- Academic Research
Widening Circles of Care: Exploring Self-Care with Activists Using Ecological Drama Therapy for Masters program in Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University
By Rebekah Hart
Thesis for Masters program in Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University
Research shows that activists as a population may be at high risk for developing symptoms of trauma, isolation, alienation and burnout due to a host of internal and external factors. This instrumental case study describes a ten-week intervention with a group of female activists exploring the theme of self-care. The interventions were based on the integration of two frameworks: drama therapy methods and processes, and a form of socio-ecological group work known as the Work that Reconnects. Interventions are described and analyzed in terms of the integration of methods and the development of self-care as a guiding theme. The study draws larger implications for activist self-care practice, including the role of honouring painful feelings as integral to self-care, and the potential of using drama therapy to foster collective practices of self-care within activist movements. The study suggests that drama therapists may have a special role to play in supporting activists to find tools to engage sustainably in their work. By integrating the Work that Reconnects and drama therapy methods, this research proposes an ecological drama therapy: a drama therapy practice that is rooted in the perception of our fundamental relatedness with, and responsibility to, all peoples and forms of life.