LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO COSTUME THERAPY
My name is Danielle I. Diamond, and I am an artist of British, Scottish & Ukrainian heritage, working on the unceeded territories of the Musqueam Squamish and Tsleil-waututh nations. I use she/her pronouns and identify as femme presenting & gender non-conforming. I am English speaking & half-deaf in both ears. I aspire to one day learn ASL.
Let’s Dive In:
- I believe that #CostumeTherapy is a practice that we, as expressionistic & emotional mammals, have been developing for millennia, as a way to both tell our stories and to help us make sense of who we are and what we are doing here.
- During my decade long battle with identity anxiety, I found that by playing dress up, doing photoshoots & expressing myself through performance arts, I was actually retraining my brain to become familiar with personality traits I wished to embody, OR aspects of myself that I wished to face & release.
- My professional training & industry experience in the fields of costuming, photography, & art direction have come to a culmination in creating the foundational aspects of my private practice in Costume Therapy.
- I have designed methods which are informed by my lived experiences, and over a decade spent observing the transformational effects of costumes, wigs & roll play. I have witnessed how people’s internal energies & outer expressions shift when they try on something much different then their daily dress.
“Practicing costume therapy is a great way to practice trusting yourself & others.“
The Practice Unfolds:
- Do you ever notice at costume parties, people seem to be having a whole other level of fun? They’ve cultivated a space where you can connect with one of your inner-selves by inventing an alter-ego for the night, or playing a character you relate too in some way.
- I use the term ‘inner selves’ as a plural intentionally. Everything I have seen suggests to me that we have multiple personas at our disposal, even outside of the costume party environment. Each of these ‘selves’ can be individually explored as a route to personal understanding & transformation.
- Some of us (myself included) have experienced an ‘I’m too old for this‘ attitude toward imaginative play or silliness. Letting your guard down and tapping into your imagination can trigger unprocessed fear responses from our past . Acknowledging this, we can learn to trust our child-like selves again by ‘playing’ in a safe & supportive environment.
- This practice is for anyone who is curious to explore new facets of themselves. I specialize in working with folks going through shifts in gender & sexuality and anyone who has bravely acknowledged personality patterns or habits that are holding then back from being who they’ve always wanted to be.
“It is my intention to teach you a practice that you can use on your own time, it becomes a tool that you access yourself when in need of a boost.”
How It Works
- We begin with a complimentary zoom call as a wellness check-in. We make sure this practice is suitable for you at this point in your journey. *10 min.
- Our first session is online. Here you can share with me your current self-development goals & issues you’ve identified that have prevented you from ‘getting there’ on your own. Here we start brainstorming character concepts that may open the channel of transformation. *45 min.
- Our second session is in person. Our time starts by transforming you into a character! I call this playing with a purpose & our tools are theatre costumes, makeup, wigs & accessories. *1.5 hrs
Swipe left above to view the whole gallery.
- Say Cheese, it’s photo-shoot time! The second half of our session we spend capturing a dramatic & professional portrait of the character you are embodying. This process helps regulate our brain while as we try on new identities & gives you a take-home reminder of what energy you are working on manifesting. *1hr – Your session includes 5 digital high resolution images & we suggest getting your fav printed out for display somewhere in your home.
The goal here is to practice this process intentionally until you begin to feel a shift in your personality program. I am here as your guide, but YOU get to watch the integration of your new found strengths in your day-to-day interactions.
I still use this practice myself to maintain inner harmony & release creative tension.
See some of my personal transformations here.
The Fine Print
- I like to be very clear that I am not a therapist. I am an actress, a director & a professional costume stylist who has been observing the internal shifts that are inspired by dramatic outer transformations both in my own life and the life of my clients for the past 15 years. Many notes were taken.
- This practice is collaborative in nature. You set the pace & I act as your guide, we can’t rush healing as much as we might try! Like all self-development practices, it’s up to you to commit to the work in order to see results.
- Transformation is a cyclical process requiring personal dedication, patience, and a LOT of courage. I may recommend seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist in tandem to this work if you need support beyond my scope & I have a few fabulous counsellors on my roster.
“I believe there is deep relief to be found in donning a disguise & giving yourself permission to connect with your imagination.“
- I believe this concept is as old as the hills. From my viewpoint it stems from practices such as cultural myth reenactment, dressing in tribal regalia & greek theatre to name a few. Today however (according to the internet), there are very few people putting it into modern use.
- Research & application is slowly evolving in this pioneering work & I’ve listed some links at the bottom of the page featuring the most relevant information I have found.
- What once may have been a cultural practice inherited from our ancestors, becomes today, an intentional self-development method I have designed for all of us. As a granddaughter of settlers whose religious traditions limited self-expression, I had to get creative in way-finding on my own journey of personal transformation.
Please CONTACT ME with any personal questions or to arrange a media interview.
Book a 10 min complimentary ‘get to know me’ zoom chat & you can gauge how we vibe in a casual interview. I will send a booking calendar to you on request 🙂
Fashion Therapy Pioneer Stella Rose
Clinical Therapist Practicing Costume Therapy in NY
Psychological Connection Within Character Creation- Thesis
History & Development of Play Therapy
Costumes In Play Therapy With Children
Chemo Patient Copes by doing Daily Dressup
College Professor on Benifits of Dress Up Therapy for Children
When you are being your true self, you are not looking for pleasure, you are not avoiding pain, you are not trying to get approval, nor trying to get someone to admire you.
You are not out to criticize someone else, or to defeat someone else, and you are not out to gain fame or power. You are naturally and spontaneously living as a genuine human being who has respect and consideration for other human beings.