Chesner's book explores dramatherapy as perhaps the most wide-ranging of all art forms, incorporating as it does elements of music, movement, design, story and performance, and addresses the value of action-based therapy methods with people with learning difficulties. An assessment of both theory - why is dramatherapy of such value with these particular clients? - and practice - what particular structures and methods are of use? - is facilitated by case-history examples of technique from both group and one-to-one situations, as the author considers the multidisciplinary potentials of dramatherapy and explores collaborations with speech therapy and music therapy. She also addresses the issues and dilemmas which arise in relation to the application of dramatherapy to this client group - therapy as education, training or psychotherapy?
Providing encouragement and food for thought for dramatherapists, this book will also be of interest to drama workers and teachers, who will gain an insight into the points of connection and difference between their own work and that of the dramatherapist. Professionals from other disciplines may see the potential for creative co-working projects.
The book is optimistic in spirit and clearly written. This book should be read by art therapists who work with the learning disabled, especially if there is a dramatherapist on their team. As well as giving a clear and coherent account of dramatherapy for this client group the book demonstrates the value of creative flexibility. -- Inscape A comfortable balance is struck between theory and practice, with effective use of examples to support descriptions of methodology. The style of the book is straightforward, accessible and goes a long way towards demystifying the dramatherapist's techniques. The book reveals how dramatherapy may be used effectively in clinical contexts with the learning disabled. All told, this is an insightful, "unprecious" contribution to the drama and special needs library. -- British Journal of Learning Disabilities The style of the book is refreshingly straightforward, accessible and goes a long way towards demystifying the dramatherapist's techniques - reveals how dramatherapy may be used effectively in clinical contexts with the learning disabled... this is an insightful, "unprecious" contribution to the drama and special needs library. -- Mental Handicap Research ...the central message of the book in using drama as a vehicle to support personal growth and change is an important one. -- Research in Drama Education '...a clear and detailed exploration of the uses of dramatherapy for people with learning disabilities...a fascinating and stimulating mixture of theory and practice...of value to anyone concerned with enriching the lives of people with learning disabilities. -- Down's Syndrome Association Newsletter This is a well-written book that offers insights into both dramatherapy and the world of institutionalized adults; it will thus be valuable not only to dramatherapists, but to all those who work with the mentally retarded. In fact, its appeal is likely to be universal because of Chesner's sensitivity as a therapist and the thoughtfulness of her case descriptions. -- READINGS: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health