Sunday 05 April 2020

Dramatherapy and its application with clients with Eating Disorders


Embodying Selves and the Department of Theatre Studies (School of Performing Arts, University of Malta), is inviting the general public to a lecture entitled ‘An Introduction to Dramatherapy in its Application with Clients with Eating Disorders’. The lecture will be delivered by Kate McCormack, Senior Dramatherapist at The Bethlem Royal Hospital, UK. It will take place in Lecture Theatre 1, University of Malta, Msida Campus on Friday the 7th of November between 18:00 and 19:30.


Kate McCormack will also be facilitating a focused experiential workshop on the application of dramatherapy with clients with eating disorders. Professionals and trainees from the disciplines of the arts therapies, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, psychiatry, counselling, social work, psychology, the arts and related fields are welcome to participate. This will take place on the mornings of the 8th and 9th of November at the Waterfront Hotel, Sliema.


The event is an initiative of Embodying Selves – a practice-as-research arts project that aims to increase awareness of the intricate link between the way people view their bodies, self-concept, emotional well-being, and the way they eat. As part of the project it is also working towards increasing awareness of the potential of dramatherapy in the healing process of people with eating disorders.


Dramatherapist Lou Ghirlando designed the project Embodying Selves on inspiration from psychotherapists and dramatherapists who speak about the connection between emotional well being and eating patterns, as well as the way in which people play out their psychological patterns in the way they eat. This is of heightened relevance when working with clients with eating disorders. Dramatherapy can work towards the healing of people’s relationship with their body by working symbolically with creative media. It also supports in the development of respect and integration of one’s own body as well as nurturing self-esteem.

The experiential workshops on the 8th and 9th of November will offer interested professionals the opportunity for focused reflection and thematic engagement. On the Saturday morning, participants will explore symbol and metaphor as used in dramatherapy and on the Sunday the focus will be on the use of body and movement in dramatherapy. On both mornings, participants will be able to engage fully in an example of a Sesame dramatherapy session as may be facilitated with clients with eating disorders.

Sesame is a form of drama and movement therapy which began fifty years ago. The name originates from the Ali Baba story. ‘Open sesame’ are the magic words uttered to open the cave to reveal the wonderful treasure within – a metaphor for the access that dramatherapy hopes to provide to a person’s unconscious to reveal not only what needs to be worked through, but the treasure of the often hidden creativity, which can become the medicine.


Kate McCormack is the senior Dramatherapist at The Bethlem Royal Hospital, England, where she has worked for the past eighteen years. She trained in the Sesame method of Drama and Movement Therapy at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London, qualifying in 1996.  Although she has worked with many client groups, Kate has specialised in mental health with particular emphasis on eating disorders and self-harm. She has lectured at many internal and external organisations. Kate also runs a private supervision practice and supervises students from RoehamptonUniversity and Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Kate previously trained and worked as a professional actress and more recently has appeared in a series of short films. With a colleague as part of her doctoral studies Kate wrote a play about the therapeutic relationship entitled ‘How do you think I feel’ which has been performed at various venues after premiering at The Ecarte conference in Tuscany in 2011.


Workshop participants will be issued with a certificate that can be kept as a record for continuous professional development. For further details and application you may contact Lou Ghirlando on [email protected]; by calling 99999562; or through the facebook page ‘Embodying Selves’.

The project is being supported by the Malta Arts Fund and the Department of Theatre Studies, School of Performing Arts, University of Malta.

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