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Document Title

Unspoken Depths: Dramatherapy and Dementia

A Heuristic exploration of a Dramatherapist's experience of 

working with a group of older adults with dementia 

Author Nicky Morris MA

 

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the Dramatherapy Routledge Journal, Volume 33, Issue 3, published online: 14.11.2011, Copyright Taylor & Francis: http://www.tandfonline.com, Nicky Morris a* pages 144-157

Abstract

 

In the dual role of therapist and researcher, working in an NHS Day Hospital with a small group of clients with moderate dementia, my question was simple, yet perplexing: What could I learn from the paradox between the joyful energy of my Dramatherapy group and the intense sadness and confusion that seemed to exist on the periphery? 

 

A qualitative, heuristic approach was the most appropriate in respect of ethics and practicality.  By using vignettes (in which client names were changed) as opposed to detailed case studies, I required neither written nor ongoing verbal consent... though spoke informally about it with my clients and their carers throughout the process. I followed the six stages of heuristic research described by Clark Moustakas and gathered data using the tools and techniques recommended. I created a personal log book and collated my official session notes on 20 clients seen between January and October 2009.

 

Through the analysis of data, key themes arose: Fear and Stigma, Anger, and Self-Identity. This article may be most relevant to those working creatively with this client group, who find themselves confronted by a paradox of emotions, forced to confront personal fears and limitations. Whilst the need for further research is evident, my small and subjective study meets the minimal requirements of BADth's EPB/PBE guidelines (Dokter and Winn) and could compliment larger-scale studies using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

 

 

Key Words: Dementia, Dramatherapy, Heuristic, Qualitative, Fear, Stigma, Anger, Self-Identity

 

Download Full Article Free Access:

 

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02630672.2011.621262#.U0pjjlfgiRM

 

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