Leonie der Kinderen
“While assisting people in their development I am privileged to share in their thoughts, stories and emotions. It is wonderful to facilitate the space for someone to feel, experiment and reflect.”
The beauty I find in human growth, connection and development is the main reason I have been developing as a mental health specialist since 2007. (If you would like to learn more about my credentials scroll down for some impressions or visit my Linkedin page.)
Currently I am putting all my love and care into creating a center for the Arts Therapies. We offer therapy that has learning through experiencing at it’s core. My background is in drama therapy, where I have learned how to use theater and play in a therapeutic manner. Since then I have developed many additional ways of assisting the therapy process using exercises from other art forms and psychological frameworks. The kind of exercises depend on the preference of the client, some like to talk mostly, some like to use art or poetry. It’s about creating an environment that is custom made for the person who is looking to process past experiences or develop themselves further.
Dramatherapy is an experience based therapy form in which a lot of attention is paid to practicing skills, personal expression and externalising and shaping the inner world of dreams, emotions and thoughts.
An experience from when I worked as a drama therapist with adults with a mild intellectual disability and behavioral problems within the organization 'Dichterbij'.
"The client no longer knows what to say and falls out of his role. "Shit I'm doing it all wrong again." The client stammers. He looks so dejected I can’t help but laugh. ‘You were doing so well! What happened?' ‘... I did not know what to say anymore. That’s exactly what normally happens to me!’ I propose to write down some helpful thoughts and use them as a cheat sheet. He writes things down like 'just stay calm and something to say or ask will come up’ and ‘ it’s okey to say that I don’t know what to say'. The second sentence is beautiful to me, because it is so hard for him to be vulnerable. He tries so hard to hide his disability, and is therefor often stressed and insecure in conversation with new people. We resume the role play and he practises saying: "I don’t know what to say right now.” A week later he comes in with a big grin: ‘My date went well! Sometimes I didn’t know what to say, but that did not matter at all!’"