NEW ZEALAND: Drama Therapy for Children in a post-Covid world

In times of crisis, people often turn to the arts for comfort, stimulation, creativity and escape. A growing body of research has shown the negative effects of consistent lockdowns and prolonged periods of isolation on the mental health of people. One paper published last year in Psychiatry Research found a need to cater to and ameliorate children’s access to mental health support services, with a particular focus on developing healthy coping mechanisms.
That’s where people like Anne Ortlepp, a Wellington-based drama therapist with the charity Skylight, come in. Drama therapy is more intimate, client-centred form of therapy which uses things like improvisations, puppetry, game-playing and work with masks, stories, fairy tales and figures in therapy.
Benefits of drama therapy – as well as outcomes of healing and growth – include greater self-awareness, and improved physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s historically been used to treat anxiety, depression, interpersonal relationship issues, behavioural issues, learning difficulties, eating disorders, and grief and loss. But in a world where societies are looking to a post-Covid life, researchers say all forms of psychological therapy – especially those grounded in the arts – will be needed more than ever before.

Read more here.

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