Dr Ditty Dokter

Senior Lecturer and Admissions Tutor, MA Dramatherapy

Arts Therapies research centre Anglia Ruskin University. KENVAK arts therapies research centre, Netherlands. International Centre for Research in the Arts Therapies (ICRA), Imperial College London.

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of Music and Performing Arts

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Dramatherapy

Courses taught: Dramatherapy

Ditty Dokter, PhD is a registered dramatherapist (HCPC). Her clinical practice included clients with learning disabilities, adult/young people's mental health and traumatised refugees. Her research interest is intercultural practice.

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Dr Ditty Dokter is a registered dramatherapist (HCPC), groupanalytic psychotherapist (FPC) and dance movement psychotherapist (ADMPUK).  She is course leader MA Dramatherapy, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and supervises Dramatherapy PhD doctoral research. She's held clinical, research and teaching posts with the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and Hertfordshire partnership NHS Foundation trusts; Hertfordshire and Roehampton Universities, KENVAK arts therapies research centre (Netherlands) as well as working in the tertiary sector to support and advocate the integration of clients with learning disabilities and refugees.

Ditty has facilitated the development of intercultural competency guidelines with the BADth Equality and Diversity committee and her research focusses on intercultural practice. She's currently co-editing the Arts Therapies Intercultural research book with Margaret Hills de Zarate, to be published by Routledge in 2015/2016. Edited books include Arts Therapies and Clients with Eating Disorders (1994), Arts Therapists, Refugees and Migrants (1998), Supervision of Dramatherapy (2008 with Jones) and Dramatherapy and Destructiveness (2011 with Holloway and Seebohm) as well as contributing chapters and articles to Journals such as Dramatherapy, GROUP and Arts in psychotherapy.

Research interests

As a migrant Ditty is interested in intercultural practice. She took her doctoral research studying how cultural background influenced client and therapist perception of arts therapies group treatment in young people's psychiatry. This resulted in an edited book (1998), various chapters and articles (2000, 2001, 2005, 2008), an international conference, (1998) and innovative practice development with refugees (2000). Ongoing research resulted in an invitation to present a paper at the NATO conference in Tel Hai (2007) on immigrant mental health and to guest edit a special edition of the Dramatherapy journal (2007). Ditty has worked with the Equality and Diversity Committee of the British association of Dramatherapists (BADth) to develop Dramatherapy Intercultural good practice guidelines (to be finalised 2015-16). She's also been invited to consult on the North American Dramatherapy Association (NADTA) development of Intercultural good practice guidelines.

Additional research interests are eating disorders, embodiment, change processes in dramatherapy with children and evidence-based practice/practice-based evidence in dramatherapy/arts therapies.

Areas of research supervision

Ditty has supervised two PhD students to completion at Roehampton University and is currently supervising three PhD Dramatherapy students at Anglia Ruskin University and one Art Therapy PhD student at KENVAK/Radboud University, Netherlands. She's been examiner of five PhDs in different universities and will be examining a sixth this summer.

Current supervision

  • Dramatherapy and war veterans, Anglia Ruskin University part-time
  • Dramatherapy supervision and newly qualified teachers, part-time, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Dramatherapy and autobiographical performance, part-time, Anglia Ruskin University
  • The influence of art materials in art therapy diagnosis and assessment, Radboud University Netherlands

Completed PhD supervision

  • Dramatherapy and eating disorders, Roehampton University, completed 2009
  • Counselling psychology and the use of Facebook, Roehampton University, completed 2012

PhD Examining

  • 2009 Examiner PhD Dance Movement therapy education and training in Israel, Roehampton University
  • 2010 Examiner PhD Dance movement therapy education and training in Spain, University of Hertfordshire
  • 2013 Examiner PhD Arts therapies and teacher education.  Anglia Ruskin University
  • 2014 Examiner PhD Dramatherapy and facilitating agency in children in education.  Leeds Metropolitan University
  • 2015 Examiner PhD Art therapy and Korean migrants in the UK.  Goldsmiths College, University of London


Before teaching on the Anglia Ruskin University MA Dramatherapy, Ditty taught on Postgraduate Diploma and Masters level courses in dramatherapy and dance movement therapy at the Universities of Hertfordshire, Roehampton in the UK and Codarts in the Netherlands. She's interested in the opportunity for shared pedagogical development across the arts therapies, to enable a more integrated approach to teaching and learning. At Anglia Ruskin University there is a structure that enables music therapy and dramatherapy students to be taught alongside each other through shared and separate modules. Over the five years since establishing the course, Ditty has collaborated to develop appropriate learning and teaching methodologies for integrated delivery whilst using cross marking plus student and external examiner feedback to evaluate the efficacy of these methodologies. The student feedback is very positive and the students are able to meet the HCPC set of competencies required and obtain employment at the end of training.


  • Bhons Youthwelfare work, Windesheim academie, Netherlands (1980)
  • PG Dip Dramatherapy, Hertfordshire College of Art & Design (1982)
  • Dip Groupanalytic Psychotherapy, Westminster pastoral foundation, London (1986)
  • MSc Social Anthropology, University College London, (1989)
  • PhD Arts Therapies, University of Hertfordshire, (2007)

Memberships, editorial boards

Professional Memberships

  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration no AS1024
  • British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth) membership no 2083
  • Association of dance movement psychotherapy UK (ADMP UK) membership no 0273
  • Federation of Psychotherapy and Counselling (FPC) registered group analytic psychotherapist membership no 1275
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA) principal fellowship Reference no PR074488

Current professional committee membership

  • 2004 - current Member BADth Training Committee
  • 2015 Chair ADMP UK ethics inquiry

Journal editorial board and peer reviewer

  • 2012-current Member editorial committee Dramatherapy  Journal, Routledge publisher
  • Journal peer reviewer GROUP, Body and Movement in psychotherapy, Tijdschrift voor vaktherapie

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • £6,000 consultancy Codarts, Netherlands to Anglia Ruskin University, setting up joint MA Dance therapy and Music therapy (2015)
  • E300,000 RAAK publiek Netherlands Arts therapies community treatment and mild learning disabilities, three year research project (20 %), (2014)
  • E18,952 One year secondment to KENVAK, Arts therapies Research centre, Netherlands, collaboration of 6 Dutch universities (100%), (2013)
  • £30,000 Systematic review EBP/PBE research project British Association of Dramatherapists (50%), (2008)

Selected recent publications

  • Penzes I, van Hooren S, Dokter D, Hutschemaekers, G & Smeysters H. Material interaction in art therapy assessment. Arts in psychotherapy 41: 489-492, (2014)
  • Robertson K, Dokter D and Jennings S. Dramatherapy research with obese women In L. Yotis ed. National Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinin-Iatriki Sholi. Medical University of Athens (2014)
  • Dokter D. Outcomes in dramatherapy: standardised or individualised? In Assessment in dramatherapy. D. Read Johnstone and S. Pendzik eds. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, (2011)
  • Dokter D, Holloway P and  Seebohm H. eds Dramatherapy and Destructiveness.  Playing with Thanatos whilst developing the evidence base. London: Routledge Publishers (2011)
  • Dokter D. Helping and hindering processes in UK arts therapies group practice. GROUP 34 (1): 67-84, (2010)
  • Dokter D. Embodiment in dramatherapy. In Drama as therapy vol. 2. P. Jones ed. London: Routledge, (2010)

Recent presentations and conferences

  • Dokter D. Boundaries or borders?  Identity, loyalty and betrayal. Keynote presentation British Association of Dramatherapists’ conference, (2014)
  • Dokter D. Intercultural Dramatherapy research.  Keynote presentation Intenational Centre for Arts Therapies Research (ICRA) conference London, (2013)
  • Dokter D. Dramatherapist reflections on change. Lessons from vignette research into working with migrants and refugees.  13 th European Arts Therapies Conference European consortium for Arts Therapies Training and Education (Ecarte), (2013)
  • Dokter D. Dramatherapist reflections on change. Lessons from vignette research into working with migrants and refugees.  British Association of Dramatherapists conference. Paper and workshop, (2013)
  • Dokter D. Evidence based practice en practice based evidence: voorbeelden van creatieve oplossingen? Keynote presentation KENVAK conference. Maastricht, the Netherlands, (2013)
  • Dokter D. De paden op…. GNOON practice development conference Keynote presentation.  Nijmegen. The Netherlands, (2013)
  • Dokter D. and Jones P. Dramatherapy with children and young people in educational settings.  Keynote presentation First joint music and dramatherapy conference.  Anglia Ruskin University, (2012)
  • Dokter D. The dramatic body. Festschrift conference Sue Jennings. Leeds Metropolitan University, (2012)
  • Dokter D. Carr A and Khasnavis R. Working with sacred scripts. British Association of Dramatherapists' conference. Workshop, (2012)
  • Dokter D. Playing with Thanatos. Destructiveness as an intelligent response to overwhelming feelings. 11 European Arts Therapies Conference Ecarte, (2011)
  • Dokter D and Khasnavis R. Interfaith working with sacred text. Workshop European Bibliodrama Congress. London, (2011)
  • Dokter D. Embodied play.  Ecarte GA conference Hogeschool Utrecht, Netherlands, (2010)
  • Dokter D. EBP and the use of CORE in dramatherapy. BADth national conference, (2010)
  • Dokter D. EBP and dramatherapy. Keynote at conference to launch new Dramatherapy journal, publisher Routledge, (2010)