How we work

We use an innovative and creative approach that affirms and engages children and young people at key points in their lives.

The work is centred round the emotional and intellectual needs of the individual, and a unique methodology has been developed that the young people enjoy, employing story, character, narrative and metaphor to allow safe reflection and consideration.

The project works to synthesise a range of disciplines to create a new approach and to engage those who have varied learning styles.

The Choice team is drawn from various fields and refers to notions from a variety of disciplines and expert areas:

  • Drama and arts therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Forum theatre work
  • Theatre in education techniques
  • The Heathcote drama in education approach (Mantle of the Expert)
  • Counselling skills
  • Art, design and making

The intensive workshops create a wraparound experience for the young person which interests them, empowers them and supports them.

Notions from Jennings, Lahad, Rogers, Heathcote, Boal, and others, and our consultants in dramatherapy, drama for those with learning difficulties and Heathcote’s practice in drama in education, inform the work, as do educational influences such as Neill, Holt, and Read.

By planting carefully-chosen clues, and allowing the young people to investigate, create characters, situations and story, the skilled team guides and supports the young people to explore problems, discuss them, rehearse options, consider consequences and work towards a positive outcome. The process welcomes and honours the young person’s experience of life; nothing is discounted or dismissed.  

This way of working acts as a container for emotions that are difficult to manage, and enables participants to recognise them, gain some understanding of them, and helps them to put into place some strategies for managing and controlling their own feelings and their transactions with others. 

The young people are led but not manipulated, supported but not disempowered, offered choices but not confusion.

Those who have learning difficulties or behavioural problems that have made education difficult for them in the past, are encouraged to find a learning style they prefer, and to identify their own ways of satisfying their natural curiosity about the world.

Those in situations that make fulltime education challenging, such as homelessness, addiction or misuse of substances, past abuse or neglect or the exigencies of being a young carer, are helped to find inner space to reflect and consider alternative pathways.