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Drama therapy & eating disorder recovery

What is drama therapy? 


When most people think about therapy, they assume that therapy can only be talking based (so called, talking therapies) (Anderson & Brownlie, 2011). However, there are a multitude of other psychotherapies which offer an alternative and unique approach, like drama therapy (Rinat & Hod, 2020).


What makes drama therapy distinct is its utilisation of various mediums and art forms. For example; role play, story-telling, music, voice work and movement. As expressed by Nikkita Da'Silva (qualified dramatherapist with 10 years’ experience and part of the CLiK team) drama therapy is a “unique approach” which also offers clients the opportunity to “explore difficult and painful life experiences through an indirect way”. 


Drama therapy & Eating disorders? 


Unlike traditional talking therapies, drama therapy allows for the exploration of feelings and it also reaches for the healthy part of an individual which may be temporarily sheltered. 

As mentioned, drama therapy recognizes how it is easy for an individual to intellectualise an illness and to formulate rigid solutions. Thus in relation to eating disorders, drama therapy encourages the body to communicate with the unconscious mind through creative methods and to externalise the eating disorder. This can allow for the slow separation of the psychological and physical symptoms of an eating disorder (The Association of Dramatherapists, n.d.). 

Often eating disorders can be isolating for a person, consequently this may leave them feeling unworthy. Whilst with eating disorders this can manifest in the restriction of food, it can also reflect in feelings of not being worthy of compassion and support. Drama therapy can offer the opportunity for a person to slowly rebuild their relationship with themselves again. 


Here at CLiK, we use drama therapy in our approach to recovery from an eating disorder. A reminder that you are not alone in your journey. If you know anyone who is suffering with an Eating Disorder, please contact the Team at CLiK and we can help: contact@cliktherapy.co.uk


References

Anderson, S., & Brownlie, J. (2011). Build it and they will come? Understanding public views of ‘emotions talk’ and the talking therapies. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 39(1), 53–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2010.531385 

Feniger-Schaal, R., & Orkibi, H. (2020). Integrative systematic review of drama therapy intervention research. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 14(1), 68–80. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000257 

The Association of Dramatherapists. (n.d.). How can Dramatherapy help. https://www.badth.org.uk/dramatherapy/how-dramatherapy-can-help 

Wood, L. L., Hartung, S., Al-Qadfan, F., Wichmann, S., Cho, A. B., & Bryant, D. (2022). Drama therapy and the treatment of eating disorders: Advancing towards clinical guidelines. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 80, 101948. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2022.101948  


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