Dramatherapy is a unique form of psychotherapy: a creative and imaginative way of working therapeutically with people.

It is a method of working and playing that uses action methods to facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight, and growth. The creative process of Dramatherapy aims to explore emotions, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem. Dramatherapy is provided in groups, or individually, dependant on the client's needs.

Dramatherapy is embedded within the Integrated Mental Health and Substance Misuse Team for Inclusion working within the prison sector. Dramatherapists provide support to offenders with a wide range of difficulties, disabilities, and diagnoses, in a safe and supportive space. Dramatherapists may also work across other settings within MPFT such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Adult services, Learning Disability services, Eating Disorders and more.

Dramatherapists within MPFT are employed at NHS Bands 6 and 7 and are part of a wider Allied Health Profession workforce who are supported through Clinical, Operational, and Professional leadership, and led by a Director of AHP's.


What sort of work can you do in Dramatherapy at MPFT?

Depending on your role and level of responsibility you may:

  • offer individual Dramatherapy assessments and treatment sessions to individuals
  • group Dramatherapy sessions
  • generic duty roles for your team
  • work within the Multi-Disciplinary Team and external agencies to meet the needs of the client
  • be involved in service development and explore and create other opportunities for supporting your clients


What Qualifications do I need in Dramatherapy?

  • MA Dramatherapy and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, usually but not exclusively following on from an BA in Drama.
  • Experience working or volunteering in health or social care, particularly mental health or related areas.
  • Dramatherapists are Post Graduates only as the qualification required is a Masters degree.

The Skills for Health website outlines apprenticeship standards for aspiring Dramatherapists.


How can I find a job in Dramatherapy at MPFT?

All vacancies at MPFT are advertised on the NHS Jobs website.


Can I get Work Experience or Shadowing in Dramatherapy at MPFT?

Yes, work experience or shadowing is not just for external students. Staff can enquire with other teams to experience work in a different area from your own.


What other ways can I further develop my career in Dramatherapy at MPFT?

The British Association of Dramatherapists website has information about pre-qualification training courses.

You may also be interested in the Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare Higher degree which aims to develop Assistant Practitioners in Healthcare with an Allied Health Professional focus or the Enhanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship.



Useful Links

  • The NHS Health Careers website has lots of useful information about what it's like to work in a health role, whether in the NHS, a local authority, national Government, voluntary or community sectors.
  • The Institute of Apprenticeships works with employers and Government to provide apprenticeships across England.
  • Healthcare Apprenticeship Standards Online facilitates the development of apprenticeship standards for use in the healthcare sector.
  • The WOW Show is an online channel creating real-life encounters with the world of work to inspire young people about their futures.

Stephanie DunnHello, I'm Stephanie Dunn and I'm a Dramatherapist


What do you do in your role?

Work with Young offenders offering Dramatherapy to fit their needs and support their mental health and wellbeing. Dramatherapy allows young people to express and explore complex thoughts and feelings in a safe and facilitating setting.

I always work closely with other colleagues, services and agencies working with the young person in order to ensure the care plan is holistic and comprehensive, with the young person at the heart of what we do.

I also complete generic team duties and complete initial assessments when a young person is admitted to prison.


Have you always worked in this role?

I have been in this role since 2016, with a skilled and wonderful team around me. I qualified with a Masters in Dramatherapy from Derby University in 2012. I also work one day a week for another prison where the client group is adult females. I have previously worked as a Dramatherapist for Sustain+ and worked in the private sector as an associate therapist for looked after children.


What motivated you to move roles?

I have always wanted to work within forensic setting because I believe that Dramatherapy has so much to offer individuals who find it difficult to engage in talking therapy alone and who want to develop insight into their strengths and difficulties by primarily using a nonverbal medium for communication.


What support helped you to make this change?

Opportunity really and there was a gap within services for alternative psychological services. I wanted to develop a pathway for Dramatherapy in prisons and MPFT gave me that opportunity.


What do you value about progressing your career at MPFT?

I value learning from my clients and colleagues and developing as a Dramatherapist each day.


What would be your best piece of advice to others seeking a career in Dramatherapy?

Dramatherapists can be very limited within NHS trusts; I am the only one in MPFT so it is important to stay connected with other Dramatherapists and keep in touch with the Allied Health professions for support and supervision.                                          


Mark Smith

Team Manager Inclusion: Integrated Mental Health and Substance Misuse Team


Stephanie Dunn

Creative Therapist and Dramatherapist


Wendy Hollands

AHP Professional Lead for Clinical Practice


Joanne Probyn

Occupational Therapist, Forensic Intensive Recovery Support Team lead and AHP Lead for Mental Health Specialist Care Group