Title page for ETD etd-08212007-123522

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Butler, Elmien
URN etd-08212007-123522
Document Title Poetic and therapeutic encounters with adolescents
Degree MA (Counselling Psychology)
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr G A Viljoen
  • social constructionism
  • group therapy
  • poetic moments
  • narratives
  • language
  • adolescents
  • movement
  • postmodernism
  • drama therapy
Date 2005-11-19
Availability unrestricted
This study explores whether it is useful to implement drama and movement as therapeutic constructs to create poetic moments and transformation when working with the narratives of adolescents. Literature clearly indicates that creative techniques are used therapeutically in different contexts. The researcher is interested in narrative therapy and social constructionism and combines these concepts with those of drama and movement to create poetic moments. From a creative position the researcher hopes that the construction process reflected on in this research project may lead to new discoveries in therapy.

A group of adolescents took part in a 10 week program in which they explored different processes, stories and relationships and eventually co-created a movement drama with a social theme.

The participants used for the purpose of this dissertation responded positively and spontaneously to constructing a movement drama through a process of creative interaction and conversation. A review of the realities and knowledge constructed, revealed that drama, movement and narrative therapy can be used effectively in therapy and thus has viability when used with the adolescents in a group context.

The body and mind become one through explorative, drama and movement exercises. Participants can interact, reflect and create on different levels of interaction. The therapist works from a ‘not knowing’ stance which makes the process experiential, because it is constantly influenced and changed by what the participant brings to the process. In the creative space, fresh experiences and alternative stories are stimulated and discovered by means of explorative exercises and transformative and meaningful dialogues. Furthermore the researcher shows how a social constructionist approach, linked to languaging and movement, can create poetic moments that may benefit the creative therapeutic process.

By reflecting openly on the social construction process, which includes the program, insightful conversations, self-reflections and a DVD of the created movement drama, I hope to make a contribution in the repertoire of the creative psychotherapist when dealing with adolescents and their stories.

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