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What Is Psychodrama?

In the early 1900s, a Romanian psychiatrist conceptualized a type of psychotherapy which aims to address a patient’s problems by using theatrical demonstrations. Thus, Psychodrama came to be. The idea emerged from his interest in theater, mysticism, and philosophy as well as his acknowledgment of the importance of the group approach to therapy, goodtherapy.org says. He defined Psychodrama as a “scientific exploration of truth through dramatic method.”

Exploringyourmmind.com says that it is applicable to families, couples individuals and other groups. People of all ages can try Psychodrama. Adults, seniors, and children may creatively solve their problems with the help of this therapy.

Process

The Psychodrama sessions are usually done every week, with eight to ten people taking part in the therapy. The duration is often from 90 minutes to 2 hours. According to the article Psychodrama: A Unique Way to Solve Problems, when people go through a Psychodrama session, it often undergoes these steps:

Warm-up

This is the initial stage of the therapy. Patients would first do exercises that help them become accustomed to Psychodrama. This phase educates them on what to do at the very beginning.

Dramatization

In this second stage, the therapist would instruct the patient to act out their problem or let somebody else act it out for them.

Group Analysis

During this phase, the participants of the Psychodrama therapy will discuss how they interpreted the dramatization or what they discovered as they watched a patient act or as they became the actors of the issue the patient is having difficulty with.

Closing

Once they finished talking about they have learned while participating in the session, the therapist expounds on their assessments.

Objective of Psychodrama

Psychodrama's approach is based on the standards of creativity and spontaneity. It is also founded on group dynamics, sociometry and role theory. The purpose of the combination of these approaches is to be able to induce behavioral, emotional and cognitive reactions from the patient. This therapy also aims them have a new perspective by helping them make better sense of the role they play in life, improve their manner of interacting with other people, and helps them understand the things that are making their life more difficult or which are hindering them.

Techniques

In the dramatization stage also known as the action stage, the protagonist acts out a scene which comes from something this is currently happening in their life. This is done with the assistance of the therapist. Under the direction of the therapist, the other members of the group assume the role of auxiliary egos or other people in the life of the protagonist. The remaining members become the spectators. Every session centers on a life circumstance of a person and may involve other members taking up roles.

These are the techniques which are often used in the second stage of the Psychodrama session:

Role reversal

The patient who is acting as the protagonist takes on the role of someone whom they consider an important part of their life. As the patient does this, it will aid the therapist who is serving as the director to get a better grasp of the other person’s role and the flow of their relationship. This also helps the protagonist have more empathy towards that person.  

Mirroring

In this technique, the protagonist becomes part of the audience and watches as the auxiliary egos take on the role of the protagonist and act out a scene based on an event in their life. This may help the protagonist when they feeling intensely negative emotions or feel detached from the event.

Doubling

When performing the doubling technique, one of the members of the group will imitate the behavior and movements, and try to verbalize the emotions and thoughts that they think the protagonist may be having at the moment. This can be employed to either help other group members empathize with the protagonist or to challenge a part of the scene or an action the protagonist in positive and in a way that is non-threatening.

Soliloquy

The protagonist discloses their innermost thoughts and emotions to the members who are watching. This strategy may be used when the director asks to do it or by talking to a member who is acting as their double.

Disorders It Treats and Its Benefits

Psychodrama can be helpful to individuals who struggle with overcoming their addiction, those who have experienced trauma, people who are affected by eating disorders, people who suffer from autism and have attachment and adoption issues, crchealth.com says.

The benefits that people may gain as they participate in Psychodrama are having better communication skills and relationships, being able to overcome grief and loss, bringing back their confidence and health, improving their learning and life skills, being able to explore alternative ways of thinking and behaving and being able to express how they feel in a safe and supportive environment.

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