What is PCPE?

Primary Colour Play & Expression (PCPE) Dramatherapy is a new model developed by Encounter Theatre & Therapy (ETT) for adults with moderate to profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). The core elements of play and expression are facilitated through primary coloured non-prescriptive object play, movement, music and song. PCPE is sensory and is based upon theories of group process, intensive interaction, sensory orientation and integration, developmental drama (Booker 2012), psychoanalytic and aesthetic forms of dramatherapy. PCPE dramatherapists also draw upon developmental and attachment theory, play therapy and colour therapy to deliver best practice.

PCPE Dramatherapists support and value each client in ways suited to them. We work with an ethos of patience, acceptance and give time for all to express and explore. PCPE Dramatherapy can also address particular emotional, physical or psychosocial needs identified by the clients and/or the referring organisation. PCPE Dramatherapy practitioners have experience of delivering effective therapy on a one-to-one basis and in open and closed group settings. PCPE Dramatherapy has been tried and tested through clinical practice in day care and residential settings.


Research and Development

Through our research and development (R&D), we have been learning how to translate what works in dramatherapeutic group encounters into ways of engaging our audience with languages, soundscapes, environments and storytelling which appeals and is of therapeutic benefit to them.

Our first R&D project* (September 2014 to March 2015) adapted the story of The Crane Wife, an ancient Japanese folklore which touches upon Grief and Loss. Through the elements of play and expression we transformed the story into a small scale sensory-participatory theatre experience for adults with learning disabilities. We also performed to a general public audience as part of From Devon With Love festival at The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter.

Future stages of R&D will focus on the development of multi-agency, larger scale PCPE experiences, a Local Authority approved PCPE Dramatherapy service for PMLD adults and launching the delivery of Enabler Awareness Training. Furthermore, the PCPE acronym now stands for Positive Cultural Participation & Engagement, which better reflects the over-arching ethos behind our work.


Partnerships and Collaboration

We are currently confirming offers of support and partnership with artists, venues and host organisations to R&D the continued development of PCPE. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us.


* The Crane Wife project was supported by:

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