Psychodrama is an action method, often used as a psychotherapy, in which clients use spontaneous dramatization, role play and dramatic self-presentation to reenact key moments of their past, present and future, investigating and gaining insight into their lives. It helps clients to identify and express their feelings, to find new ways of dealing with difficult situations and to connect with others in a deep and satisfying way. The aim is to increase spontaneity in all aspects of one’s life.
This method offers a creative way for an individual or group to explore and solve personal problems. It may be used in a variety of clinical and community-based settings, and is mostly applied in a group scenario, in which each person in the group can become therapeutic agents for one another’s scenes. Each psychodrama is a learning experience for all members of the group, regardless of the role each person plays in the drama. Group members often make relevant connections and gain insights into their own lives from the psychodrama of another.
Psychodrama is classically structured as follows:
Warm-up: the first phase of the group is when drama and other creative activities are used to warm-up participants’ spontaneity. Out os this phase one member of the group is chosen to become the protagonist whose story is explored or who wishes to work on some difficulty.
Enactment: the group enacts scenes from the past, present and/or future of the protagonist under the guidance of the director/psychodramatist and according to the protagonist’s perception of the events. The therapeutic goals of this process are catharsis, action insight and intra-psychic and inter-personal change.
Sharing: group members share with the protagonist what they recognized from their own lives in the drama, which feelings or situations they resonated with in the drama. Psychodrama offers you an opportunity to explore situations or events that trouble you. With the help of other group members you can review scenes from your life, from different perspectives, and express how you feel attending different points of view.
Psychodrama can be applied in multiple situations (e.g. family issues, childhood traumas, workplace conflicts, relational difficulties). It can also be fun, empowering and can help you gain confidence in relationships.