Dramatherapy And Its Application With Clients With Eating Disorders


Embodying Selves and the Department of Theatre Studies (School of Performing Arts, University of Malta), invites the general public to a lecture entitled An Introduction to Dramatherapy in its Application with Clients with Eating Disorders. The lecture will take place in Lecture Theatre 1, University of Malta, Msida Campus on Friday, 7th November, between 18:00hrs and 19:30hrs.

The lecturer will be Kate McCormack, Senior Dramatherapist at The Bethlem Royal Hospital, England, where she has worked for the past eighteen years. She trained in the Sesame method of Drama and Movement Therapy at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London, qualifying in 1996.

Kate McCormack will also facilitate a focused experiential workshop on the application of dramatherapy with clients with eating disorders. Professionals and trainees from the disciplines of the arts therapies, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, psychiatry, counselling, social work, psychology, the arts and related fields are welcome to participate. This will take place on the mornings of 8th and 9th November at the Waterfront Hotel, Sliema.

The event is an initiative of Embodying Selves – a practice-as-research arts project that aims to increase awareness of the intricate link between the way people view their bodies, self-concept, emotional well-being, and the way they eat. As part of the project, it is also working towards increasing awareness of the potential of dramatherapy in the healing process of people with eating disorders.

Dramatherapist Lou Ghirlando designed the project Embodying Selves after having been inspired by various psychotherapists and dramatherapists who speak about the connection between emotional well-being and eating patterns, as well as the way in which people play out their psychological patterns in the way they eat. This is of heightened relevance when working with clients with eating disorders. Dramatherapy can work towards the healing of people’s relationship with their body by working symbolically with creative media. It also supports in the development of respect and integration of one’s own body, as well as nurturing self-esteem.

The experiential workshops on the 8th and 9th of November will offer interested professionals the opportunity for focused reflection and thematic engagement. On the Saturday morning, participants will explore symbol and metaphor as used in dramatherapy and on the Sunday, the focus will be on the use of body and movement in dramatherapy. On both mornings, participants will be able to engage fully in an example of a Sesame dramatherapy session, as may be facilitated with clients with eating disorders.

Sesame is a form of drama and movement therapy which began fifty years ago. The name originates from the Ali Baba story. ‘Open sesame’ are the magic words uttered to open the cave to reveal the wonderful treasure within – a metaphor for the access that dramatherapy hopes to provide to a person’s unconscious to reveal not only what needs to be worked through, but the treasure of the often hidden creativity, which can become the medicine.

Workshop participants will be issued with a certificate that can be kept as a record for continuous professional development.

For further details and application you may contact Lou Ghirlando on loughirlando@gmail.com; by calling 99999562; or through the Facebook page Embodying Selves.

The project is being supported by the Malta Arts Fund and the Department of Theatre Studies, School of Performing Arts, University of Malta.