Dramatherapy and Destructiveness

Creating the Evidence Base, Playing with Thanatos

Edited by Ditty Dokter, Pete Holloway, Henri Seebohm

© 2011 – Routledge

232 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415558518
pub: 2011-07-06
US Dollars$47.95
Hardback: 9780415558501
pub: 2011-07-06
US Dollars$130.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Dramatherapy uses the healing aspects of drama and theatre as part of the therapeutic process and is increasingly required to supply evidence of its effectiveness. This book aims to provide an evidence base for practice with destructive clients, and raise the profile of dramatherapy as a distinct therapeutic intervention in this field.

Dramatherapy and Destructiveness discusses working with those suffering from conduct disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia and personality disorders. Divided into three parts, topics of discussion include:

  • theory and research underpinning the understanding of working with destructiveness
  • in-depth case studies of dramatherapy with a wide range of clients
  • analysis and evaluation of the evidence base for dramatherapy with these clients
  • guidelines for best practice

Dramatherapy and Destructiveness covers a wide range of client groups, settings, methods and therapeutic approaches. As well as being an invaluable resource for dramatherapists, this book will be of interest to other therapists, health professionals, social workers, teachers and artists.


"This book is a stimulating read, opening the door on the experience of dramatherapy practice in challenging settings and with complex clients. The authors engage with the theme of destructiveness and the therapist’s struggle to understand it with compassion and honesty." - Anna Chesner, Psychodrama and Group Analytic Psychotherapist, Co-Director, London Centre for Psychodrama, UK

"… an important book for any psychological therapist working with those who 'offend' – against themselves or others." - Gwen Adshead, From the Foreword

Table of Contents

Holloway, Dokter, Seebohm, Introduction. Part I: Destructiveness and Dramatherapy. Holloway, Seebohm, Dokter, Understandings of Destructiveness. Jones, Creativity and Destructiveness: A Discourse Analysis of Dramatherapists' Accounts of their Work. Dokter, Practice-based Evidence: Dramatherapy and Destructiveness. Part II: Clinical Practice. Ramsden, Joshua, Make Believe Violence, The Ladybird and the Butterfly: Dramatherapy in a Primary School Setting. Zeal, Chaos, Destruction and Abuse: Dramatherapy in a School for Excluded Adolescents. Dokter, Self-harm in Young People’s Psychiatry: Transforming Munch’s Scream. Jackson, Self-harm in Clients with Learning Disabilities: Dramatherapists’ Perceptions and Methodology. Zografou, Dramatherapy and Addiction: Learning to Live with Destructiveness. Seebohm, On Bondage and Liberty: The Art of the Possible in Medium Secure Settings. Thorn, Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice: A Black Woman’s Anger in a Forensic Setting. McAllister, From Transitional Object to Symbol: Spiderman in a Dramatherapy Group with Mentally Disordered Offenders. Holloway, Surviving Suicide: The Book of Life and Death. Part III: Towards an Evaluation of the Evidence Base So Far. Dokter, Holloway, Seebohm, Playing with Thanatos: Bringing Creativity to Destructiveness.

About the Editors

Ditty Dokter is professional lead and head of arts therapies at an NHS foundation trust in adult and older people's psychiatry. She works as Pathway Leader on the MA Dramatherapy at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, and lectures widely, both nationally and internationally

Pete Holloway is a consultant dramatherapist and area lead for a psychological services team within an NHS community mental health setting. He is also a Senior Lecturer on the MA Dramatherapy programme at Roehampton University, London, UK

Henri Seebohm is Programme Convenor of the MA in Dramatherapy at Roehampton University and Senior Dramatherapist and Supervisor in adult forensic psychiatry for an NHS mental health trust

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health