Friday, 18 August 2017

NEURO-DRAMATIC-PLAY - exciting new courses from September 2017!

  • Are you working with children or teenagers on the autistic spectrum?
  • Does your work involve children who are 'out of rhythm'?
  • Maybe the children you work with are struggling with spatial awareness?
  • Are there issues with sensory processing?

22-23 September (Friday 1-7, Saturday 10-5) in central Weston Super Mare

Rhythms of Life: from heartbeats to habits, from routines to rituals

This 2 day course illustrates the importance of rhythm in attachment and introduces rhythmic play for babies and early years.  It also shows the importance of rhythm when working with children on the autistic spectrum.  Kelly Hunter who has undertaken long-term research with children and teenagers on the autistic spectrum is teaching on this course, together with Dr Sue Jennings who has developed NDP application with children with learning needs as well as development delay.

Children who have experienced trauma or neglect are often 'out of rhythm' which creates anxiety and fear.  They may be 'shut down' or physically hyper-energetic and unable to hear possible ways to calm and focus.

This course looks at the theory and practice and provides take-away skills to apply in the work setting.
£165 including course notes and light refreshments
£150 early bird before 1 September

The course can be credited towards a Diploma in Neuro-Dramatic-Play.

To book or inquire please email

For more information about NDP please go to:

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

NDP in Romania and more!

Neuro-Dramatic-Play is firmly becoming established in Romania both in Bucharest and Brasov.  Therapists and teachers see it as an important add-on to their professional expertise.  

This next week-end is an advanced Training Course for people who have completed the Diploma followed by a special three day course on 'Dreams and Nightmares'. This is a new NDP course which connects early experiences of fear with later nightmares and strong loving attachments with a greater awareness of positive dreams.  Everything is connected!

The Annual Play Therapy and Dramatherapy Summer School in Brasov includes an intensive Ritual Theatre component as well as Autobiographical Theatre, and a review of the three years of training for the graduates.

Summer 2018 (dates to be announced) we will have another Neuro-Dramatic-Play Intensive.  Last year participants came from UK, New Zealand, Turkey and beyond!  The course combines the NDP Diploma with practice with local children, teenagers and adults as well as families and mothers and babies.  Next year we will report as we work so that participants can complete their Diploma at the end of the course.

Watch this space!

Warm wishes

Dr Sue


Monday, 29 May 2017

'NDP in the Jungle': A new course initiative

A exciting new development in Neuro-Dramatic-Play ( 
took place in the Malaysian rain forest 20 April - 4 May 2017.  Participants were able to complete their NDP study combined with placement and submit their reports, all within the allotted time.

We spent time in Kuala Lumpur on initial studies, a group of 10 people including myself and Andy Hickson as facilitators.  Participants came from Canada, Malaysia and the UK, with backgrounds in play therapy, dramatherapy, counselling and theatre-in-education, three men (including baby Anthony) and 7 women.  

We went by minibus to Cameron Highlands for an overnight stay before going into the jungle outskirts for several nights and then deep jungle.  We returned to KL for the final study, report and debrief.

It was a very exciting time and we all experienced the benefits of working 'hands on' with families, children and teenagers.  It was a privilege to live with the Temiars who welcomed us so generously.  We learned how to build and sail a bamboo raft, cook their food and make decorations and headdresses.  We participated in their singing and dance, healing trance and stories.

We observed their play and were able to conduct our own play sessions with different age groups.

Friendships were forged and ideas spun of possible future initiatives.  We may well take another group into the forest but not until 2019.

More photos in the next episode!

Dr Sue Jennings

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Washington Square

Everything seems to happen in Washington Square, New York.  It is one of my favourite places, especially in the autumn when the trees cascade such beautiful colours.  A thick carpet of leaves that makes it possible to scuff!

Performers from every ethnic group entertained us with stand-up political comedy, classical piano, (I did not see how the grand piano arrived!).   Children of all ages drew pavement pictures with jumbo chalks, and the squirrels nibbled the crumbs and then scampered to the safety of the trees.

Children played in the special children's playground, dog owners gathered to chat in the fenced dog enclosure, while dogs of all shapes and sizes chased each other and played!

I like Washington Square

Monday, 3 February 2014

New York, New York!

I have been really inspired by the work of so many arts therapists and their expertise in working with trauma. Trauma of many varied kinds: victims of torture, genocide, tsunami, family abuse were presented during a 2 day Symposium in New York.

My own presentation focussed on the long term results of early trauma from the early abuse and cruelty inflicted on babies and toddlers in the Eastern European orphanages.  Rowan Tree Trust sponsors special projects with teenagers and young adults who sleep on railway stations and in abandoned cars in Romania.

The principles of Neuro-Dramtic-Play are enjoyed by these disadvantaged groups, with a focus on sensory, rhythmic and dramatic playfulness.  There is a DVD showing detailed work with a group of 'Railway Boys', taking part in an NDP project.

The more of this work I do, the more I realise that it is back to the body for basic principles of working with trauma.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A Good Year! 2014

Happy New Year Everyone and I hope it will be a very positive and hopeful year.  I am now traversing the second anniversary of dear Peter's death (January 4).  Amidst the floods and winds it is difficult to think that the world will be warm and cheerful!  I have been helped enormously by the recent book by Martin Seligman, 'Flourish' (2011).

Seligman has moved on from his previous book 'Authentic Happiness' and developed the psychology of well-being.  Well-Being includes the following elements of: 
         Positive emotion,
These five elements are each elaborated with important qualities such as hope and courage.  
Hope and courage can see us through many difficulties! 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Invention of Senoi Dream Therapy!

When I did my fieldwork with the Temiars in  the Malaysian rain forest (1973-1974), I was aware of the literature written by Kilton Stewart, including his PhD thesis.  After his brief field-trip, Stewart began to promote an approach to dream control that he maintains he had learnt from the Senoi (the two groups of Senoi are the Semai and the Temiars).  He maintains  that this accounted for their peaceful nature and lack of violence.  These ideas took off in an explosion in the US and have been repeated continuously in almost every book on dreaming and lucid dreaming. right to the present day.  They are even mentioned by Marie von Franz in one of her films.

I lived for over a year with the Temiars with my three children, we were able to converse with them in their own language, and we lived in one of their traditional houses.  We traveled between several other villages on the banks of two main rivers in Kelantan.

And yes, they give great significance to their dreams and are always willing to discuss them, but there is absolutely no evidence that they have a system of dream control and hold 'dream clinics' after breakfast.  However if one of these writers is challenged they will answer, that well the authors are now dead so we cannot ask them or everything was destroyed after WW2 or there must be another group that you did not visit in deep jungle... 

The romanticisation of the Temiars, promoting an idealised life of peace and non-violence, is a very powerful fantasy to let go.

There will be more on this topic in another blog, as there is too much material for such a short piece.  But do check your dream books and see what they promote about the Temiars