Engaging Young Minds For Successful Therapeutic Outcomes 

Why Dramatherapy?

Dramatherapy is a relatively new therapeutic intervention, however it has quickly found its place within the arts therapies.

The term was first coined in the 1930’s, and has its roots based in psychotherapy. Dramatherapy was adopted by the NHS in 1990, and became a protected title in 1998. To register and practise as a Dramatherapist in the UK, you must now gain relevant experience and have graduated from one of the 4 Universities that offer Master’s degree courses.

Dramatherapy is useful when it comes to working with attachment issues, trauma or behavioural needs as it takes a distanced approach to therapy, using creative methods to reframe the issue. The distance that dramatherapy provides allows clients to reflect and process what they are bringing to therapy by working through and understanding any issues from a more objective viewpoint. This approach reduces the chances of re-traumatising young people, and lends itself to longer term therapy.

Due to the flexibility of dramatherapy, it becomes accessible to all varieties of ages, needs and goals. Dramatherapy is client led, meaning the client chooses how to use their therapy sessions, with guidance from the therapist to help achieve aims and opportunities for development. This allows a client to feel a sense of ownership over their own intervention, which leads to higher levels of engagement.


“The flexibility of Dramatherapy makes it accessible to all ages and genders.” 


 A therapeutic approach that
promotes distance to address trauma,
grief and behaviour.

Client Centered

Dramatherapy is led by the client, so they can choose their own interventions with the support of the therapist”.

How it will work with Total Care Matters

The young people that TCM care for present with a variety of needs, coming from all ages and backgrounds. Therefore, implementing a therapy that is flexible towards each client is imperative as it allows the young person to find the right way to engage with their own therapeutic journey.

Dramatherapy theory has its roots in psychotherapy, therefore lending itself to working with conditions such as attachment disorder, trauma and special educational needs. Total Care Matters homes focus on complex care and emotional behavioural difficulties; therefore, these conditions are often present in many of our young people, making dramatherapy an adaptable intervention for all our homes.

By offering in house therapy, it provides a more holistic model of support for our young people, as staff teams, managers and a therapist will be working alongside each other to provide continual and consistent support to a young person. Monthly reports will be created for each child and sent on to managers and social workers to chart a young person’s progress, and reviews will be held every three months where the young person will be able to express their view. In addition, staff will be trained on the theory and practice of dramatherapy, so will have the knowledge to inform and support young people in their homes through the process. By working as a team throughout the company, it allows the young person to experience holistic support through their therapeutic journey.

Therapeutic Statement of Purpose

Therapist Information:

Emily Rhodes is a qualified Dramatherapist, registered and accredited by the Health Care Professions Council with an Undergraduate degree in Psychology and Applied Drama and a Masters degree in Dramatherapy. Emily can legally practice therapy within the UK with people of all ages, with informed consent from clients, parents, or guardians.

Therapeutic Model:

Dramatherapy is a form of creative arts therapy with its roots founded in psychotherapy and theorists such as Carl Jung, John Bowlby and Virginia Satir. Our therapist practices dramatherapy alongside knowledge of attachment theory, child development and an understanding early childhood trauma to work with client’s needs. The creative aspect of dramatherapy promotes a distanced approach to therapeutic work, allowing clients to understand and heal while reducing the risk of re-traumatisation. Using dramatherapy theory and techniques, our therapist works 1:1 and face-to-face with our young people weekly, with the permission of social workers and local authority.

In addition to using dramatherapy to work with young people, our therapist also offers support to Total Care Matters staff. This support aims to aid staff through reflecting on incidents, discussions and developing relationships with the young people they look after. Total Care Matters staff can request support as they feel necessary, and these sessions are conducted face-to-face or over the phone, either individually or as a team.

Aims & Outcomes:

By introducing therapy into Total Care Matters, we aim to provide holistic support to young people and staff. Young people who receive dramatherapy will be supported by staff, who receive training on the basic process of dramatherapy so that all staff understand the therapeutic support the young people are receiving. The aim of providing in house therapy is to enable an open conversation about our young people’s treatment. By therapist and home staff working side by side with our young people, the team can make informed decisions to best support the children’s development while they are under our care.

Through offering staff support, the aim is to encourage staff reflections and discussions of best practice. By providing staff with a space to speak openly and process their role in young people’s development, the aim is to develop insight into the young people they care for through knowledge of attachment and additional needs. The outcome of this will be staff teams supported and confident to reflect both internally and as part of a team.

"Much research has been undertaken in the last 30 years showing the benefits of using creativity to engage with a therapeutic process"

Emily Rhodes – Dramatherapist