What is psychodrama?
Psychodrama is an action method developed by Dr. J.L. Moreno, a European-born physician, and uses improvisation and other interactive activities to explore a problem, issue or learning challenge.
It has been successfully employed for decades in psychotherapy, education, business, training and organizational development, spiritual growth, coaching and the law.
Facilitators who practice psychodrama are called directors and are nationally board-certified by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. Many other professionals integrate parts of this method in their professional disciplines after intensive training.
What happens during a psychodrama session?
A typical session begins with a specific warm-up activity that readies the person or group for action.
Through enactment, we explore issues and concerns in a safe environment. The goal of psychodrama helps people discover their inner truth, express emotions freely and establish authentic interactions with others.
Practitioners who use role play as part of their activities aren't necessarily using psychodrama although psychodrama theory is the root of role play.
I've heard of psychodrama in the media when discussing a political situation or other dramatic incident, even a musical group.
Psychodrama refers to the method originated by Dr. Moreno and developed by his wife and collaborator Zerka Moreno and expanded by later trainers. It does not refer to current events, movies, television or theater productions that are psychologically dramatic.
Psychodrama is not drama therapy – which is a separate and distinct creative arts discipline. It is the true forerunner of creative arts therapies as we know them today.
It is an effective way to build community -- a powerful healing force -- and an important avenue to develop creativity and spontaneity in daily life.
How does psychodrama help?
Psychodrama — meaning “psyche in action” — helps us explore our inner and outer worlds with action. Because it "shows us" rather than "tells us," we have the opportunity to experience the stories of ourselves and others in a fresh and immediate way.
Psychodramatists have employed this method to train Secret Service agents to respond to emergency situations, help attorneys win difficult cases, develop innovative educational lesson plans in all levels of schools, and heal people suffering depression, trauma and addiction.
How do I get training?
Although colleges and universities offer courses on psychodrama in their psychology or sociology classes, most trainees find a board-certified trainer for in-depth study and supervision.
When you enter a training program, you will learn the foundation of the method, based on a complex theory of roles, relationships and creativity. as well as sound proven techniques.
You will find a framework to use, adapting the method in your work. Psychodrama is not a bag of techniques, but a specific theory; training and supervision are important to practice skillfully.
See calendar for training opportunities with Karen and other faculty
that use psychodrama and other experiential methods.