He needed the kind of support Roundabout can provide

Mental Health Support

Due to the neglect of the primary carer from a very early age, Barney was put on a state of alert without being able to trust the world. He needed the kind of support Roundabout can provide to be able to access spontaneous play, and to be a ‘child’. Within the safety of the sessions, Barney’s sense of self developed as he allowed engagement with body movement in different forms such as: Performance, where he found reassurance and self-value in the actions of free expression and being witnessed. Mirroring and interaction with music as well as movement with touch, which allowed him to explore the feeling of anger, a feeling really difficult to get in touch with for Barney, as well as allowing physical contact through play. Playing with big sensory materials with song and sound, such as using a big yoga ball, used to allow strong, impacting throws, again to get in touch with the energy of anger; lycra used for being wrapped up, tossed and turned around and being hidden and found, and a box used to travel through ‘the waves of the sea’.

By the end of a period of dramatherapy, there was an important development in Barney: through play, he made shy attempts to allow himself to be met and cared for when embodying a human form, e.g. a baby. Furthermore, he was able to hear about positive aspects of himself, which is not easy for Barney. He was also able to explore and express anger, which is a significant step forward in his work. It indicates that he was able to feel the strength and courage needed to bring the ‘not so nice’ parts of the self to dramatherapy. This is very significant, because it shows that Barney developed the trust needed to know that even when he showed his rejection (anger-disagreement) towards someone else, he will still be ‘loved and valued’.

Photo by: Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi