetic distance”) offer a high level of protection.

Dramatherapy always focuses primarily on the resources and healthy parts of a personality and strengthens them.

Dramatherapy uses not only biographical material, but also fictional stories (myths, fairy tales, literary texts, etc.), which contain the entire multiplicity of human drama.

The principles of contemporary drama therapy were mainly developed and tested in England, the United States and the Netherlands from the 1960s onwards.

The most important pioneers were; Renee Emunah (United States), Alida Gersie (GB), Sue Jennings (GB), Mooli Lahad (United States/Israel) and Robert Landy (United States).

In these countries, the term “dramatherapy” has established itself, in Germany the professional association of Dramatherapists (DGfT)prefer the term “Theatertherapie” because it is one of the artistic forms of therapy, such as dance, music and art therapy, here the artistic medium is theatre.

Dramatherapy in England, America and the Netherlands, is a form of therapy that has been recognized and used in the national health services for many years. “Theatertherapie” in Germany is still very little known, but is currently gaining more and more recognition and use.

“Theatertherapie” in Germany is classified as a therapeutic service (KTL) and in medical rehabilitation is listed under;

F clinical psychology, neuropsychology
F15 arts therapy for individuals
F154 “Theatertherapie” for individuals and/or F16 arts therapies for groups
F164 “Theatertherapie” group