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Drama therapy expert Phil Jones at Wits

- By Wits University

Internationally renowned scholar and author, Professor Phil Jones, joins Drama for Life at Wits University this month as a Wits Mellon Distinguished Scholar in the Faculty of Humanities.

Jones, from the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education, has held the roles of Director of Research at the University of Leeds and visiting Professor to Concordia University, Montreal.  

His publications include The Arts Therapies (2005 Routledge), Drama as Therapy (2007 Routledge), Rethinking Childhood (2009 Continuum) and Rethinking Children’s Rights (2010 with Welch, Continuum). His books have been translated and published in China, South Korea and Greece. Jones is the editor of Drama as Therapy Volume 2 (2010 Routledge), Supervision of Dramatherapy (with Dokter, 2008, Routledge), Children’s Rights in Practice (with Walker, 2011 Sage), Exploring Education and Childhood: From Current Certainties to New Visions (with Wyse, Davis and Rogers, 2015 Routledge), Childhood: Services and Provision (with Moss, Tomlinson and Welch, 2007 Pearson) and is the series editor for Continuum’s New Childhoods.

His research articles have been published in journals including the European Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, The Arts in Psychotherapy and Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy.  

Jones has given keynotes in many countries including South Africa, South Korea, the USA, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and at the prestigious Triennial World Congress for Psychotherapy in Sydney, Australia. He has recently completed a national research project for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England on children’s rights in schools.

The Distinguished Scholars Programme aims to attract the best academic talent to Wits. “Our goal is to recruit 30 leading scholars and researchers to the University over three years,” says Professor Adam Habib, Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

“These are distinguished scholars who will generate new research, supervise postgraduate students and in so doing develop a new generation of scholars and intellectuals. They will build research entities, centres and groups around them that will ideally generate more research from these concentrated hubs over the years.”

Jones is visiting the Drama for Life division in the Wits School of Arts, and will kick off his visit with a workshop on 18 March 2015, on The ‘inner child’ and the child in society: a workshop to explore the relationship between the therapeutic space and the politics of identityView the programme.

On 19 March 2015 he will speak at a symposium themed Human Rights, Children and the Arts Therapies and deliver a lecture with the same title. View the programme.

Jones will also deliver a public lecture entitled Arts and Therapy: The Natures of Change and Proof on 26 March 2015 at 13:00 in the Wits Downstairs Theatre, Wits Theatr4e Complex, Braamfontein Campus East.

Drama for Life is a unique, internationally acclaimed postgraduate Division of Applied Drama and Theatre Studies, Drama Education and Drama Therapy Studies in the Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand.

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Professor Phil Jones, the visiting Drama for Life Wits Mellon Distinguished Scholar, will participate in a symposium, workshops and deliver two public lectures during his tenure at Wits. The symposium, themed Human Rights, Children and the role of the Arts, is hosted by Drama for Life in partnership with the Wits Transformation Office.

18 March 2015

Workshop: The ‘inner child’ and the child in society: a workshop to explore the relationship between the therapeutic space and the politics of identity.

A Drama Therapy Workshop for registered HPCSA health care practitioners. 

This workshop will bring together Jones’ recent writings and research (Rethinking Childhood (2010); Childhoods and Contemporary Practices (2015) into the nature of how societies and individuals construct childhood and his work concerning the arts and therapy (The Arts Therapies (2005), Drama as Therapy (2007)).

It will provide drama therapists with an opportunity to consider their practice with clients in the light of how childhood experiences are considered in retrospect as well as how work with children is undertaken.

The session will begin with a brief outline of ideas and then use practical work to explore issues and dynamics at work within the ways clients and therapists interact in relation to memories, experiences and understandings of childhood.

Venue: 14th Floor, University Corner, corner of Bertha and Jorissen Streets, Braamfontein

Time: 18:30 for 19:00-22:00

Cost: R300 

Payment Method: Cash on arrival
CPD Points

19 March 2015

Panel: Enabling Children’s ‘voices’ through the Arts

This panel discussion will explore  the role of the arts in relation to children’s participation rights, especially concerning ‘voice’ and how the arts enable children to communicate and express themselves versus more adult orientated verbal and written modes of expression.

Venue: Wits Theatre, Braamfontein Campus East 

Time: 10:00-12:00

Public Lecture: Human Rights, Children and the role of the Arts

Jones will explore the constructed nature of childhood and look at issues such as participation rights and the role of the arts therapies, the nature of resistance to children’s rights, the agendas and dynamics set by children’s rights and will draw on recent research undertaken by Jones on behalf of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Venue: Wits Theatre, Braamfontein Campus East

Time: 13:00-14:00

Workshop: Children, the Arts and Human Rights

Venue: University Corner, corner of Bertha and Jorissen Streets, Braamfontein

Time: 14:30 to 17:00

26 March 2015

Public Lecture: Arts and Therapy: The Natures of Change and Proof

What are we starting to know? How are we going about knowing? This presentation will explore the nature of research in the arts therapies.

Drawing on research with drama therapists and interviews with researchers in the arts therapies, it will look at tensions in the field such as the divide between qualitative and quantitative paradigms and arts and science and will argue against separation and for greater conversations within, and between, disciplines. The presentation will draw on Jones’ recent publications in journals such as The Arts in Psychotherapy and the Drama Therapy Review.

Venue: Wits Downstairs Theatre, Wits Theatre Complex, Braamfontein Campus East

Time: 13:00