Sian Palmer

Drama Therapy – Expressive Movement – Constellations

Drama & Movement Therapy

The Sesame Approach to Drama and Movement Therapy

The term ‘Sesame’ comes from the legendary password in the story Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves where the words ‘Open Sesame!’ unlock the cave entrance and reveal the treasure inside. The Sesame Approach is a means of unlocking the hidden potential within us so that we may follow our path towards individuation.

The approach is based on theories of Carl Jung’s psychology of the unconscious, Rudolph Laban’s Art of Movement, Peter Slade’s work in children’s play and Marian Lindkvist’s non-verbal language of Movement-with-touch. The core principle of the work is to stay with the inner symbol until its wisdom can be integrated and applied to making new healthy life choices.

The Sesame Approach to Drama and Movement Therapy is a safe, non-judgemental and non-confrontational approach using the mediums of drama and movement as a means of facilitating the potential for growth and healing. It is not about performing or being good at drama.  Dramatherapy facilitates a space for individuals to discover the ability that lies within to be creative and playful.

This symbol or image language is expressed through the use of:

  • Movement,
  • Drama,
  • Story enactment,
  • Improvisation,
  • And use of voice.

All of these mediums are explored in a safe and playful environment.

What happens in a dramatherapy session and what are the potential benefits?

In a Sesame dramatherapy session the client can do as much or as little as s/he feels comfortable with. There are no demands made for the individual/group to perform. Some of the following therapeutic interventions may be included in a dramatherapy session:

  • Storytelling and enactment
  • Movement with/without music
  • Improvisation
  • Sound creation through the voice or musical instruments
  • Reflection through drawing or verbal feedback

Dramatherapy helps people to:

  • Build trusting relationships
  • Explore special, social and/or relationship boundaries
  • Develop/ enhance communication skills
  • Develop/ enhance social-interaction skills
  • Facilitate access to one’s own creativity
  • Improve self-image and self-confidence
  • Work with the imagination
  • Explore and express various feelings
  • Develop/ enhance skills for self-advocacy
  • Improve focus
  • Have fun and let go
  • Relax

Who is Dramatherapy for?

Dramatherapists work with:

  • both individuals and groups
  • of all ages and
  • from all cultures.

Dramatherapy is client-centred meaning the content of the dramatherapy session will be determined by the individual client or group. The Sesame approach enables the dramatherapist to work both verbally and non-verbally, therefore enabling the therapist to work with those who cannot communicate verbally as well as across languages.

Dramatherapy sessions are confidential with the focus on the needs and development of the group or the individual client.

Private Practice

Where: I work with both adults and children. I currently see clients face to face as well as online.

How: If you are interested in Dramatherapy we would meet for an hour assessment session where we can discuss what you are looking for and whether Dramatherapy can potentially meet your needs. We would then decide on whether this medium is for you and contract to a trial period together.

When: The Dramatherapy sessions run weekly, for one hour. The duration of therapy ranges from short-term (3 to 6 months) to longer term (6 months to over a year).

Medical aid cover: Dramatherapy is a recognised profession under the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Certain medical aids will cover a portion of your therapy.

To book an individual Dramatherapy session contact sian on

For further information you can access The Sesame Institute website: