Drama therapy deliberately employs theatrical and dramatic techniques to attain therapeutic results. This unique approach provides a platform for the client to actively share their experiences through storytelling while enabling them to express their feelings, problem solve, and achieve a sense of well-being. Participants in drama therapy often find that their own interpersonal relationship tools are improved as a result of portraying several different characters and discovering various inner experiences. In functional settings that provide prevention and treatment, participants can see drama therapy effect change in their behavior, emotional state, personal growth, and skill adaptation.
Drama therapy was born out of a realization that some life experiences and wounds are too painful to address through verbal dialogue alone. Drama provides a way to confront these issues through an alternative form of expression. In the context of a safe therapeutic relationship, drama therapy allows a client to rely on both physical and verbal expression and cues to work through difficult emotional issues. It was developed by J.L. Moreno, Peter Slade, Carl Jung, Caelius Aurelius, William Browne, T.D. Noble, John Fletcher, Sandor Ferenczi, Winifred Ward, Nicholas Udall, Laban, Dr. Philippe Pinel, Neva Boyd, Maxwell Jones, Nikolai Govorov, and Sue Jennings.
A drama therapist relies on four main areas of training to assist their clients:
- Abnormal and general psychology
- Drama therapy
The therapist is trained in practical applications as well as through feedback and skill development.
The goal of the drama therapist is to facilitate a safe and secure experience for the client that allows for the full expression of their emotional voice through dramatic motion. The most popular use of drama therapy is in the treatment of people who are already undergoing other forms of therapy. However, more recently this creative form of psychotherapy has expanded to include at-risk youth, people who are physically ill and members of the community who seek to improve their health and well-being. The desired outcome of drama therapy is different for each participant, but the fundamental model for drama therapy is designed to promote healing and growth through the use of role playing and dramatic interactions.
- National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations
- The Drama Therapy Fund
- The Dramatherapy Network
- The North American Drama Therapy Association
Last updated: 07-02-2015