You are on page 1of 3

PSYCHODRAMA

Definition:
Psychodrama is an action method, often used as psychotherapy, in which clients use
spontaneous dramatization, role playing, and dramatic self-presentation to investigate and
gain insight into their lives.

Developed by:
Psychodrama is a psychotherapy approach that utilizes action methods based on the
theory, philosophy, and methodology of Dr. Jacob L. Moreno, a psychiatrist who developed
this method in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. Often referred to as the father of
group therapy.

Introduction:
o The purpose of psychodrama is to resolve conflicts and gain insight through action
rather than talk alone. Through role-play, thoughts, feelings and behaviours emerge
simultaneously to bring to light what is being carried (and often repressed) in the
psyche.
o Psychodrama uses methods of enactment, sociometry, group dynamics, role theory,
and social systems analysis to facilitate constructive change in individuals and
groups so that new perceptions and cognitive patterns can develop.
o Psychodrama characteristically takes place within a group. Each participant elects a
time when they feel ready to have their personal psychodrama, guided by the
Director, and assisted by the group.

Procedure:
Mirror Technique:
o an auxiliary ego plays the protagonist, enabling the protagonist to observe
him or herself as if in a mirror.
o Highly effective technique
o It allows individuals to stand in front of mirror and confront the conflicts.
Roleplay:
o The protagonist acts out the role of someone other than themselves,
someone important in their life.
o The goal of role playing is usually to work out alternative and more effective
approaches to general problem.

Audio and Visual Aid:


o They are shown videos, movies, or plays according to their situation.
o It allows clients to comprehend how to move forward and deal with the conflicts.
o It is also one of the highly effective techniques.

Soliloquy:
o The protagonist shares with the audience their inner thoughts and feelings.
o Sometimes this is done in dialogue with a double.
o Soliloquy is similar to the use of character voiceovers in film.

Application:
o depression
o phobias
o post-traumatic stress syndrome
o eating disorders
o self-harm
o alcohol and drug abuse
o relationship issues
o family difficulties
o Acute psychosis
o High anxiety
o Early withdrawal from alcohol or drugs
o Individuals with limited cognitive capacity
o And other severe problems.

Advantages:
o It helps creation of the catharsis, insight and emotional resolution.
o It develops theatrical cathedral for the release of natural spontaneity and creativity
that exists naturally in everyone.
o Individuals can experience and work through past, present and future events that
have caused them distress.
o After acting out their difficulties they gain emotional and cognitive insight which
brings stage of renewed self-awareness and readjustment, integration, acceptance,
control and prevention.
o Learning through spill over effect is possible. Spillover effect is the learning of other
group members through protagonists acting out of issues. Watching the protagonist
helps them to gain insight by relating to the act and learning to behave in a better
way in future in that situation.

Limitations:
o Danger of over exposing of the protagonist to himself or herself or the audience
exits. To prevent this high level of expertise is required to decide the timing and
amount of exposure.
o First attempts at resolving a problem are not as polished as later ones and sometime
everyone involved in the process struggles.
o It may focus too much on expression of feelings than change of behaviour as there is
lot of emphasizes on expression and present experience as opposed to cognition and
exploration of the past. Therefore careful construction of the group is required to
avoid this.
o There also exists the potential problem of confidentiality especially in small cities.
Such problems must be dealt openly.
o Another related problem is of secret alliance between the clients that are needed to
be brought to light and dealt tact fully.