Understanding Drama Therapy, Its Aim, Techniques and Benefits!

Understanding Drama Therapy and Its Aim

Drama Therapy is psychotherapy through the medium of drama. Drama Therapy is the intentional and systematic use of drama and theater processes to achieve healthy psychological growth and change. The general aim of a Drama Therapy session is to search ideas, and other problems using drama-based activities. Its aim is also to express the feelings, develop imagination and creativity, improve self confidence along with social and interpersonal skills. Drama Therapy contains several different forms of expression such as movement, sound, body language, and speech.

Drama Therapy

One can go far back to ancient Greece to discover the origin of Drama Therapy where ancient forms of healing rituals and theater shows impacted what is classified as Drama Therapy today. Drama Therapy in the modern era began in Europe in the 1800s. The British Association of Drama Therapy was formed in 1976 and provides a professional base for those who are using Drama in therapy since early 1960s.

Drama Therapy Techniques

Drama Therapy involves a variety of techniques or methods, which can be applied to a wide range of clients. It helps emotional growth through development of trust and the experience of different ways of being oneself. The role of the Drama Therapist is to provide a safe, supportive space to encourage the patients to express themselves in whichever way they are able to do. Drama therapist works in a range of settings, including health, education, social services, as well as in private practice. The active approach makes it a very suitable intervention for adults and children with learning disabilities and autism.

Drama Therapy involve plays, games based on drama, role-play, scripts, stories, metaphor, and symbolism. Dramatic experience or talent is not necessary to participate. The focus is not on performance but on the experience of the patients. The role of the Drama Therapist is to develop a program with appropriate goals, objectives, and structures to meet the needs and abilities of the patients.

Drama Therapy Benefits

Drama Therapy plays a significant role in development of autistic population’s self esteem and social skills. It provides an enjoyable yet challenging environment in which all kinds of relevant expression is allowed and encouraged. Drama Therapy also helps people with Asperger syndrome, dyspraxia, and other behavioral and psychosocial problems. Drama Therapy is also very beneficial in people suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and other traumas that they might have experienced in their lives at some point.

Drama Therapy also offers many benefits for people with a range of mental health conditions including psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar. Drama Therapy combines a session or group that uses creative media with a confidential, remedial space to address thoughts, emotions and to dig into past and present traumatic experiences.

Drama Therapist’s Role In Healing Clients

Drama Therapist will use the metaphor of theater and also use the tools and the techniques that one might connect or associate with theater to do the work that they do. They get to play. They get to do theater all the time. The role of drama therapist is to make the clients enjoy what they are doing and they do not even realize that they are healing at the same time. Drama Therapists use movement, sound, create dramatic scripts and plays. It does not necessarily require that somebody find the words to talk about the difficult experiences that they have had right away. Art is inherently healing.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 13, 2018

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