This project is supported by Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività
According to the Health Care Professions Council (UK) dramatherapy is “a unique form of psychotherapy in which creativity, play, movement, voice, storytelling, dramatization and the performance arts have a central position within the therapeutic relationship“. Thanks to funds generously awarded by the President’s Award for Creativity, the Youth Residence (YR) was able to launch the "Arani, Ismagħni, Ifhimni - Għinni" project and offer group dramatherapy to all child clients for the duration of this one-year project.
Group dramatherapy sessions are being held at YR premises on a weekly basis. The intervention aims at developing emotional literacy and interpersonal communication skills amongst children within a safe setting. Within the group, children are also able to add their own aims and preferences as they talk about what they wish to achieve during sessions. Sessions include emotional literacy group activities, movement exercises, story making / storytelling and drama games.
The group is being facilitated by a UK-registered dramatherapist who is working in liaison with a theatre arts practitioner who is also trained as a counsellor. The fictional stories created within the group will form the basis of a theatre script. We recognise and value the power of stories to convey children’s messages to us adult professionals. By taking advantage of the distancing potential of stories we aim to share these important messages whilst respecting confidentiality. We hope to be able to develop this script with the children themselves. The script will then be presented by actors to different professionals in psycho-social, medical and educational fields and form the basis of training events which will hopefully present issues from the children’s point of view.
This intervention would not have been possible without the support of the psychiatric nurses and the staff at YR.