Clinical Applications of Drama Therapy in Child and Adolescent Treatment

Clinical Applications of Drama Therapy in Child and Adolescent Treatment

Clinical Applications of Drama Therapy in Child and Adolescent Treatment

Clinical Applications of Drama Therapy in Child and Adolescent Treatment

Synopsis

As an emerging psychotherapeutic discipline, drama therapy has been gaining global attention over the last decade for its demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of child and adolescent populations. However, despite this attention and despite the current turbulent state of the world and the increasing population of disturbed and at-risk children, the field of drama therapy has so far lacked a standard text. Weber and Haen's book fills this need, providing a core text for graduate students and established professionals alike. Clinical Applications of Drama Therapy in Child and Adolescent Treatment is guided by theory, but firmly rooted in practice, providing a survey of the many different possibilities and techniques for incorporating drama therapy within child and adolescent therapy. Its chapters are written by contributors from five different countries, all of whom are established authors on the leading edge of drama therapy, and they deal with issues that have so far received little attention, such as the use of drama therapy in the wake of the September 11th attacks and to address Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. More than merely a survey of the existing literature on drama therapy, this text represent a true expansion of the field: one which articulates the breadth of possibilities and applications for drama therapy in the larger context of psychotherapy.

Excerpt

SANDRA L. BLOOM, MD

Every work of art points somewhere beyond itself; it transcends itself and its author; it creates a special force field around itself that moves the human mind and the human nervous system.

-Vaclav Havel

For as long as humans have been capable of pondering the nature of illness, disease has constituted a dis-integration, a loss of intactness, a separation into parts, a break up, a deterioration, a reduction to fragments. One word for the Devil is “Diabolos, ” referring to the divider, the splitter-into-fragments. Western medicine traces its roots to the ancient Greeks and the original therapists, the therapeutes, those chosen as the attendants of the cult of Asclepius, the god of healing who was-not coincidentally-also the patron of artists. Serving Asclepius required artistic performance, and the temple of Asclepius in Athens was immediately adjacent to the great Theatre of Dionysus.

Like their predecessors, the drama therapists who are the contributors to this volume have dedicated their professional lives to restoring the health of children's minds and bodies; children injured in a world that refuses to adequately protect its future. The children described in these pages have suffered injury to their brains, their sense of personal value, their capacity to trust other people, and their ability to make sense of the world. But there is an injury that is arguably even more destructive than all of these-injury to the ability to imagine something else, to imagine oneself healed and whole. Recovering from traumatic experience, illness, or affliction is not a simple project of the re-knitting of bones and muscles, but instead requires a reworking of the soul-of time, of space, of identity, of meaning. And, most

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