Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Hero's Journey at the 4th International Conference: Dance Movement Therapy, India

I will be presenting a workshop at the  4th International Conference : Dance Movement Therapy, in Bangalore, India,  organised by Creative Movement Therapy Association of India.
Below is the Facebook promotional information from the organizer about the workshop. Please click on to the links for more information and please share the information.


Update! CMTAI-Christ University (Psychology Dept), Bengaluru. 4th Intl conference: Dance Movement Therapy - Session:‘Drama Therapy: The Hero’s Journey’ By VANITHA CHANDRASEGARAM, Drama Therapist, UK / Malaysia. This session will explore the process of the Hero’s Journey through Drama therapy with the aim of being inspired to begin or continue the process of being the ‘Hero’ in our own lives. To select sessions of your choice on a 1st come 1st served basis do register online: - visit for details about presenters / sessions @ the conference. Do share this post!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Healing Though Arts Sept 2017

On the 23rd of September I had the pleasure to be one of the panel of speakers at a forum titled "Healing through Arts" organized by Causeway Exchange, based in Singapore. The forum was held in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), Malaysia.

We had three Malaysians - Me (Vanitha Chandrasegaram) - Dramatherapist; Lim Kar Gee - Music Therapist; Preet Kalsi (based in Kota Kinabalu) - Music Therapist;  and three Singaporeans- Deborah - Art Therapist; Alex - Art Therapist, Music Therapist - Music Therapist and Ronald Lay - the moderator of the forum and also the Programme Leader for the MA in Art Therapy at La Salle College, Singapore.
The Deputy Director of Medicine of the Ministry of Health Malaysia, Datuk Dr. Jeyandran Sinnadurai was among the VIPs present at the event. Many of the audience included medical professionals as well as patients and guardians/parents of patients.

It was such a pleasure to connect with other Creative Arts Therapists and to have met and participated at the forum with my fellow Creative Arts therapists.

From the question and answer sessions during the forum, there seem to be an awareness among the audience of the healing effects of the arts.
However there is still a need to educate the general majority of the difference between an Artist/Musician/Dramatist/Dancer and a  Creative Arts Therapist (Art therapist/Music Therapist/ Drama Therapist/ Dance Therapist in conducting the sessions.

An artist may come to realize that the art has a healing effect.  This seem to have caused many to wrongly identify their work as therapy. A Creative Arts Therapist  is also professionally trained to use the arts which they specialize in (they are also artists themselves) in psychotherapy. The work they do has an objectives,   expected outcome, structure and psychotherapeutic theories to support the work,  which is backed  by research.
A person calling themselves a  Creative Arts Therapist/Arts Therapist, has to have that particular qualification. Often it is a Master's level qualification in that particular field of specialization, ie. Dramatherapy, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance &a Movement Therapy. An arts therapist would have to have gone through working with mental health or learning disabilities, in places such as an mental health institution, hospital, prison or patients day centre as part of their placement during their training.
I have been working as a Dramatherapist in Malaysia for the past 13 years. As much as it is encouranging to see that there is positive response to the role of the arts in healing. It is my hope that Malaysian will be more aware of the difference between (Creative)Arts Therapists and Artists.

By engaging in creating art, one is able to express themselves. In some cases that's all a person needs. But a person who is dealing with a life crisis, often will need to seek a solution to their problems where they need a professional to help them. That's the job of a Creative Arts Therapist.

It seems like it will probably take another 10 years, hopefully less, for the general public in Malaysia to know of the existence of the Creative Arts Therapies. Probably a lesser time , if there is more support in the health care system (including insurance claims for health care) and government jobs for  Creative Arts Therapy professionals. It will be a real shame if it does not happen soon as these forms of therapies have the potential to transform lives in a positive manner in lesser time(number of sessions) than many conventional forms of psychotherapy, as the method and process used in the Creative Arts Therapies have the ability to access the unconscious, which means it reveals the heart of the matter almost immediately.

After the forum, we had several break out sessions. There was a art therapy workshop, a group music session and a Dramatherapy workshop, which I had facilitated.

These are some of the pictures taken during the Dramatherapy breakout session.

The breakout session was only about one hour. There was a question and answer session allocated after the session. It was good to have many questions about how Dramatherapy works. 

 Some of the feedback includes how it was fun and that it was easy to get into the the creativity. Another feedback from a participant who is already involved in using drama in her work with patients, is about how she felt that she had learn a lot from participating in the workshop.  

I would like to thank  Shawn Loudsamy and Phan Ming Yen who are the Project Directors of Causway Exchange, Singapore for the opportunity in participating in this event.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Dramatherapy Workshop at Universtiy of Management & Science, Malaysia


On the 18th of  September, I had the pleasure of facilitating an Introduction to Dramatherapy workshop at the University of Management & Science in Shah Alam, Malaysia.
There were 42 enthusiastic, vibrant,  participants! A much larger number than expected.
These group of students were doing a diploma in teaching English.

These are a few of the feedback received from the participants:
" I find that what came up in the activities was a lot about what we were experiencing in our own lives."

"I had a lot of fun in the process".

" It is great to experience team work and to see how this workshop has brought out the creativity in me and others"

" I am an introvert. But I found that I was at ease and was able to participate in the whole workshop and enjoy it! "

Monday, September 4, 2017

I am one of the panel speakers for the discussion on  Healing through Arts at Hospital Kuala Lumpur on the 23rd of September and will be facilitating the Introductory to Dramatherapy workshop after. Please register to attend. Kindly share the information.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Creative Arts Therapy/ Dramatherapy at 20thFamily Medicine Scientific Conference, Penang

On the 3rd of August 2017, I had the pleasure of being invited to present at the 20th of Family Medicine Scientific Conference which was held at the exquisite  Equatorial Hotel in Penang, Malaysia on Creative Arts Therapy particularly on Dramatherapy.

About 150 medical doctors had attended the talk.
Four doctors had  volunteered to participate in mini demonstration of a Dramatherapy session at the end of the talk,

The feedback received were very positive, both from those who participated in the demonstration, as well as those who were present for the talk.

A few of the comments  from the doctors who had participated in the demonstration are:

"It was fun! Once it started, I had forgotten about the audience watching me and enjoyed the activities!".

" Yes, I can see how my story in the session reflects the vacation that I have been thinking of taking in the near future" (The question was if they saw any relevance between the stories they had created using the two methods in the demonstration and their life/life events)".

 "I enjoyed the session!"

A few of the comments received by those who have attended the talk include:

"That was a very interesting talk! I can see how it can be beneficial to many!"

"It looked like fun!"

" It was a good presentation! Something very different and very interesting!"

I would like to thank Dr. Anuradha and the committee of doctors for inviting me to present in this conference and for taking excellent care of me while I was there! I am truly grateful for the experience.
 It is truly a wonderful experience being invited to share my experience about doing the work I love to the doctors who were present. They seem to be  wonderfully open to the idea of Creative Arts Therapy and Dramatherapy.

I would also like to mentioned that I am truly impressed by the amount of dedication, coordination and hard work  by these doctors from all over the country(Malaysia) that went into the organizing this conference

Monday, July 24, 2017

Article on Health Today Magazine - July 2017, Malaysian issue

I was interviewed about my work (Creative Arts Therapy/Dramatherapy) with children who have been sexually abused for the July 2017 issue of Health Magazine, Malaysia

Link to PDF format:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Introduction to Dramatherapy workshop at Sunway University

On the 29th of May I had the pleasure of conducting an Introduction to Dramatherapy Workshop for 20 students majoring in Psychology at Sunway University.

The students were very participative, which made the session interesting and fun!
At the end of the session, there were a lot of positive feedback. One student even suggested that they have a course in Dramatherapy, or at least a Dramatherapy Club!

These are some of the feedback received from the participants:

"This workshop is amazing, fun, interactive. It allows me to express myself though activities and get to know others better" - Tangela

"I feel like I am free and optimistic after the session" - Bang Tao

"I get to self-reflect, and at the same time, I got to know how others express themselves. It's inspiring." - Khai Eu

"Leaned more about myself"- Felixia

"I learned that therapies can be really fun, and introspective in a different way. It is really refreshing."
-Ai Leen

I would like to thank Dr. Alvin Ng for his support and in assisting me during the workshop. His support is very much appreciated and it was fun having him participate in the session!

I would also like to thank Ms. Jacqueline Gun for her help in organizing the workshop.