Psychodrama is a holistic approach to growth and healing that uses action methods rather than just talking about issues or concerns. Dr. Jacob L. Moreno, who was truly a pioneer of his time, founded psychodrama in 1921. Moreno’s theory based his theories on the innate power and potential of humans instead of focusing solely on their problems. As an action method of therapy, psychodrama can help to identify areas in your life where you have barriers that are preventing you from achieving fulfillment. You can explore your past, present and future within the psychodrama framework.
Although we can conduct psychodrama in individual sessions, it is most often used within a group setting. A psychodrama involves the individual whose story the group will be addressing (the protagonist), the people who the protagonist will have in her drama to help play different roles (auxiliary roles), the audience members and the group therapist (or what in psychodrama is called “the director”). All psychodramas take place in the here and now. While I am referencing how psychodrama is used in a therapeutic venue, it is also widely used in educational, corporate and legal settings.
Releasing involves understanding and gaining awareness of what areas or ways that you are blocked or stuck in your life. In talk therapy, you discuss issues or concerns, but in psychodrama, you have the opportunity to enact a scene from your life and re-play it as if it is happening in the present. Using various techniques specific to psychodrama, the therapist can stop the scene and have you step aside to watch and make observations. When you replay a scene, you become aware of what your barriers are from reliving a situation from your past. Without awareness, change is difficult. This action method allows you to verbalize the things you usually leave unspoken. It removes the barriers you have in the real world and allows you to experience and identify many unspoken emotions and thoughts in a safe environment. In psychodrama, you can work on issues from your past, present and future and consider your dreams and fantasies.
Psychodrama also assists you in reclaiming your personal power. It is reclaiming disowned or denied parts of yourself, reclaiming a positive aspect of yourself or reclaiming a feeling that you have never been able to acknowledge. As you gain awareness and insight, this action method gives you the opportunity to try or test new behaviors in various situations. For instance, if you have reclaimed your ability to have an assertive voice for yourself you may set up a scenario where you enact an exchange with your overpowering boss where you practice using your newly claimed assertive voice. Practicing this new behavior in action helps prepare you for your real-world interactions.
Psychodrama offers you an opportunity to heal your mind, body, soul and spirit so you can live the most fulfilling life possible. Removing negative barriers and reclaiming your innate power and goodness frees you to be your best self. Learning to be more spontaneous and creative brings energy to your life. Being proactive in your personal growth allows you to be more of the active director in your life! Live full and free!
Deborah Day, M.A.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor MH2820
Certified Practitioner of Psychodrama
& Group Psychotherapy
National Certified Counselor