Seebohm, Henri

Reason & rage: revisioning rituals of personal containment

Henri Seebohm

We are living through extreme, perilous, divided times. Across the world, many of the post-World War II attempts to establish liberal democracies based on an inclusive social contract seem to be under threat.  From blatant nationalism and xenophobia to the all-powerful globalised corporations, the relationship between individuals and society is facing an uncertain realignment.

As practitioners and educators, called upon to remedy the distress of individuals and the ills of society, we are not immune from our own internal polarisations and paralysing schizoid splits.  Whether it is an attempt to appear reasonable to feeling impotent rage, from apathetic acceptance to apoplectic outrage, we often feel powerless to affect the sinister forces of bigotry and austerity which blight the lives of our clients and students and deprive our services and institutions of the resources to provide support.

This workshop will encourage participants to use a form of ritual theatre to explore the range of responses to injustice, inequality and prejudice to help contain and maintain our therapeutic and pedagogical potential.

Drawing on many of the theoretical underpinnings of the dramatherapy training in the Ritual Theatre Form, as developed at Roehampton University, the workshop will be informed by John Rowan’s theories of ‘sub-personalities’, Richard Schwarz’s contemporary notion of ‘Internal Family Systems’ and Paul Rebillot’s work on Ritual Theatre structures. The workshop aims to synthesise a theoretical understanding of our internal splits and schisms, with a practical experience of negotiating and containing our internal tensions and conflicts.

The workshop will involve a range of creative expressive exercises: movement, image, sound and voice, in order for participants to negotiate their internal ‘ensemble’ and their collective potential for embodied democratic encounters.



Henri Seebohm is Convenor of the MA Dramatherapy programme at Roehampton University.   She has worked extensively in adult forensic psychiatry and currently works with young women in a community setting.  She has a particular interest in exploring projections and introjections of shared experiences of fear, control and shame through play, movement and role-play.


Recent Publications

2017: Holloway, Seebohm & Seymour - Thesis, antithesis, synthesis: new articulations of stasis and change. Ecarte, Krakow.

2016: Holloway & Seebohm - The world turned inside out - politics, professionalism and therapeutic process. Keynote presentation Dramatherapy Wales Conference, November.

Holloway, P. & Seebohm, H. (2011). When Worlds Elide: culture, identity and dialogue in multi-disciplinary settings.  Dramatherapy Journal, Routledge Volume 1 Spring 2011

Dokter, D., Holloway, P. & Seebohm, H. (eds) (2011).  Dramatherapy and Destructiveness – Creating the Evidence-base, Playing with Thanatos. Routledge