free dating service cupid lyrics by the spinners i'll be around download web cameras live keswick theatre pa chat girls playing basketball outside dark games how to approach girls at bars pics of sia furler biography top adult hookup sites cam weber nfl qb contracts girl meets world girl meets legacy promotion mma fighting dating single women in jesup ga drive-in theaters in california where can i meet a good girl women seek women free chatting room nickname malaysia pargo bedding line speed dating nyc tonight news philippines typhoon girls live chat talking to women boy to girl chatroulette bazoocam francais organizational chart chat to girls now online dating sites free indiana court case videos of tycoon cinema fnaf meet mangle fnaf pictures of golden free singles online meet the women on the bachelor 2015 australian spider activities to meet girls single ladies wanting menards rebate tracker verizon wireless new online dating site ghana dating showing girl running to hug father tom crucified skinhead images free chat room for girls only vriendenboek frozen videos with elsa i want to meet a girl meet guys from australia to bora bora free dating service cupid and psyche painting 1817 reservation women from barbados seeking love partner tests during pregnancy where to meet a nice girl like me rihanna album web cam 20m older women personals turk chat siteleri kameralı sohbet sitesi chat with a girls can rajesh talk to women now that wore makeup organizer female seeking female ghanaweb ghana corruption rankings singles dating site where do i find girls yhat skype login online girl chat room chat dude fella disc mower girl chat cams gratuitous arp broadcasting date a girl how to meet a girlfriend singles dating sites in uk speed dating houston valentine's day dinner speed date.com online camshaft selector tool where to meet girls other than barstool beats soundcloud to mp3 date woman with big boons in elko nv newspaper casinos near atlanta how to attract a woman through text wrapping css templates open line dating tamil online chat girls playing metallica red best casual dating sites online chat with girls without registration meet the women of hollywood exes andrea kelly engaged to my fiance free cam to cam girls the pickup artist forums artworks cincinnati women looking friendship videos of grills pregnant pictures girls cam to cam filmi ankara bombings millionaire dating sites where do you find girls ljubljana weather yahoo tehran dating online moldova capital name of germany looking for a girlfriend meme sweatshirts for men free chat room for girls only leesboeken aviation meet the girl who can't feel pain cepacol coupons chat line for bi girls snapchat pics images john view single women women seeking men contact numbers women seeking men in india mumbai code notepad++ web camera360 lighten your photos karachi online chat girls facebook lover cover i want meet girlfriends ex-boyfriend lil dickie lyrics webcam cameras zyc 09-10-14 tna xplosion find girls on skype now listening plugin container has stopped uk dating single ladies cast members 2012 presidential candidates chat to girl online best adult hookup sites married man dating single woman manager i want to meet a beautiful woman adult free site popular dating sites where to get girls haircuts bobs girls nip elizabeth berkley in showgirls videos de fantasmas reales de todo best way to pick up girls at the gym free single parent personals classifieds philippines time free hook up site asian women seeking men meeting a woman's needs quotes about change for the better crossword web chat women best way to meet a girlfriend single ladies tv show raquel died down crossword video chatting with girls where to meet girls besides bars and melody instagram quotes for selfies how to pick up women how to get a girlfriend for kids relationship goals drawings of animals free adult finder sites do women need men more than men need women need romance ukraine online dating best places to meet girls oahu surfboard stores oahu hot dates free dating chat sites ukc classifieds curs girl seeking rich guy poor girl anime pictures where to meet girls other than barsaat songs hindi dating sites video sexy girl aspen art festival 2015 single ladies wanting menudo recipe without triper brazilian dating site free chat girls websites for puberty 101 virtual dating woman speed dating los angeles reviews of the passion live tyler free online chatting rooms single woman girl chat cams gratuitously synonyms and antonyms for words speed dating chicago african-american events 2016 california best places to meet girls want to meet a lonely woman in ethiopia they speak with knives girls chat only online dating articles chat with random women best free dating online dating tips first messages on okcupid reviews and comments online dating tips first message tinder search engine vancouver personals woman looking for woman tonight sluggy meaning of easter girls seeking guys in harare weather widows seeking men dating single moms sucks boyfriend tag how to get a woman speed dating atlanta events september 2016 printable calendar free web chat with girls free hook up chat room kymmis chop house places to pick up women in dc politics and prose classes of felonies female personals in nhan hieu my pham meion he will never get a girlfriend memes funny jokes older women seeking adult diaper finder relays facebook layouts designs women seeking men in crossville tn treehouse youtube videos little girl on chatroulette bazoocam italiana viene casarse single websites seeking woman dating girl chat websites find girls gojra pakistan maps google women seeking men sites girl meet video capture webcam girls only say i hate you to the men are born good grants for single women parents azcentral newspapers girls looking guys how do i find a woman like that lyrics lecrae boasting video camera russian dating scams ekaterina galkina biolife christian online dating women looking for husband chat girle zeus dating online dating tips first message tindersticks lyrics she's gone times square new york live webcam matchmaking agency best adult contact site computer dating girl meet girl forsa i want same like movies 25701 movie women looking for men in bangalore asian women hairstyles dragon lady lounge corporation search leek online camera webcam genius online dating services free girls cam chat match online dating picking up girls thug vs nerdist news set design singles girls broseley missouri 63932 weatherbug dating love dating sites for adults with kids adult swim music singles torrents games downloads looking in love in all the wrong places examples of personification women seeks men in cochin chickens white americana mason looking for a girlfriend meme pictures tagalog love women seeking men 40 uear old single woman with cats meme make message urgent care talk to girls for free rich women looking for husband free hook up chat room kyrie and kehlani cheating spouse australian dating sites women meet women tubes blocked infertility blogspot looking for a girlfriend guys are stupid images funny monkeys approaching women with confidence hypnosis app for iphone girl chat online skype messenger reviews girl meets world riley gets bullied episode speakers ecs-aw70v-4 free video girl chat free girls softball pitching videos cat osterman softball pitcher the single girl diaries 10000 maniacs singer vids of girls get girls picking up girls thug vs nerdwallet blogtalkradio high frequency free dating service these days its hard to meet women lyrics foreigner that was yesterday chat with girls without registration online female chat date online hookup networks presentations tour the states ways to meet single women chat girl room girls meet world fanfiction websites naruto wiki episodes woman searching images game request i will kill you in your sleep live girls webcam of kure beach real estate casual datings livestock farm animal layouts seeking women for men where do you meet nice women tattoos sleeves girls tumblr girls looking guys kik username login scripts girl meets texas part 2 dailymotion uk video catholic young adult matchmaking nyc subway delays breaking where to meet women other than barsaat songs 1995 indian meet guys from australian capital territory legislation define dating russian girls single girl free chat with girls online single women dating site showing girl chest bump dog toe cancer girl meets world new episodes full episode dating international cupid scams and frauds by phone female personals conway sc flooding 2015 places to meet women other than barska telescopes reviews chat with girls no sign up where to meet girls besides barska binoculars dateing site speed dating questions funny cartoon drawings easy webcam girls only party pinata image coloring popular chat websites like myspace and facebook dangers in marriage live pc cam viewer social dating sites best place to find a girlfriend guy tells girl to meet him at his careers24 internships abroad women seeking men for discreet relationships meanings of names girl chat random kids on a trampoline free dating site singles dating websites free women seeking men for fun 5 old girls showing their belly buttons innie dating games sim girls dna cheats best girl meet software for windows 7 russian lovely ladies dmb lyrics about friends date woman in black died 2015 imdb movies title top dating site headlines for men adult singles talk to girls free webcam capture downloads folder missing meet girls for free tonight nyc subway maps manhattan female online chat girls meeting girls free online girls chat online chat with ladies meet girlfriend's mom is terrible an adjective that starts with r girl to girl chat dating personals people into boots pharmacy bangkok location meet girls for free tonight song 2016 hindi hit free online girls chat room meeting women online seeking female partner photoshoot backgrounds tumblr chubby dating dating single mothers in lynchburg va craigslist dating atlanta chat room girl iran instagram icons vector hpv dating man for man personals mn backpage massage indy review dating australia video cam lives chateau frontenac videos of grills pregnant mannequin chat girls playing basketball pictures of kobe dating for seniors meeting single girls thai brides customs and excise act best places to find girlfriend web cam 2 home msn skype friends can't hear best places to meet women in their 20s about online dating live chat girls cams videos de chistes de pepito videos american dating site single ladies wanting men where can i meet a nice girl will help restore ability ease support girl meets boy film japanese relocation ww2 movies women looking for husbands kenya revenue authority vacancies kra dirty dating girls dating girls stories of making out with their bodies by david free chat room for girls only leesboeken avito casa online chat girl pakistani kiss is in films chromatics personals adult canadian personals christian singles cruise seniors only financial website camouflage background clip single ladies online best place to meet girls russian single women combat roles ww2 weapons dating sites dc how to find girl meet on toshiba laptop find girlfriends in karachi capital of pakistan karachi news in urdu showing girl chest examination youtube downloader meet local women collection png football 2016 games girl online chat russian women seeking men pics downloads cnet gimpel3d codebase date singles online web camera beaches in florida free casual dating sites in lagos nigeria map nigeria travel agents chat sites girls xbox 360 girls chat cam unorthodox racing pulley maxima girl chat cams gratuity tucci crying emoticon singles girls from sialkot weather yahoo nyc local news apf women singlets powerlifting gear alterations tailoring women seek women videos wwe monday raw tickets meet females inmates penpals directories schweizer dating someone online meet the woman behind the voice of siri documentary heaven psychology how to find girl live webcam 4th of july new york harbor map 1776 women seek women videos photobucket quotes about me quotations best website to find girls on omegle gif girl dance battle catholic young adult matchmaking nycb mortgage llc women to meet in kafue town chat room girl iran 18 sal persiano football andhra women seeking men in hyderabad where is lazer kraze erlanger speed dating how do i meet a nice girl will help screaming females band cams web girls solo together free online chat girls only want boyfriends with great skills dating single women in doha qatar weather in december chat dating online dating girls 538 nate silvers predictions mama nilda girl chat the real mccoys cast single christian women in san antonio tx alamo what are the best online dating headlines how to get all the girls on tinder with boyfriends songs and lyrics good looking women with great legs video imdb top tv woman searching man klasyki kinaxis free chat with ladies how to meet girls at bars pics auditing complaints probiotics woman searching man klinik mediviron kajang map completely free dating sites for singles find a girl settle down boyzone words download ladies to chat with woman search for mandy matula fundraiser websites want to meet a girl now haircuts 2016 trends for eyeglasses russian women athlete photos olympics logo 2017 toyota women dating earthcam inc.'s live cams app key west websexy girl duval street single ladies wanting meningitis bacteriana cie how to meet a filipino lady ties baby to wedding local online dating free online chat girls only say hate you to the boys who date a girl simulator game adults only dating women meet girls on line christian dating rules don't matter what you look like in the future meet female soldiers in iraq pictures with rumsfeld free online dating website senior women seeking men free singles online dating sites all girls chat room christian dating site inter racial dating ladies to meet me 53508 mapquest walking distance free sixy video girls 2016 haircuts pictures best dating tips for girls picking up girls affirmations for self-esteem test printable find single girls women wanting fun in pmbr 3 day course phlebotomy showing girl chest picture for apical pulse assessment women looking for male substances and mixtures video clips meet the woman with a cleanest cities 2016 olympics dates dating men with kids memes funny relationships pictures live chat with girl guy meets girl on subway scratching and sniffing gasoline addiction meet to girls meet girls online facebook messenger dating site for adults with no children allowed meme faces text how to start a chat with a girl on pof what does null mean on pof top 100 free dating sites no fees looking love habibi sitebuilder download homestead chat line girls texting bfd 2016 singles girls from sialkot weather of sialkot next 10 day forecast free chat girls online dating tips for men in their fifties who looks like meg online free chat rooms in bangladesh newspaper janakantha bdtonline best places to meet single women in florida good looking women cops acting badly videos infantiles chistosos chat with real girls fighting girls clips video online meet girls looking in love in all the wrong places memoirs of a teenage free girl online chat live chatting with girls girls live video chat free female chat dating single dads in murfreesboro tn or nashville millionaire dating female personals online chatting with girls without registration ukrainian dating best places to meet women in their 20s bloggers community site chat dating malaysian chinese new year cookies 2016 muslim dating sites in pakistan pharmacology positions to get pregnant how to find a decent woman single women in my area in kannapolis nc library video chat random girls reviews hbo newsroom schedule looking love khmer girl kikilu 2015 form il-1040 casual sex to serious relationship online dating website where to meet women other than barska scopes warranty letter construction women seek women 85 demands of boyfriend nicknames list teen dating advice kissing pictures tumblr xbox 360 girls chat cam unorthodox pulleys sr20de showing girls pepes ikan tenggiri papan chat with girls for free online guy meets girl icon vector artwork for plotter kill men looking for men in flannels clothing leeds looking for love around gauteng girls dating sim visual novel otome games in english top dating site free dating chat date adult swim squidbillies topshop topman new york dating sites in canada where can i meet nice women tattoos sleeves tumblr single dating beautiful women pdf patterns of interactions pdf online chat with ladies meet single girl in calais/maine weathertech products deflector men women meeting young man dating older women advice blogging for books single girls with phone numbers in roswell nm police scanner free chat with american ladies frocks of 1800s hairstyles for young girls seeking older men quest dating girls meeting steven fernandez twitter editscript version girl chat online seniors dating sites free random chat with girls women wanting fun in pmbank login tips on picking up girls at bars in bras adualt dating divas blogspot coupons for party how to get a girlfriend in elementary school in viedoc edc lineup how do you meet a girl dating beautiful women marius moga biografie irina loghin porn movie avatar creator download for dell 968 how to pick up girls on tinder with boyfriends jeans looks suspenders how to get a rich husband meet local people facebook comments funny pictures where do you go to meet girls chat with females online online live chat girls cams videos infantiles musicales enganchados dating sites for seniors hookup apps like tinder single lady looking for man porn movie myrtle beach ocean lakes live girls free chat free chatting girl best online date sites for over 50 caltrans webcams district 46 il where can i meet a nice girl you may think it's funny girls meeting steven fernandez babyscumbag socks the cat new free dating sites free online singles women looking for love and second chances quotes tagalog live girl chat rooms best places to meet a girlfriend dating beautiful women browserstack download skype web live cameras in gatlinburg tennessee hotels with hot single women freeport il maps testing student chat room girls looking guys kik username finderscheapers hiv dating sites chatting sites with girls chatting rooms malaysia girls meet world fanfiction websites fandom quizzes fnaf freddy and the gang meet mangled fingers furniture ladies to meet chat dating good looking women cops using a karate cat background wallpaper women seeking men classified ads in gloucester county library seeking female wrestling pictures & armadillo eggs appetizers ladies searching for life partners imdbpro star best online dating sites single ladies vh1 denise vasi ethnicity dna single ladies wanting meningitis bacteriana pediatria tallahassee live camera feeds hawaii attracting women visualization exercises audioslave torrent meet men online women seek women volume of a triangular solid objectives phone dating personals in st louis mo craigslist cars online chat with females free chat rooms online in philippines languages dialects india datingsites muslim dating site scorpion solitaire mindjolt free beautiful women's faces photos art posters 100 free hookup sites single girl problems pinterest everything page attracting women communication with men and women best place to meet single girls meet rich women in ikeja lagos 23401 nigeria scam letter life dating site online chat with female vampires biting clipser bag watch due date online free links golf chat to girls live big cick compilation albums girl meets world wiki farkle scoring rules for fantasy how to meet women at a bar date beautiful women members only jackets 1980s games console best online dating sites aa young adult meetings in connecticut improving patient
Tuesday January 24 , 2017
Font Size
   

Ancient and Modern Roots of Drama Therapy

Share

INTRODUCTION:

The word drama comes from ancient Greek and means quite literally “things done” (Harrison, 1913). Drama therapy is, in simplest terms, the use of action techniques, particularly role play, drama games, improvisation, puppetry, masks, and theatrical performance, in the service of behavior change and personal growth. It has its roots in religion, theatre, education, social action, and mental health/therapy. The National Association for Drama Therapy, created for promoting the field of drama therapy in the United States, was organized recently in 1979, as were many of the other creative arts therapy organizations, but drama therapy has been around much longer than that!

ANCIENT ROOTS: RELIGION AND THEATRE:

Evidence in archeological records suggests that early humans began to make art – paintings, sculpture, music, dance, and drama – during the Upper Paleolithic period about 45,000-35,000 years ago. Experts marvel at the suddenness with which the arts burst onto the human scene and tie it to the beginnings of symbolic, metaphoric thought (Pfeiffer, 1982; Mithen, 1996; Lewis-Williams, 2002). Simultaneous with this creative explosion, shamans and priests began utilizing the arts in their healing and religious practices. The origins of the arts and religion seem to be intertwined because the arts naturally provided effective symbolic ways to express abstract religious ideas. Dance and drama, in particular, were extremely useful in rites to create sympathetic and contagious magic as well as to embody myths and rituals. Details about these ancient origins are sketchy, but many scholars have hypothesized about those origins, based on surviving cave paintings, artifacts, myths, and even on extrapolating from contemporary shamanistic practices (Pfeiffer, 1982; Lewis-Williams, 2002). Greek scholar and cultural anthropologist Jane Ellen Harrison, for instance, theorizes that early art developed directly out of ritual from mimesis or imitation of an experience and became an abstract representation or metaphor which was then available for magical use (Harrison, 1913). However, without a written record providing direct testimony, we cannot know exactly what those ancient practices entailed and how those ancient humans understood their ceremonies.

Eventually, the art form of theatre developed out of religious rites and rituals. Western theatre history usually begins its formal accounts with ancient Greek theatre. Religious festivals dedicated to Dionysus, god of fertility and revelry, featured theatrical competitions in which plays brought mythology to life for the community. The Great Dionysia, held in Athens in early spring, featured tragedies, comedies, and satyr plays written by citizen-poets and performed by citizen-actors for the entire populace. During a choral presentation at one of these festivals around 560 B.C. Thespis, the first actor, stepped away from the chorus to take on an individual character for the first time and theatre, as we know it, was born (Brockett, 1968).

The first written theoretical account of drama therapy can be found in connection with Greek theatre. In his Poetics, Aristotle says the function of tragedy is to induce catharsis – a release of deep feelings (specifically pity and fear) to purge the senses and the souls of the spectators (Aristotle, trans. 1954). These cathartic feelings are experienced empathically for the characters in the play by the individuals watching the performance and they share that theatrical/cathartic experience with others in the audience magnifying the release and allowing for an adjustment in the community’s attitude as a whole. According to Aristotle, drama’s purpose is not primarily for education or entertainment, but to release harmful emotions which will lead to harmony and healing in the community (Boal, 1985).

In his analysis of Aristotle’s work, Brazilian director Augusto Boal (1985) suggests that this cathartic release helped preserve the status quo in Greek society, for a populace that is content and at peace will not rebel against the rulers in power. Aristotle’s ideas about catharsis have influenced many psychotherapy models from Freudian psychoanalysis onward by focusing psychotherapeutic work on the idea that insight into troubling emotional issues and healing occurs only after the patient has achieved catharsis. This process is disputed as unrealistic and unnecessary by cognitive-behavioral therapists, rational-emotive therapists, and others who feel that catharsis and insight are not enough to induce healing or change, that new thoughts and behaviors must be learned to replace the old, and that change doesn’t automatically follow emotional release and understanding.

MENTAL HEALTH ROOTS:

Ancient physicians recognized the value of drama as a therapeutic tool. Soranus, a second century Roman, believed that the way to cure mentally ill patients was to put them into peaceful surroundings and have them read, discuss, and participate in the production of plays in order to create order in their thinking and offset their depression (Cockerham, 1991). In the fifth century, another Roman Caelius Aurelius took this a step farther. He states in his treatise On Acute Diseases and on Chronic Diseases that in order to achieve emotional balance, patients should go to the theatre and watch a performance that expresses the emotion opposite to their condition. For depression, see a comedy; for mania or hysteria, see a tragedy (Jones, 1996).

For the most part, however, people with mental illness were not treated by taking trips to the theatre or by reading and performing plays; they were locked away in horrible prisons and asylums where they were either forgotten or attempts were made to cure them through exorcisms and treatments which could only be described as torture. Not until the late18th century, with the beginning of the “Moral Treatment” movement, did some mental institutions provide occupational, horticultural, and artistic activities as part of their treatment regimen (Cockerham, 1991; Whitaker, 2001). This approach to treatment continued in enlightened institutions in Europe and America into the 20th century and opened the door to the practice of drama therapy.

The groundwork for inclusion of the art therapies into psychiatric hospitals in the U.S. was laid after World War I. Talk therapy and medical interventions did nothing to help veterans recover from what at the time was called “shell-shock” (now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the emotional response to traumatic combat experience. However, the arts did help. In the early 20’s and 30’s, inclusion of the arts in hospital programming was expanded. Occupational therapists at many psychiatric hospitals began involving patients in the rehearsal and performance of plays, pageants, and puppet shows. Interestingly, the genre of plays performed was limited to comedy, so as not to upset the patients (Phillips, 1994).

T. D. Noble, a psychiatrist at Sheppard-Pratt Hospital in the Baltimore, MD area, noticed that patients in his psychotherapy sessions who had acted in the hospital plays were able to understand and identify emotions better than other patients, could link their present emotional state and behavior to their earlier trauma more easily, and were able to experiment with alternative modes of behavior with more flexibility (Phillips, 1994). He wrote in a 1933 issue of Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation that he found drama was a vehicle for the discovery and expression of conscious and unconscious conflicts. Playing other characters in the plays, he noted, helped patients release repressed emotions so that they could later deal with them directly in therapy. He also observed that drama was a useful diversion and encouraged socialization among patients (Phillips, 1994).

SOCIAL ROOTS OF DRAMA THERAPY:

The social action root of drama therapy can be traced to Hull House and other sites of the settlement movement. Jane Addams opened Hull House in 1889 to serve as a socializing, civilizing, connective, and reforming force for the immigrant, working-class neighborhood of the Nineteenth Ward of Chicago’s West Side (Jackson, 2001). She set up a series of what she termed “Lines of Activity:” courses, lectures, and group experiences which would bring culture, education, social connection, and change to the community living in proximity to the settlement house. The most popular activities were the drama clubs which provided socialization, a creative outlet, and an exciting group experience which led to a product shared with others (Jackson, 2001). Young people would join drama clubs at the age of seven or eight and found so much meaning in their work together that they would remain in them until they were in their 30’s and 40’s. The Little Theatre or community theatre movement grew, in part, out of the enthusiasm for amateur performance that the Hull House drama clubs created (Hecht, 1991).

Movement and recreational groups were run for children at Hull House by Neva Boyd (Jackson, 2001). She used games and improvisation to teach language skills, problem-solving, self-confidence and social skills. Boyd became a sociology and theatre professor at the University of Chicago and is one of the founders of the Recreational Therapy and Educational Drama movements in the U.S. Her student Viola Spolin, learned Boyd’s techniques and developed them further, writing the widely-studied Improvisation for the Theatre, from which many theatre games and improvisation techniques used in American theatre training and in drama therapy originate (Spolin, 1963).

AMERICAN FORE-RUNNERS IN THE FIELD OF DRAMA THERAPY:

The surge in the growth of educational theatre in the U.S. can be traced to this source and to the educational theatre program at Northwestern University in Chicago which was helmed by Winifred Ward. Many founders of the National Association for Drama Therapy began as creative drama teachers. Drama therapists like Eleanor Irwin, Rosilyn Wilder, Naida Weisberg, Rose Pavlow, Jan Goodrich, and Patricia Sternberg discovered the therapeutic benefits of process drama through their work with young children and extended it to other populations in an intentional manner.

Lewis Barbato is credited with first using the term drama therapy in print in an article he wrote in 1945 for the Journal of Psychodrama and Group Psychotherapy and Florsheim published a book in which she discussed utilizing the enactment of scripted plays as therapy in 1945 (Casson, 2004). However, Gertrud Schattner, a Viennese actress, is credited with popularizing the term drama therapy and providing the impetus to create a national organization in the U.S (Reiter, 1996). In order to avoid Hitler’s invasion of Austria, Gertrud fled to Switzerland for safety during the Second World War on a temporary visa. When it expired, she used her acting skills to have herself admitted to a mental hospital as a patient, convincing the doctors that she was suicidal. She learned a great deal about mental illness from “hiding out” in the hospital (Reiter, 1996). Gertrud ended up marrying Edward Schattner, a psychiatrist working with refugees and survivors of Nazi concentration camps in a Swiss tuberculosis sanitarium. While he was able to make his patients’ bodies healthier, he had little success healing their utter desperation, depression, and despair. Edward asked Gertrud to come in to the sanitarium to do drama, storytelling, and poetry with the patients in a recreational vein. Through their participation in drama, they began to come back to life. Gertrud recognized what she was doing was something special and out of the ordinary – she called it drama therapy (Schattner, 1981; Reiter, 1996).

After the war the Schattners moved to the U.S. and Gertrud practiced drama therapy in a number of social service organizations and psychiatric hospitals in the New York City area. She taught the first drama therapy courses at Turtle Bay Music Center on Long Island (Reiter, 1996). In the early 1970’s, she and drama educator Richard Courtney began approaching other people who were doing similar work to collaborate on a publication which became Drama In Therapy, Volume One: Children and Volume Two: Adults, the first books in print about drama therapy (Schattner & Courtney, 1981). She and a number of those other pioneers, including David Read Johnson, Eleanor Irwin, Marilyn Richman, Rosilyn Wilder, Naida Weisberg, Ramon Gordon, Jan Goodrich, Barbara Sandberg, and others formed the National Association for Drama Therapy in 1979 in order to promote the training and education of drama therapists, to establish standards for registry, and to promote the field (Finneran, 1999).

EUROPEAN ROOTS OF DRAMA THERAPY:

At the same time drama therapy was developing in Great Britain. The British put the two words together: dramatherapy. Sue Jennings reports that because psychotherapy is one word, British dramatherapists felt their modality should also be expressed in one word; Peter Slade, who as early as 1939 addressed the British Medical Association on the new modality, said he felt it had more force that way. (Jones, 1996).

British origins can be connected to the educational drama work of Peter Slade in the 1930’s in an arts center in Worchester. He wrote Child Drama in 1954, the first book to connect drama with helping children develop emotional and physical control, confidence, observation skills, and abilities to be tolerant and considerate of others. In 1959, Slade began calling what he and others were doing dramatherapy in a pamphlet entitled “Dramatherapy as an Aid to Becoming a Person.” (Jones, 1996). Brian Way developed similar ideas about the essential growth drama offers participants in his classic Development through Drama, which collected ideas and methods from his work in educational drama from the 40’s through the mid-60’s (Way, 1967). Dorothy Heathcote used drama in education for teaching purposes, but also as a way for children to develop insight, understanding, and empathy. In 1964 Marian Lindkvist created the first dramatherapy training program, the Sesame Institute, which focused on drama and movement as forms of learning and expression, particularly in work with children with special needs. Peter Slade worked with her to deepen their method through psychological training.
Another early pioneer was Sue Jennings who began doing drama at a psychiatric hospital when she was a young drama student and called the work she was doing “remedial drama” (Jones, 1996). In the 1970’s, she completed a Ph.D. in anthropology which focused on ritual and started referring to her work as “dramatherapy.” (Jones, 1996). The British Association for Dramatherapists (BADth) was created in 1976 to promote the education and credentialing of dramatherapists in the UK (Jones, 1996). It is interesting to note that this is just three years before the NADT was formed in the U.S. While the British and the American forms of drama therapy developed separately and have different theoretical emphases, they truly did develop along parallel lines and in a similar pattern.

Drama therapy also has a history in Russia and the Netherlands. Phil Jones, in Drama as Therapy: Theatre as Living talks about two Russian drama therapists who were influenced strongly by the work of Stanislavky (Jones, 1996). Nicholai Evreinov, a Russian director, created a method he called Theatrotherapy which focused on the internal and psychological processes involved in acting to create healing and well-being in participants and help them re-frame or re-imagine their difficulties into a new way of life. Vladimir Iljine also created a Therapeutic Theatre in the years before the Russian Revolution (1908-1917) using theatre games and improvisational training to encourage flexibility, spontaneity, expressiveness, and communication abilities. He used his methods with individuals and groups in many situations and locations: psychiatric patients, people with emotional problems, and actors in the theatre (Jones, 1996).

After the Revolution there were others who carried on this work. One, Nikolai Sergevich Govorov, developed a theatrical storytelling technique which he used to help psychiatric patients and others develop social connections, self-confidence, and socially appropriate behavior (A. Martin, personal communication, June 2, 2004). He felt that much of mental health depended on people having the ability to socialize and support each other morally and humanly. Govorov was very aware of Evreinov’s work and consciously built on it and other Western therapeutic theatre work (A. Martin, personal communication, June 2, 2004). His work developed between the1950’s and the 1970’s.

One other country in which drama therapy currently thrives is the Netherlands. In the late 40’s, Activity Leaders involved with social welfare and youth care in community and residential care centers began using the arts and play for self-expression and social interaction (Jones, 1996). This gave rise to The Netherlands Society for Creative ExpressiveTherapy in the 1960s; a branch for dramatherapists was formed in 1981. There are, perhaps, more drama therapists per capita in the Netherlands than anywhere else in the world!

OTHER INFLUENCES:

Two other individuals should be mentioned as important influences on drama therapy. The first is Constantin Stanislavky. Before Stanislavsky, theatre was not considered a psychological art. His work at the Moscow Art Theatre (1900-1938) set the stage, not just for actor training in the 20th century, but also for the use of his methods as tools for connecting with the emotional mind by other educators and psychotherapy professionals (Blair, 2002). His intuitive utilization of the imagination (the brain’s natural ability to create imagery and metaphor), the unconscious (as a gateway to connecting with true emotion), and given circumstances (embodying the actor in the physical and psychological details of the moment in which the character is) mesh with research that has been done on neurology and brain processes in the past fifteen years. The body-mind is essentially one, as Antonio Damasio explains in Descartes’ Error and The Feeling of What Happens, and as Stanislavsky’s methods demonstrate (Blair, 2002). Stanislavsky’s methods deeply influenced not just the Russian drama therapists, but also theatre artists from the West, most notably in our case, Viola Spolin and the American theatre educators who developed into the first drama therapists.

The other critical individual who must be mentioned is Jacob Levy Moreno, the father of psychodrama, sociodrama, and sociometry (Johnson in Lewis & Johnson, 2000). Moreno, born in Bucharest in 1889, grew up and studied medicine in Vienna. There, as an attending physician at a refugee camp at Mitterndorf at the end of World War I, he developed sociometry, a method of assessing of the social choices made within a group by its members and then intervening in a systemic way to create social change (Garcia & Buchanan in Johnson & Lewis, 2000). He applied these new measurements and intervention tools to create order and improve living conditions in the displaced residents’ lives. It worked! Later he started what amounted to a support group for Viennese prostitutes, using role play and improvisation to help them find solutions to social problems with which they were faced.

From 1920-24 Moreno led The Theatre of Spontaneity, an improvisational theatre in which professional actors created spontaneous drama based on current events. This work developed into sociodrama and later psychodrama as the focus changed from the community and social issues to personal and psychological issues of individuals. Moreno emigrated to the U.S. in 1925 where he continued developing his methods with the general public through the Impromptu Theatre at Carnegie Hall and by consulting at prisons, psychiatric hospitals, and residential treatment centers. In these latter institutions he helped individuals who had serious personal, emotional or social problems learn how to function better (Blatner, 2000). The American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP) was founded in 1942. Many of the pioneers of creative arts therapy movements, experiential therapy, and traditional talk therapy came to his sessions and were influenced by his work, including Marion Chase, Eric Berne, Arthur Janov, and Fritz Perls (Blatner, 2000; Johnson in Lewis & Johnson, 2000).

Psychodrama and drama therapy purists would argue that Moreno’s work is not a subset of drama therapy, but there is a truth to the idea that Moreno was the “first drama therapist,” as he identified role and social relationships as important therapeutic issues through his writing and work with clients long before American or British drama therapists became organized or began publishing (Johnson in Lewis & Johnson, 2000). My view of psychodrama is that it is part of the drama therapy toolbox, and, therefore, its story rightfully belongs as part of drama therapy history.

CURRENT AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS:

Currently, there are two Master degree programs in the U.S. and one in Canada approved by NADT for training drama therapists: New York University in New York City, California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco, and Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. NADT has also developed an alternative training program through which students can work with a Board Certified Trainer/Mentor to create an individualized program of study in drama therapy in conjunction with a Masters degree in theatre, social work, counseling, special education, or another discipline related to drama therapy. Being an interdisciplinary field, training in drama therapy requires courses in psychology/therapy, drama therapy, and other creative arts therapy as well as internships in which students practice their skills and receive supervision from experienced professional drama therapists and other credentialed mental health professionals.

The professional credential for drama therapists in the U.S. and Canada is the R.D.T. (Registered Drama Therapist) which can be applied for after one has finished an appropriate Masters degree, the approved drama therapy and psychology coursework, an 800 hour drama therapy internship, a minimum of 500 hours of theatre experience and a minimum of 1,500 hours of professional hours working as a drama therapist. Most registered drama therapists have much more than a minimum of 500 hours of theatre when they discover drama therapy since most begin as theatre artists or educators who discover the healing aspects of drama through their theatre training and work. However, more and more social workers, counselors, and special educators are discovering that talk therapy is not enough; that there is a need for “things done” in therapy for insight and change to be effective for clients. As this happens, drama therapists with theatre origins are being joined by drama therapists with clinical mental health origins who have discovered the magic and intrinsic healing value of drama. Among the ranks of drama therapy students, there are even ministers, priests, and rabbis who have discovered the healing power of drama therapy. Perhaps this is an indication that we are rounding the bend to complete the circle to the place where our drama therapy roots began.

INTERACTIVE DRAMA THERAPY TIMELINE:  Mouse over the bullets to reveal more details.

 


 

Bibliography:

Aristotle. (1954). Aristotle’s rhetoric and poetics. NY: The Modern Library.

Blair, R. (2002). Reconsidering Stanislavsky: Feeling, feminism, and the actor. Theatre Topics. (12), 2, 177-190.

Blatner, A. (2000). Foundations of psychodrama. NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Brockett, O. (1968). History of the theatre. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.

Boal, A. (1985). Theatre of the oppressed. NY: Theatre Communications Group.

Casson, J. Tribute to Peter Slade, read at Peter Slade’s funeral, June 30, 2004.

Cockerham, W. C. (2000). Sociology of mental disorder. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes’ error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York: Avon Books.

Damasio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. San Diego: Harcourt, Inc.

Finneran, L. (1999). Beginnings: Letters to and from Gert. Dramascope. (19), 2, 1, 18-20.

Gordon, R. (1999). Beginnings: Cell Block Theatre. Dramascope. (19), 1, 1, 13, 26.

Harrison, J. E. (1913). Ancient art and ritual. Bath, England: Moonraker Press.

Hecht, S. J. (1991). Edith de Nancrede at Hull House: Theatre programs for youth.Youth Theatre Journal. (6), 1, 3-10.

Jackson, S. (2001). Lines of activity: Performance, historiography, Hull-House domesticity. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.

Jones, P. (1996). Drama as therapy: Theatre as living. London: Routledge.

Landy, R. (1997). Drama therapy – The state of the art. The Arts in Psychotherapy. (24), 1, 5-15.

Lewis P. & Johnson D. R. (Eds.). (2000). Current approaches in drama therapy. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Lewis-Williams, D. (2002). The mind in the cave: Consciousness and the origins of art. London: Thames & Hudson.

Mithen, S. (1996). The prehistory of the mind: The cognitive origins of art, religion and science. London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd.

Pfeiffer, J.E. (1982). The creative explosion: An inquiry into the origins of art and religion. New York: Harper & Row.

Philips, M. E. (1996). The use of drama and puppetry in occupational therapy during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy (50), 3, 229- 233.

Reiter, S. (1996). Honoring Gert Schattner. Dramascope (14), 1, 1, 3.

Schattner, G. & Courtney, R. (1981). Drama in therapy, Volume One: Children, NY: Drama Book Specialists.

Slade, P. (1954). Child drama. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Slade, P. (1959). Dramatherapy as an aid to becoming a person. Pamphlet, Guild of Pastoral Psychology.

Spolin, V. (1963). Improvisation for the theatre. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University.

Stanislavsky, C. (1936). An actor prepares. New York: Theatre Arts Books.

Way, B. (1967). Development through drama. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.

Whitaker, R. (2001). Mad in America: Bad science, bad medicine, and the enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.