Drama Therapy and Special Needs Clients
Normalization is such an important concept when working with clients with special needs. Drama Therapy assists those with mental delays such as Down Syndrome, Autism or Aspergers to learn and apply appropriate social skills and emotional responses in their interactions, by promoting an emergence from isolation. As a side effect, these clients often experience raised self-esteem and gained insight into feelings that have been previously felt very foreign to them.
The use of metaphor and projective techniques, such as puppets, masks, story, art-making, may lessen the anxiety or resistance associated with revealing oneself to a group. The sooner the client feels comfortable engaging within the group, the quicker the normalization process begins. Many clients who deal with special needs on a daily basis have the challenge of forging relationships both inside and outside of their family units. As Drama Therapy relies on building relationships through metaphor and action, it is is well-positioned to enable these clients to meet their mission value of promoting the good health of the community.