Interview with Louise Croombs– Dramatherapist

Louise Croombs

 

Occupation:  Dramatherapist

Position: Self Employed

Location: Reading, Berkshire

Website: http://www.dramatherapist.net

Shoe Size: 6

Interview Q’s

  • What is dramatherapy?

Dramatherapy is a type of psychotherapy; using elements of drama and other art forms to promote psychological growth.  Dramatherapy is an indirect and non-verbal approach to therapy.  Client groups range in age from young children to older adults who have a range of needs; including mental health conditions, ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders), dementia and learning disabilities; those with emotional, social and behavioural problems, trauma and bereavement.

 Dramatherapy is one of the Creative Art Therapies – which include drama, music, art, dance & movement.  It is a regulated profession by the Health Professions Council (which regulates psychologists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists).  Dramatherapists are required to have clinical supervision and continued professional development throughout their careers. 

  • Number of sessions a client may need?

 Depending on the aims of the therapy and the client’s needs; this could range from 10 weeks of sessions to several years. You don’t need to have experience of or know anything about drama to be a client.  The dramatherapist uses a range of techniques and art forms in order to support the individual clients either one-to-one or in small groups.  Louise plans sessions in advance but is led by the client during the session.  All treatment is confidential. 

  • How do you get work?

 You can work freelance which involves working for a range of organisations that refer clients to the dramatherapist.  Be employed by a company directly part or full time; such as a school, prison or NHS.  You could start up a private practice.

  • How long have you been a dramatherapist for?

A year.

  • What made you choose this occupation?

Dramatherapy combines being creative with helping people.  Louise used to volunteer for charities and wanted to combine theatre with providing therapeutic support to people for a living.

  • Where did you train and how long did it take?

Central School of Speech and Drama. 18 months MA. There are 5 Universities in the UK including Central who offer an MA in Dramatherapy. 

  • What is your career background?

10 years in theatre and TV.

  • Do you think there is equality in the workplace? If not then why?

There are more women in dramatherapy than men. 

  • Why?

It is difficult to say but perhaps because it is a caring profession and generally more girls study drama than boys. 

  • Who is at the top?

There are high profile dramatherapists from both genders.

  • What advice would you give to others wanting to be dramatherapists?

Get experience of drama and theatre – doing a class or local theatre group.   Get a degree in a related field.  You need experience of working with different client groups e.g. children or older people.  Get some life experience first.  It’s quite often a second career. 

  • What is the favourite part of your job? And least favourite?

That I can be creative and help others.  The least favourite part of the job from a freelance point of view is that regular work can be uncertain.

  • How do you achieve a work/life balance?

By resting and relaxing outside of work – I am creative in my own time and this helps me to support others to be creative in my work. 

  • Who do you find inspirational?

Marian Lindkvist who founded the Sesame Approach to Drama and Movement Therapy because of her pioneering work all over the world supporting people and developing our method of working with drama, movement, play, touch and story. 

  • Marmite or Jam?

Jam

Website: http://www.dramatherapist.net
Twitter @JammyLouLou

Dramatherapy statistics

Training involved – in the UK is an MA at one of the 5 Universities recognised by the Health Professions Council, see: 

http://www.hpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/educationandtraining/approvedcourses_as/

  • Potential salary range

NHS £29 to £40k+.

  • Employers

Schools, educational authorities, prisons, day centres, NHS, charities, private practice.

  • Professional / Institute websites   

http://www.badth.org.uk       

http://www.sesame-institute.org/

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