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Patients get therapy in drama and movement

Staff were frozen to the spot at The Retreat in York in a bid to promote therapy through drama.

People with eating disorders are increasing their self-esteem and body confidence by taking part in special drama and movement therapy sessions.  Allowing people to express themselves through drama and movement gives them opportunities to see their issues and themselves in a different light.

The Retreat’s drama and movement therapist Phyllis Carson-Smith has been running a special group programme for women at The Retreat for seven years and has seen many women with eating disorders benefit from the therapy.

“It’s about self-expression with a particular emphasis on playfulness. Through drama and movement patients can explore possibilities and express themselves creatively within a safe environment,” explained Phyllis.

“People with eating disorders can be perfectionists and also fearful of being out of control emotionally. Drama and movement therapy can help them find a way through the fear and into a new freer understanding,” she added.

The drama and movement therapy sessions are run once a week with groups of up to 12 women.

The group often works with symbolism and image, working with the unconscious part of the mind to help patients maximise the recovery process.

The Retreat runs a specialist eating disorders treatment programme which aims to achieve a stable normal weight and retrains patients in appropriate eating.

The Retreat is a not-for-profit specialist mental health provider, working with the NHS to provide care for people with complex and difficult needs.