As a performance maker, scenographer come therapist, I use scenographic tools, theories and practices in my therapy space.
My design work has always been designed around the found object, the repurposed, the recycled and the up-cycled and I have always had an inclination towards the use of natural elements in my work. The recent work of Tanja Beer into Eco-Scenography informs my current work.
My early research into the impact of scenography and space in a dramatherapy setting led to the birth of the neologism "therapeutic scenography" or "psychoscenography©".
Psychoscenography© can be defined as: the understanding of the effect of scenography on the psychology and behaviour of individuals and groups (Sweeney, E, 2019).
I am interested, passionate, about environments. I believe that human beings are special species in that they have the ability to create the suitable conditions for themselves in varying environmental conditions. As Winston Churchill was quoted as saying "we shape our buildings and afterwards they shape us". Or as Levine (2011) puts it "He (man) creates the world, and thereby creates himself".
I am passionate about seeing a change in people's relationship to the natural environment, moving from anthropocentric to eco-centric or nature-centric. I am also passionate about helping people to find their place, and their space, in this world. I draw reference from eco-psychology, psychoanalysis, deep ecology, earth and nature based ecological arts therapies, environmental arts pedagogy, ecological consciousness, to assess the role of art therapy in the current environmental crisis.
Delving deeper and discovering more about eco-scenography (Beer, 2015), biophilic design and, re-examining my artistic and professional practice as a clinician, I have been able to create a new model of dramatherapy that has scenography and eco-scenography at the heart of the philosophy.
There is much research around the benefits of nature and mental health, so this model of therapy is
a nice marriage of the two.
My current PhD research at Northumbria University, UK, is interdisciplinary research. It is the interface of scenography, architecture and human wellbeing.
It aims to reveal the potential of creating external landscapes to transform internal ones that lead to agency & wellness in the face of global crises.
WHO DOES PSYCHOSCENOGRAPHY© ADDRESS?
Anyone experiencing anxieties, fear, trauma, loss and grief, behavioural changes (alcohol, drugs, insomnia), or solastalgia (Albrecht) that they associate with the changing climate, or climatic crisis events (floods, tsunami, forest fires, drought...). Also, for anyone wishing to reevaluate their life and health and find healthy solutions.
Some specific profiles I have worked with in this way:
Perinatal Care: Women in the pre and post natal period. The creations
might be taken into the birthing room or the nursery space after the work is complete.
Refugees, migrants, immigrants & displaced persons seeking to heal from the loss of one space and the arrival into another.
Children : child protection, trauma, loss, behavioural difficulties, sleep disturbances, harassment or bullying at school and home, anxiety, fear, emotional disturbances or difficulties, difficulties with limits.