Home > Relaxation > Types of Therapy: Psychodrama

Types of Therapy: Psychodrama

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 30 Sep 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Psychodrama Therapy Role Play Role

Psychodrama is a type of relationship therapy which explores the problems, issues, concerns and difficulties that people might have in their daily lives through role play in a group setting.

Through acting out certain types of scenarios that represent issues that are going on in a person’s life, it enables the therapist to gain an understanding into how the person reacts in certain given situations and to identify potential problems in order to suggest other ways the person may have dealt with a situation in another way which might be more productive for them in the future.

Ultimately, its aim is to develop new solutions to old unresolved problems or to suggest meaningful solutions to new problems through role play. For people who are interested in personal development, it can often help them to see certain situations in a new light which then empowers them to make changes in their lives and relationships.

Group Therapy

Usually, a group which forms together in a psychodrama session will all have some area of doubt in their lives which they want to eradicate or improve upon. Therefore, the initial process is all about getting participants to feel safe which is often achieved through mutual respect and confidentiality considerations when it comes to each member expressing concerns that they have individually and sharing those with the rest of the group.

How Does Psychodrama Work?

Psychodrama employs a range of techniques to explore the interaction of a person with somebody else to enable the therapist to explore how that situation has made the person feel and how it might have been handled differently. There are 4 main variations:

  • Role reversal
  • Mirroring
  • Modelling
  • Doubling

Example

Here is a typical situation which a person might encounter in a psychodrama group therapy class. Let’s suppose Tony is a person attending a psychodrama therapy session. Tony is a married man who is having difficulties communicating with his wife Karen without their discussions boiling over into an argument and use that as an example to demonstrate the 4 techniques outlined above.

Role Reversal

In this situation, Tony would act out a typical discussion as himself with one of the group members who would assume the part of his wife Karen. Then after that’s played out, the roles would be reversed and the group member would assume Tony’s role whilst Tony would assume the role of his wife. In this way, Tony is then able to experience the relationship through Karen’s eyes which can help him to see things from her perspective which he may not have previously been able to do.

Mirroring

Here, Tony is taken to one side and another group member is asked to assume Tony’s role and play the same scene out in the same manner that Tony did initially. In this way, Tony can watch from a distance a ‘mirror’ image of himself and how he relates to Karen. In this way, his detachment can often help him to identify patterns of speech, body language or behaviour which he may not have realised he was demonstrating in order to identify problem areas in order to communicate differently next time.

Modelling

Here, other group members are asked to assume the role of Tony and are asked how they would react to the same interaction with Karen. This way, Tony is able to watch the different ways each group member takes on his role which might suggest better ways he can handle things.

Doubling

Here, Tony acts as himself but he has a group member standing right next to him (like a sort of shadow) as he interacts with the person playing the role of Karen. Here, though, Tony’s ‘shadow’ tries to act and speak in a way which reflects the signals Tony is giving off.

For example, if he saw Tony clenching his fist, the ‘shadow’ might verbally respond by saying, “I’m angry with you, Karen.” Then the therapist might stop the scene and ask if that’s what Tony was feeling. This way, Tony is able to identify non-verbal cues that he’s giving off which he might wish to work on in his actual interaction with his wife, Karen.

Ultimately, psychodrama therapy enables the subject to see things from alternative viewpoints or as the result of being detached from a particular situation.

In doing so, it allows the subject to identify problems they may not have previously been aware of and, along with discussing these with the therapist and other group members, the subject can often come to the realisation that there are alternative and better ways of handling a given situation which, up to this point, has been something they are concerned about.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Since learning the powerful Psychodrama techniques at Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute, I have seen the amazing effects on the children, teens and adults of Jamaica that I have been blessed to 'administer' it to. Just this morning at school for example...two teen 'friends', that had a misunderstanding leading to an altercation, were taken through a role reversal process that placed them each in the others shoes. You could see the revelations on their faces as the depths of understanding were reached through 'feeling'.I love what I do!!! Makeda
Makeda - 30-Sep-13 @ 8:02 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • pawan kumar
    Re: Discovering Your Purpose in Life
    i would appreciate your advice as i m dealing with a lot of guilt about my past.i have changed and feel like a very different…
    31 May 2018
  • prince
    Re: How to Overcome Boredom
    I woul like to meet the spraker or great writer to share with.
    5 May 2018
  • Walookie
    Re: Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection
    Great that it tells you to pity the other for their poor self confidence. I miss my ex, just not her complaining. Great…
    23 April 2018
  • Lori
    Re: Taking Responsibility for Your Actions
    I'm in a relationship with a wonderful man. All he had asked of me is to be true, honest and have integrity. We have…
    13 March 2018
  • LifeCoachExpert
    Re: Conquering Fear
    blommie - Your Question:I wish I could speak English fluently. I like public speaking and would like to pursue a career in public speaking. I am…
    26 January 2018
  • LifeCoachExpert
    Re: Taking Responsibility for Your Actions
    Lenrock - Your Question:Can you help me. After 5yrs of being verbally abusive my wife has sent me this link. Not…
    26 January 2018
  • blommie
    Re: Conquering Fear
    I wish I could speak English fluently. I like public speaking and would like to pursue a career in public speaking. I am not confident at all to…
    24 January 2018
  • Lenrock
    Re: Taking Responsibility for Your Actions
    Can you help me . After 5yrs of being verbally abusive my wife has sent me this link . Not saying it doesn’t make…
    24 January 2018
  • Lenrock
    Re: Taking Responsibility for Your Actions
    I was sent this link by my wife who after 5yrs of being what I consider verbally abusive. But it’s all my fault is…
    24 January 2018
  • Blaque
    Re: Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection
    Is it all in my head cause I feel a disconnect and he tells me it's not so!
    4 January 2018