What is Dramatherapy?
Dramatherapy (in Germany: Theatertherapie) is a form of arts 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 playful, action- and body-oriented approach as well as the emphasis on experience and expression opens new perspectives and possibilities, and allows access to emotions far beyond the verbal level. Due to its artistic, creative form (so-called “aesthetic distance”) it offers a high level of protection.
Dramatherapy focuses and strengthens primarily the resources and healthy parts of a personality.
Not only biographical material is used, but also fictional stories (fairy tales, myths, literary texts, etc.), which contain the entire spectrum of human aspects and make them representable and manageable.
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, while in Germany the professional association of Dramatherapists (DGfT) prefer the term “Theatertherapie” because the artistic medium is theatre which is one of the forms of arts therapy, together with dance, music and art therapy,
While Dramatherapy in England, America and the Netherlands, has been recognized and used as a form of therapy in the national health services for many years, “Theatertherapie” in Germany is still little known, but is 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