top of page

UNITED KINGDOM: Benefits of drama therapy in wards for older people and the youth justice system

Last week, two separate reports from the UK showed the benefits of drama therapy in working with two populations - children involved in the youth justice system and older people with mental health problems.

Southwark News, in their article about the quality of care inspections in wards for older people with mental health problems and long-stay rehabilitation wards, says: "Wards for older people with mental health problems were found to be “effective, responsive and well-led” and were rated ‘outstanding’ for caring. Those patients benefited from drama therapy while those with anxiety were supported through 'new sensory machines, such as interactive projectors'."

Read the full article here.

CYP Now informs about a new study by researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), commissioned by Manchester City Council, examining the link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and serious youth violence. Researchers interviewed "youth justice workers and children involved in the youth justice system as well as sports and drama therapists who carried out workshops for the young people.

The study found that while youth justice workers feel they have received general training on ACEs and trauma-informed practice, many believe they are lacking “specific training on how to implement such practice in a therapeutic way”.


Paul Gray, who led the study, told CYP Now that “youth justice services should not be expected to fund such training themselves”.

“Furthermore, Manchester Youth Justice Service is using its own budget to commission drama therapists to work in the youth offending service. Because they are having such a positive effect, they should arguably be funded in other ways, perhaps by health services or through violence reduction units,” he said.


The session also heard case studies on the benefits of drama therapy for young people who took part in the study.

Psychotherapist Kate Brown, who runs the sessions, described how drama supports children to share and understand their experiences “without feeling vulnerable and exposed”.

“It’s about trying to get children to feel comfortable, getting them to feel safe, by playing games which they slowly begin to see is all part of their story work. “It’s about getting direct, honest stories out of young people, without them feeling threatened, so we can go on to assess their need and how to support them,” Brown said."

To learn more about the study, read the whole article on Children and Young People Now.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
bottom of page