How do dramatherapists understand client change?

A review of the ‘core processes’ at work

Authored by: Phil Jones

Routledge International Handbook of Dramatherapy

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138829725
eBook ISBN: 9781315728537
Adobe ISBN: 9781317543213


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Does dramatherapy work? How can we account for its effects? How do we theorise and communicate change? Since the modern emergence of drama as therapy, these questions have been a natural part of its presence and of the reactions of those who have come into contact with it. One response has been the proposal that dramatherapy can be effectively understood as a series of connected core processes that interact to create opportunities for change. The most cited text on dramatherapy (Jones 1996, 2007; citation index Google Scholar) has, at its heart, this concept of interconnected processes. This explanation developed from my initial work and research as a practitioner, when I reviewed my clients’ experiences and tried to find a language that would form a basic framework, akin to the way Yalom (2005) had explained the ‘therapeutic factors’ in psychotherapy. This chapter offers a review of published accounts of the ways in which therapists in different parts of the world have drawn on the description of the ‘core processes’ to research and account for the effect of dramatherapy. It then uses these to create a simple, practical recording structure that can be used to describe and explain how change is happening within dramatherapy clinical work.

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