Drama therapy

Drama therapy is the type of therapy that uses theatre techniques and concepts that bring about a change in the behaviours and the life of the individuals. It includes improvision, role playing, using puppets and acting out stories. It can also be used to explore emotional difficulties through the medium of drama. It is often conducted within the group environment but can also be utilized in one-to-one sessions.

Drama therapy can help in addressing various issues including Trauma, Mental Illness, Relationship Problems and Personal Goal-setting behaviour. The therapist can help in dealing with difficult emotions, processing past experiences and working through challenging life situations.

Drama Therapy was first called psychodrama and was given by Jacob Moreno which was having its focus on the present and the future than the past of the individual. It has a prenotion that every individual has the innate ability to be creative which can be helpful in developing new and novel ways to find solutions to the problems. Client who considers normal talk therapies or techniques like CBT unengaging, drama therapy might be helpful for them.

There are nine core processes undertaken in a drama therapy procedure:

  1. Dramatic Projection: It involves projecting the participants inner feelings and difficulties over objects or a role.
  2. Personification and Impersonation: It involves projecting and expressing personal emotions through role play or an object
  3. Roleplay: A person playing a specific character in a specific situation, it is referred to as acting. Roleplaying allows the individual to shift their mindset, acting in new ways and connecting experiences of the person with the situation.
  4. Playing: Spontaneous problem-solving behaviour, play environment and background is set and things are actively reused into new roles and changes are accommodated.
  5. Stimulating Creativity: The therapist will provoke, poke the participants to develop and utilize their creative potential nature during treatment. This is a challenging exercise as this provokes unpleasant emotions. The goal is to use the creative protentional and how to do things differently in the future.
  6. Improvising Role: The participants in the improvising role have a very little discretion about the character and they are free to develop personalities. In improvising role, the person may draw from his/her own experiences, memories and assumptions to construct a personality and making it a self-absorption.
  7. Movement and Miming: One of the most essential acts is human movement. All of these human inventions for self-expression involve the therapeutic use of movement. Miming involves performing without words. Entire emphasis is on the body language to convey certain number of feelings or situation. This may trigger emotions.
  8. Masks and Props: Personality comes from the word persona which means a mask worn by the individual, so sometimes wearing a mask can be a better way to convey as they help people feel safer and more secure alongside it’s a better non-verbal way of conveying and expressing oneself. This is a better way to work with children as they identify with the character and just playfully communicate with non-verbal ques.
  9. Scripted Role: It involves taking on the role of another person and performing it as it if its own. The participant relates to the character and tries to comprehend and discover certain aspects of the life of the person.

Working of the Drama therapy session:

  1. Checking in: This is designed to help the drama therapist to understand how the other person is feeling. Younger children’s mental and emotional states can be used by emotion cards.  
  2. Warming up: The drama therapist will now prepare the client for the session. The warm up activity helps in loosening of the muscles and engages the imagination of the individual by using their name and a miming action and representing how they are feeling.
  3. The main activity: The techniques of the drama therapy will be used
  4. Closing: The therapist will ask for the review of the client how the session went and debrief the group of what they have achieved in today’s lesson.

Outcomes of the Drama therapy:

  • Drama therapy can help the families and communities struggling with transition, loss of social stigmatization, isolation and conflict.
  • Can be helpful in treating anxiety, depression and other conditions.
  • Can be helpful for gaining insight, developing empathy and facilitates relationships
  • Setting Goals and improving the self-worth and self esteem of the individual.  

Addiction: Addiction can be helped with drama therapy. Drug free structure and practising new skills are adopted in dramatherapy. More negative behaviours are treated in a more tangible way. Exploring issues and related problems might help but they can cause the individual to overwhelm.

Benefits of Drama Therapy:

  1. Confidence and Self-Esteem Building: It helps to understand oneself as a person and change the inner disturbances that happen over time. Enhancing Self-trust and benefiting development of confidence.
  2. Fostering Relationships: Drama can help maintaining emotional and mental stability thus increasing cooperation with other people thus increasing and fostering relationships.
  3. Positive Behaviour Change: Analysing actions and understanding why you act the way you do when a similar situation occurs is called behaviour observation. Thus changing a behaviour to a more rational and positive one can be helpful which can be helpful in developing positive behaviour

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By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of Appclonescript.com, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.