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Therapy Groups and Dramatherapy and Art Therapy Groups
Group Therapy is a form of counselling during which one or more therapists work with a number of clients together in a group setting. Group Therapy refers to any form of counselling that is extended to a group of clients who are contracted to work together to openly utilise the group process as a tool for personal and interpersonal change and growth.
Working in a therapeutic group with others, whilst it can be a challenging experience, brings our clients many opportunities and benefits, for example:
- Identification through shared experience
- The realisation that experience is not always singular
- It breaks the isolation of addiction/the addict
- Provides the opportunity to be heard and understood by others (for many this is a profound experience of empathy; given and received)
- Support of others; given and received
- Exploring and examining interpersonal relationships within the group
- Developing new skills in relation to communicating with others
- Problem solving abilities can be developed (life, intra-personal and interpersonal)
- New ways of being and relating can be explored
Receiving interactive, open and honest feedback from others – whilst sometimes difficult and demanding – enhances self-awareness and self-understanding, builds self-esteem and promotes self-directed development; all attributes the recovering addict sorely needs to openly embrace.
ALL STAND UP or SIT DOWN?
Dramatherapy focuses on the purpose of employing the healing aspects of drama and theatre as the very therapeutic process itself. It is a way of working, exploring and playing that uses expressive media techniques to enhance learning, develop creativity and stimulate imagination and insight with the express intention of facilitating healthy psychological change and personal growth. Our Group Dramatherapist creates an environment in which our clients in recovery from addiction can openly express emotions and explore an addiction-free future.
We believe that creative self expression supports an individual’s recovery and healthy psychological adjustment. Our Dramatherapist works with ‘action-based’ methods such as storytelling, projective play, improvisation and performance to support and facilitate clients in facing and challenging their addiction directly and truthfully.
Whilst also having fun with the therapeutic process, individuals within the group are offered the opportunity to practice new skills and explore historical experience without consequences, for example:
- Role playing a long term ‘sober self’
- Rehearsing how to refuse substances
- Exploring and acting out negative and dangerous behaviours
- Exploring past trauma and/or past experiences
Dramatherapy helps develop personal and emotional expression and enhances profound self-understanding. Group members can also practice honesty, develop communication skills and make personal life connections in an organic, patient, and creative manner without feeling overwhelmed by their own life issues.
Group Art Therapy
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that utilises art media as its basic means of communication and self-expression. Art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium to explore and better understand the emotional issues that clients may find stressful, painful or upsetting.
Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in drawing or painting; and whilst this can be an enjoyable activity it is neither recreational nor an ‘art lesson’ but a form of intra and interpersonal therapeutic exploration. Our Day programme offers Group Art Therapy sessions and its practice has evolved to reflect the cultural and social diversity of the clients who engage in it.
The benefits of Art Therapy are multiple:
- It does not require the use of language (which is highly facilitating to those who are less comfortable expressing themselves with words)
- It helps clients uncover previously ‘hidden aspects’ of self
- It helps increase creative expression
- It reduces stress, anxiety and tension
- It can often lead to a sense of relief (and overall better mental health)
- Clients discover themselves in new ways
Through the use of art our Art Therapist can also facilitate clients to:
- Use art in a supporting, open and loving way
- See things about the self that otherwise may not have been comprehendible
- Process emotions and feelings that are complex or stressful
- Increase their ability to work and share with others
Art therapy is also known to organically help clients develop their social skill; naturally it facilitates those who are withdrawn, inhibited or isolated to engage and communicate with greater ease and more genuine openness.