Let’s talk about how drama therapy benefits those who are having a hard time facing problems in real life. Plus, thanks to Rehearsals for Growth for the interesting video on using drama therapy enactments and theater games for couples therapy.
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any of our much-loved stories are performed on the stage. We love to watch and decipher the characters’ psyche and then relate their stories to our own. It’s little wonder that drama could be such a great part of therapy. But it was Jacob Levy Moreno who first utilized the true healing potential that drama had to offer. He created the modern version of Drama Therapy–Psychodrama. He opened a psychodrama theater in his clinic in 1936.
It can seem a little bizarre to corporate types but psychodrama and drama therapy offer a unique way to approach personal issues. Below are a few exceptional elements about drama therapy that may be beneficial to you.
1. Practice Real Life.
The theater setting is ideal because you can practice life outside of reality. You get to be the star, and other group members will help you as you play the protagonist. You have the freedom to deal with new situations and explore your psyche. When you are not the star, you can help others through their own personal scenes.
You can mess up in theater and start over again. You can learn from it without the typical consequences. You can take on a role that is similar to yourself, and explore life that way. The theater allows you to assume roles that may help you find new solutions to your problems.
2. Moreno’s “Spontaneity-Creativity” Theory.
Moreno incorporated his theory of “spontaneity-creativity” into his psychotherapy. He taught his clients how to live their lives through responding creatively and spontaneously to the moment. This was the best way to find new solutions to life’s problems.
Psychodrama provided the opportunity to practice certain theories outside the real world. In many ways, it will help in teaching you how to trust yourself in real-life situations.
3. Literally Walk in Another’s Shoes.
The technique, “role reversal”, can do wonders as it allows an individual to have a glimpse of another person’s perspective. This is a step up from imagining what it’s like to “walk in another person’s shoes.”
For example, let’s say, Amber, a woman in her 30s, has a volatile relationship with her mother. In one procedure, Amber acts out a typical situation with her mother. Then, someone else takes her place, while she takes her mother’s role. The other group member will imitate how Amber reacted to her mother. This gives Amber the opportunity to see things from her mother’s perspective.
Drama therapy provides opportunities to explore life and solve personal issues. Through role-playing and spontaneous expression, clients can learn and practice their skills firsthand. It is particularly effective and it isn’t limited to any age group. Therapeutic boarding schools and several other institutions even utilize drama therapy for troubled teens. So, if you, or a struggling loved one, feel that you need an extra boost to confront life’s challenges, drama therapy is a great option.
The writer, Claire Smith, regularly volunteers in youth centers. She has personally seen and dealt with troubled youngsters, and this is one of the reasons why she values the existence of Discovery Academy and other special institutions that aid teenagers.
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