Posted by: Dr Martha Eddy | January 30, 2008

ENACT’s DRAMA THERAPY METHOD

Review by Erin Desmond

CHAPTER 16-THE ENACT DRAMA THERAPY METHOD IN THE SCHOOLS Written by Diana Feldman and Emilie Ward

 

 

Summary of ENACT’s mission and process

Enact is a drama therapy organization that has, through 20 years of experience in NYC schools, created a unique and successful model for working with students who have experienced trauma and who suffer from it’s symptoms. To develop this model Enact drama therapists and professional actor instructors have consulted certified movement therapists, psychologists, sociologists, and education experts to create a model that is informed by experts across disciplines.

A key factor in the success of the program is the sensitivity and awareness that is created in each classroom through the guided development of a safe container. Within this safe container students are able to express themselves without the burden of judgment. Program instructors approach each class without expectations or judgments, and introduce guidelines that connect all participants with a common language. Enact’s program instructors are professional artist-educators who are very skilled in the art of observation. They are trained to chart the body language of each class member to find the right distance from which to engage within the group and with each student. The right distance summons students into action of their own accord, allowing each student to experience a new openness and awareness of themselves and their classmates. Enact programs engage students intellectually, emotionally, and physically as new capacities are opened through non-judgment, empathy and guided action.

The following chapter by Diana Feldman and Emilie Ward outlines the development of the Enact program, its structure, the research carried out by the program and the theories behind the program. Several case studies are included to illustrate the effectiveness of the program. The chapter is comprehensive, clear, and inspiring.

 


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