Psychodrama — meaning “psyche in action” — helps us explore our inner and outer worlds with action and promotes the stimulation of creativity as the “medicine” that
This versatile method is based in a complex theory of relationships and the way we take roles in life. Through role play and other action explorations, we can rehearse new behaviors and investigate differing viewpoints that support growth, insight and change.
Although psychodrama has been historically adopted by psychotherapists – its founder J.L. Moreno was a psychiatrist — it is significantly helpful in education, theater, business, organizational, consulting, community justice and worship settings.
Psychodramatists have employed this method to train Secret Service agents to respond to emergency situations, help attorneys win difficult cases, develop innovative lesson plans in all levels of education, and heal people suffering from the reverberations of the horror of earthquakes, war and community trauma like the recent white supremacist invasion and destruction in Charlottesville, Va.
Talk psychotherapists find that when they integrate action methods into their practice settings, their clients are often become more engaged and able to move through places of stuckness. Yoga and body work practitioners can employ the Body Double, a containment role developed by the Therapeutic Spiral Model, to increase body awareness and body comfort. Educators who work with people on the autism spectrum, including Asperger’s, say that their clients are able to show surprising advances in behavior and relationships with psychodramatic techniques.
Psychodrama and its associated methods of sociometry and sociodrama also give us important tools to build community. Social justice activists and others who are looking to connect people and groups are using these tools ot gand an important avenue to develop creativity and spontaneity in daily living.
Through enactment and improvisational play, participants explore issues and concerns in a safe environment, sometimes in group setting and sometimes in a 1-1 therpy or coaching space. The goal of psychodrama helps people discover their inner truth, express emotions and establish authentic interactions with others.
With psychodrama skills, you will be able:
- To support your groups in feeling connected, cohesive and cooperative.
- To help people understand their problems and difficulties on a deeper level.
- To promote creativity and emotional and intellectual flexiblity within your people.
- To embody different points of view.
- To learn with fun, play and spontaneity.
Group leaders who use role play as part of their group activities are not necessarily using psychodrama although psychodrama theory is the root of modern role play.
Professionals have adapted psychodrama for role training and “Rehearsal For Life” types of programs. Peter Pitzele has employed psychodramatic ideas in developing Bibliodrama to bring to life stories of scripture, which he details in the book, “Our Fathers’ Wells.” Educators and consultants have used the method in organizational and training settings.
Professionals who want to learn psychodrama have several options to begin. Finding a certified psychodrama practitioner will allow you to begin the process of learning from the inside.
Personal growth seminars and professional trainings are available in many venues across the United States and throughout the world. You can pursue it for your personal growth, for professional growth — or both. If you are undecided about experiencing a session, you can learn more by reading one or more books about psychodrama.
If you enter a training program, you will learn the theoretical foundation, including role theory and role analysis, and proven techniques and group skills for group process, role play and guided social activities that support connection and understanding. Enrolling in workshops -- you can find trainers certified by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy -- will provide a framework to use the exercises in your work. Psychodrama is not a bunch of techniques, but a specific theory that can be adapted and applied to your work; training and supervision support and enhance skills that you have already established.