Dramatherapy sessions for people with a learning disability and often other health issues too.
People were referred to the dramatherapy for reasons that included: self-expression, to build confidence, to alleviate shyness, to be more assertive, to help reduce feelings of anxiety, and to reduce social isolation.
The aims of the project included:
1. To support the group with becoming aware of their different, and sometimes more difficult, feelings, and to provide a safe space for them to be expressed.
2. To build confidence and self-esteem by offering an opportunity for each group member to be fully seen and acknowledged,
through the use of creative exercises, and by offering lots of choice and opportunities for self-advocacy.
3. To create a supportive environment where mutual respect and tolerance was encouraged and built.
4. To offer a sense of achievement and growth through the use of familiar rituals as well as new materials.
5. To have a fun and enjoyable experience.
Staff working with the people reported less anxiety and greater confidence as a result of the sessions.
There are some fantastic stories of how people have improved due to the groups. Here is one example:
E was referred to build confidence and assertiveness, as she was shy and often dominated by other service users. The centre noted that she loved performing and often used drama sessions to express herself.
Throughout these sessions E grew in confidence. Her kind, gentle, caring nature made her a popular member of the group. At times she would be the centre of two individual’s focus. She managed this well, giving her peers fair and considerate attention.
She became more confident choosing roles, volunteering to go first and used the news time to share different things she had done, or how she was feeling. She enjoyed being the lead role in PanD’s Box and although nervous, confidently played an important role in the showing of The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids.
As the sessions were coming to an end, she repeatedly mentioned how much she was going to miss the sessions and asked if there would be more in the future.
The day centre fed back E had become notably more confident and assertive. Staff noticed she had become more gregarious and less shy. As the lead role in their summer show of Mary Poppins, E was speaking her lines more clearly in rehearsals and was helping others out with their lines.