PAULA is in her late twenties and has a learning disability. She lives at home with her mother and attends a day centre on two days of the week. Her key worker referred her to dramatherapy saying “Paula tends to get upset or very excited by any events that happen or by something that she might hear about. She often seems angry or preoccupied. These emotions overtake her and she is unable to settle or concentrate for any period of time and therefore is unable to access any activities here or in the community”. Paula joined a dramatherapy group at the centre for a 10 month period.
ALTHOUGH reluctant at first, Paula soon responded well to the structured and creative way of working. Her confidence grew as she joined in the warm up games and she found that she could explore different ways of expressing herself through the scenarios and stories the group created. This helped her to manage how she was feeling more effectively and her concentration improved. She started to arrive on time and stay for the whole of the session. Not only was she able to express how she was feeling, but gradually she felt settled enough to be able to listen to other people in the group and relationships grew.
A VERY creative side of Paula emerged and she found that she enjoyed creating characters as well as devising stories with others in the group. Props, hats, costume, art images, photographs were offered and chosen by group members as a starting point for their characters and story plot. Soon Paula had the confidence to come up with ideas for characters and contribute to the different storylines that the group devised.
THE DRAMATHERAPY sessions had a very positive effect and enabled Paula to take part in other activities and sessions on offer at the day centre. Paula was calmer and not so easily affected by outside events. Staff at the day centre said this result was a ‘big success’.
* All names have been changed to protect the identity of our clients.
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