Will wins award from the British Association of Dramatherapists

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in #ProudofDPT, News on 17th July, 2019

Will Berisch Secretan, a drama-therapist and environmental arts therapist working for the Psychology & Psychological Therapies (PPT) service in south Devon, has received an award from the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth) for Innovative Practice in Dramatherapy.
Will is the 2019 recipient of the 'The Bruce Howard Bayley Award for Dramatherapy at the Edge'. The purpose of this award is to encourage, support and celebrate the expansion and development of dramatherapy practice in non-traditional areas, venues, issues, client populations, settings and models of practice.
Will has been awarded this for his creation of an innovative arts based 'ecotherapy' group, which will take clients from the PPT service off site to work in outdoor locations, where a nature-based psychotherapy can take place. This ground-breaking project will be a twenty-four session pilot and service evaluation, which will hopefully lead to a more substantial piece of research into the practice and effects of psychotherapy in nature. Will has been greatly supported in setting up this project by clinical psychology colleagues Dr Nikki Swan and Dr Becky Polack and he will be co-facilitating the group with Becky Polack.
This exciting project will enable patients to access an alternative, natural and dedicated outdoor environment on the beautiful Dartington Estate, called The Glade. It is a space created by local community interest company, The Woodland Presents, to help support people in need to connect with woodland in more meaningful ways.
Patients will engage in environmental arts therapy, a powerful combination of dramatherapy and art psychotherapy, which uses natural found materials for art making, natural themes and natural locations to explore difficult and distressing personal experiences, as well as providing a means by which to directly connect with the environment.
It is hoped that the clinical outcomes from this project will contribute to a growing evidence base for the therapeutic effect of nature-based therapeutic practices. The project sits within an emerging 'ecopsychology' paradigm that regards human health as being intrinsically connected to and affected by the health of the 'non-human' or 'other-than-human' world and vice versa. The need for this project is highlighted by the increasing disconnection between parts of our society and nature, and the impact this has on mental health. As ecology, environmentalism, sustainability, climate chaos and mass extinctions become the topic of everyday discussion across news, media and politics, this new group places Devon Partnership Trust at the cutting edge of the conversation by asking what our role as mental health professionals is in bringing a psychological frame of reference to these globally vital discussions.
For information on the venue please click here.
For information on ecopsychology in the UK please click here.