New Morecambe therapy supports children coping with cancer

A charity has launched an innovative new way to help children cope with cancer and bereavement.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 3:45 pm

CancerCare has begun providing dramatherapy - an inventive technique to engage with youngsters who may be less responsive to traditional talking therapies - at its centre on Northumberland Street in Morecambe.

The therapy is delivered by Briony Elliott, who joined the charity this month and specialises in dramatherapy, which can allow children who may be experiencing difficult life situations, to explore their emotions through role play, art, storytelling and movement, in a safe space.

Briony became interested in the technique while studying for a degree in drama and theatre studies, during which she spent a summer working at a camp in America supporting children and adults with additional needs.

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Dramatherapist Briony Elliott.

Following her graduation, she found work in a residential school supporting with children and young people, which inspired her to complete a masters in dramatherapy at Derby University.

She has experience working within primary schools and a domestic abuse organisation, where she provided one-to-one and group therapy sessions for adults and children. Her role at CancerCare will see her work with younger children experiencing bereavement or with a family member who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Briony said: “Working as a therapist for children and young people is something I consider to be a huge privilege. Being alongside someone as they play, create, process and reflect, while facilitating potential healing and growth, is a real honour and being invited into someone’s imaginative world during our sessions is something I don’t take for granted.”

CancerCare director of client services Simon Rothwell said: “We are delighted to have a therapist with Briony’s unique skills and experience at CancerCare. Our work with children and young people has been growing steadily over the last few years and adding Briony to the team underlines our commitment to helping as many people as we can across the Morecambe Bay area.”

Briony will be based at CancerCare’s Morecambe premises, which opened last year and has been transformed to include new counselling and specialist therapy facilities and a dedicated children’s play therapy room.

For more information about CancerCare’s services for children and young people, visit cancercare.org.uk