Drama & Movement in Therapy
Within one-to-one therapy there is scope to draw on drama and movement to support the emergence of new thoughts, feelings, insights and inspirations. Working this way is not necessarily ‘dramatic’ or ‘theatrical’ but a vital and imaginative way of grounding new awareness.
‘Psychotherapy has to do with two people playing together. The corollary of this is that where playing is not possible then the work done by the therapist is directed towards bringing the patient from a state of not being able to play to a state of being able to play.’ D.W. Winnicott. Playing & Reality.
Sometimes experiential movement and drama work may be introduced with client consent. The element of play this introduces can be transforming as well as safe and enjoyable, allowing for the mind and body to discover its own healing solutions without the intervention of talking. If you are interested in learning more about drama and movement therapy please click on the link to the Sesame Institute.
There is a new wave of drama and movement in therapy, lead by the Sesame Institute UK & International, that is promoting the use of this therapeutic form with traditional ‘talking’ therapy, as an intervention when ‘words are not enough’.
The left brain, the part of the brain used for cognitive thought and thinking can become overloaded when rationalising of issues past and present are regurgitated, and creative imagination can hold ‘the key’* to unlocking resources from the unconscious that can be re-vitalise and restore balance and tap-in to hitherto unknown resources.
A former client describes a session when Sesame was incorporated introduced
“I shall never forget using Sesame to “make” a tapestry of my life with Elizabeth during our time of working together. Using gentle movements, I worked my loom and wove together the fabric of my life. I remember how therapeutic it felt to stand in the room and make the whooshing movements back and forward. I realise while doing this that it also reminded me of ironing which I actually love. There was peace and rhythm in that movement, which I felt were both lacking in what often felt like an awkward, chaotic life. I remember feeling as if I had been weaving this tapestry for many years and that it was still not complete. When I “looked” at it,
I was amazed to see the many different hues. I had forgotten how rich my life could be. There were knots in the thread that jarred my shoulders at times, but they refused to unravel, and so I wove them in. These knots gave my tapestry texture. I realised through this movement that the knots in my life were what created the wonderful terrain I walked upon. They were part of me, and even though they sometimes jarred, life would be bleak and boring without them.
My final session with Elizabeth had us sitting on my tapestry, enjoying it. I have never felt more at peace. I could not believe that I could create something of such beauty and that it came from within me, from my imagination. I had locked much of my imagination away and it was wonderful to be able to open the door. Sesame was the key I needed. There was no need for talking, my body did that for me and I was amazed to find I had another language within me. I had forgotten that too.
(In my final session,) Elizabeth rolled up my tapestry and handed it to me. I will never forget that. We had worked together for six years and this was her final gift to me. The gift of myself. I cried so much and I often still do when I think of what working together meant to me. Sesame gave me a powerful image and a body memory of creating my tapestry. I remember the work each time I iron and it soothes me (funny to think of ironing as soothing, I know!).
I often imagine adding more to my tapestry – it now hangs in the walls of my mind, and its beauty reverberates through my body. Sesame has made it somehow eternal and unforgettable. Funny how easy it can be to forget words, but images and movements seem to stay. It was a wonderful experience and one I know I shall revisit in the future.”