Dramatherapist

Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would use role play, group work and movement to help people come to terms with feelings and emotions. You’d help them bring about positive change in their lives.

Dramatherapy is a creative way for groups and individuals to deal with personal and social problems.

You would work with people who have:

  • A physical disability
  • A learning disability
  • Emotional or behavioural problems

Other clients might:

  • Experience mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety
  • Have problems with an addiction or eating disorder

You’d guide people to use imagination and the creative side of their personalities to explore past traumas. You’d need to do this sensitively because people might find the process distressing.

Your aim is to help them heal psychologically. You’d try to increase their confidence and self-esteem.

You’d use a range of methods in your work, and would encourage people to:

  • Work as part of a group
  • Form one-to-one relationships
  • Express what they feel and think about the world around them
  • Act out situations in a safe and supportive environment

You would use different methods, including the creative use of voices, movement, storytelling, mime, puppetry and masks.

You would work closely with other professionals such as psychologists, social workers, teachers and other therapy specialists.

You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Dramatherapist page on the NHSScotland Careers website

Working conditions

Hours

Your typical working hours would be between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, although some jobs may involve evening or weekend sessions. Part-time and freelance work is common.

Environment

You could work in a variety of places such as schools, hospitals, prisons and day centres, depending on your client group.

Travel

You may need to travel to different locations throughout your working day.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Performing
  • Being creative
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

You'll need a postgraduate qualification (SCQF Level 11) in drama therapy, recognised by the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth).

To enter a postgraduate course, you need an honours degree (SCQF Level 10) in a related subject. This could include a degree in drama or psychology or a professional qualification in teaching or nursing. 

If you're an adult without the right qualifications, you may be able to get into a one year course to help you access a degree. The Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) has more information.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Drama(required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Science subjects (required by many courses)
  • Care
  • Social studies such as psychology. 

You will also need

You will need practical experience in drama and counselling.

When you complete your postgraduate course, you will become a member of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth).

You must register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work in the National Health Service (NHS) or with a local authority.

You'll often be working with children or vulnerable adults. You may need to pass a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) Disclosure check for some jobs.

Helpful to have

A driving licence may be useful.