E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Drama therapy workshop – Awareness through creative expression (#765)

Viji Venkatesh 1
  1. The Max Foundation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Background and Context:

We work with  a group of CML and GIST survivors and their care givers from all over the vast land of India who come from diverse backgrounds and speak different languages.

 However their cancer diagnosis has forged deep bonds and they meet in cities and towns spread over the length and breadth of our country and come together as one. In these meetings they share and learn from each other the skills needed to live the rest of their lives as cancer patients under long term therapy.

 They fight the fear, the stigma and the challenges of managing a lifelong condition using many tools.

Aim:Drama Therapy workshops are conducted aimed at encouraging the participants , through this unique tool to tell their stories , set goals, resolve issues and process the big change in their lives .

Strategy/Tactics:. In an informal environment and with a given set of creative tools, the participants are encouraged to act out scenarios that serve as awareness and educational capsules.

Programme/Policy Process:

After an introductory presentation to the group, teams are formed. Team leaders or Directors chosen, scenarios distributed, casting done and roles assigned. The teams have 30 minutes in which to create their screenplay and draw their scripts. A few impromptu rehearsals and props chosen from available resources and the skits are ready to be performed

Outcomes/What was learned:

Time and again we have seen a storehouse of talent emerge in these sessions and along with that, barriers of rank and file come down and vital messages of awareness, compliance and compassionate care are conveyed by peers amidst peers. This exercise in confidence building brings hidden skills and talents to the fore. There cannot be a better ice breaker and lasting relationships are forged amongst all the members of the group.

  1. Our volunteers and treating physicians