The Sesame approach incorporates the philosophies and theories of certain key psychologists and practitioners, including Jung, Laban, Slade and Lindkvist. The work of these individuals is explored in relationship to the discipline of dramatherapy and its emerging articulation. Essentially, the approach introduces drama and movement as a means of accessing and expressing unconscious processes and hidden qualities, so that these can be explored, expressed and reflected upon. This draws mainly on Jung’s insights into the self-regulation of the psyche. Movement is introduced as a central feature within the dramatic medium, as well as specific attention to Laban and approaches to movement with touch and sound. The Sesame approach engages the body in a dramatic context through play, improvisation, character work and story and myth enactment.
Drama has proved an especially effective tool in therapeutic contexts. Rather than focusing on a person’s immediate behaviours and symptoms, it can offer a creative and metaphorical context to a problem. Not only can dramatic work help to catalyse individual creativity, it also offers a means to explore culturally specific experience through the symbolic images contained in mythology.
The course is experiential and encourages students to continuously reflect on their own engagement with the material and their own trajectory of learning. The combination of intensive studio practice, seminars, and facilitation practice, alongside personal weekly Jungian analysis generates a pedagogy that attends to both the inner and outer experience of the student. The group experience is supported by a weekly process group that explores interpersonal dynamics between members and draws from group analytic theory.
The placements, of which the first two are delivered through an apprenticeship model, offer a chance for professional application and learning through praxis. This initial practice is supported and supervised closely by a specialist placement supervisor who will be with students in the sessions they facilitate with clients. The final fourth term placements are more independent and offer choice for students to work with different client groups individually and in pairs.
Successful qualification leads to graduates being eligible to apply for registration with the Health Professions Council (HPC) as an Arts Therapist (Drama). Graduates wishing to practice must register with the HPC.
In Term One you will study two course units. Unit One (Drama and Movement Therapy Practice) includes the strands Drama, Myth, Laban, Movement with Touch and Sound, and Preparation for Clinical Practice. Unit Two (Therapy and Psychology) introduces you to the work of Jung in Analytical Psychology and, in a separate strand, covers human development theory.
During Terms Two and Three, you will take units in facilitation practice, apprenticeship placement practices and supervision. Facilitation practice includes individual and pair work in the subject strands of Myth, Laban, Drama and Movement with Touch and Sound. Your study will include a research unit common to all courses across the postgraduate school. You will undertake clinical work on a number of placements outside the School, with on-site supervision. The first two placements (during Terms Two and Three) are undertaken in a variety of educational, health, or social services contexts and based on an apprenticeship model.
You will be part of a group of three students and will facilitate sessions with clients alongside a supervising dramatherapist.
In Term Four you will undertake a fourth and final independent placement to complete 100 sessions of required client contact. The final piece of work is a portfolio, which includes a critical review, a report of clinical practices and a viva voce. You are required to attend and pay for individual and group therapy sessions during the course. (In Spring 2012 the average cost for therapy per person was £3000, including group and individual sessions.)