Dramatherapy Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists
I cannot praise this publication any more highly than Dr Sue Jennings does in her foreword to this passionate book. It is the authors' wealth of experience and working relationship that gives this book a realistic, hand-on, practical feel.
Pastoral Care in Education
This book proposes dramatherapy and family therapy as key components of a multi-disciplinary approach to engaging with children's wellbeing and advancing emotional health within education settings. It is therefore to be welcomed as a positive and accessible addition to the practice literature, not just for drama- and family therapists, but crucially for all school and community based professionals seeking innovative ideas to expand their repertoire of support for troubled children and their families. In this regard it engages the reader from the outset with the authors' values i.e. of holism in considering the needs of children, and of partnership in perceiving families as 'experts' holding the solutions to the emotional health of their children. Its focus on sustainable creative solution-focused approaches to emotional support for children, underpinned by these values, is equally welcome... I shall certainly add this book to the reading list for the multi-professional CPD course I deliver on therapeutic working with families, as it constitutes a topical and relevant contribution to practice at this time of austerity; the commitment to creative, flexible and collaborative approaches may help to maintain the necessary support for troubled children and their families despite current pressures within children's services.
The reader is shown how, together with teachers and other professionals, drama and family specialists can help build an emotionally stable future for children.
From the foreword by Sue Jennings, Ph.D., author, dramatherapist, play therapist, Glastonbury, UK
It is a privilege to be invited to write the foreword to this innovatory and interesting book. The two authors show their passion for their professions and even more passion for how they can interrelate... [This book is] a joyous gift of reality; the reality of something that has been demonstrated in the work place and community with great success.
Sylvia Wheadon, dramatherapist, psychodramatist/psychotherapist, psychotherapy supervisor, specialist educational trainer (mental health), UK
I can recommend this brilliant, easy-to-read, jargon-free, practical book as a useful and sensible guide for any discipline working in education with children and their families. It draws on the vast experiences of both authors by addressing how dramatherapy and family therapy can work within a multi-agency team in an educational setting. It describes to the reader how every piece of the Jigsaw needs to be identified and come together for the wellbeing and benefit of the child, family, school and community.
Annie Tempest, international educationalist, consultant, manager and inspector, UK
As an educationist for over 40 years I firmly believe that a multi-agency approach provides a family with the expertise of a therapeutic alliance that understands a family's needs. The therapists can provide the skills and expertise to offer a family sustained change. Having worked internationally in schools as a manager, consultant and inspector I feel this multi-agency approach supports a school staff and together they can offer a more holistic and valuable picture of a child and his/her relationship with the family. I have experienced this approach through my support work with a children's bereavement charity and have seen first-hand what a difference it has made to family members. The key, I believe, to this multi-agency approach is that the therapists facilitate change within the family rather than direct proceedings from the outside. In our increasingly complex society, I feel dramatherapy and family therapy have the potential necessary for healing, ensuring all the pieces of the jigsaw are interwoven.
Janet Reibstein, MA, PhD, Registered Psychotherapist and Supervisor, Professor, University of Exeter, UK
This book is a clear and gentle entry point for professionals who work in either family therapy or in drama therapy, or for those who are curious about learning more about either, to learn about these respective different approaches, and how they might together be useful in doing therapy within a school context... It takes the reader through a concise exposition of the goals of such an approach, while explicating each of the therapies simply and accessibly and showing the links between the two. The use of compelling case studies offers vivid illustrations of this work. This book should stimulate readers to investigate how they might add more strings to their therapeutic bows, in order to do the valuable work highlighted by this book.
Dr Clare Knowler Educational Psychologist, Luton EPSDebate - British Psychological Society
The book is written with professionals that work in multi-agency teams in mind... Both authors are trained therapists... Each author outlines their qualifications and experiences, giving explanations of the models and techniques used. The initial focus is on dramatherapy, describing who it is for, the history of dramatherapy, how it works and the skills necessary to implement this sort of therapy... Case studies are used to outline theoretical perspectives, psychological models and to illustrate techniques in context. Following on from this approach the Family Therapy models are discussed... The key skills and therapeutic principles used by the therapists would reflect skills developed and practised as part of the doctoral training for Educational Psychologists. The book would also be relevant to other therapists that work within schools and schools considering the use of these approaches within schools in an age of commissioning. The book illustrates how these therapeutic approaches can feed into and enlighten the process of understanding the world of the child, family functioning and the environments in which they function. Overall, I would advocate the reading of this book as a clear overview of the approaches used in dramatherapy and family therapy. The simplicity of the book structure makes the book easy for busy professionals to 'dip in and out of'. The case studies provide a context to see how these therapeutic approaches could be useful and valid in real-life situations.