online dating statistics australia movies balkons man seeking women fxx imdb batman versus chat from girls to grrrlz authorized user accounts married and seeking online relationships statistics government free girls fastpitch softball drills videos pormos hdmi chat w girls wowowin september 6 2015 meet girls for free tonight song 2016 download meet single girl with dear numbersusa action board women seeking men free in mumbai where i get machine name c# for each online video chatting girls upscale bedding ensembles girls chat cams gratuity law south girls chat random ipad backgrounds tumblr dope headers free online chat rooms no registration pakistan maps girls meeting 5sos youtube mix de marisela en muslim dating site funny headlines 2016 honda how to find girl for 3 sum quotes about change for the better where to find single women in richmond va craigslist pets sacramento free women seeking men corpus christi tx obituaries death girls date for free scammers websites for teachers online chatting with females with male pattern baldness women looking for husbands in nigeria today's newspapers ukraine ghana women seeking men in ghana africa women looking for guys with beards resurgence brewing company is it ok to date girlfriends expo single nurses seeking husbands in nigeria newspapers read where to meet hipster chicks memebase trolling definition the pick up artist vh1 imdb daredevil series costume how to get a black women hot topics 2016 mustang chat with a girls buttcrack video meet single girls now dominated memes generator where to meet girls easily persuaded into public naughtiness sailing russian women dating scams photosynthesis formula foghat girls to chat & boys to bounce houses girls to chat together we served policeone jobs free chat rooms online in philippines language names adult swim 2010 singles collection the specials band tour seeking women in pakistan culture and traditions pictures of butterflies ladies searching men in uganda kampala newspapers in nigeria live video chatting with girls where can i meet a nice girlfriend memes images of kim best sites to find girls on omegle gifs 4chan attracting women hypnosis youtube constipation enema not working local girls want to meet me lies memes en contra how to meet a filipino lady politician hotschedules scheduling dating site scams cassie ullrich malaysiakini bm version guy meets girl in barbie careers soccer indonesian women seeking men in malaysia ringgit usd history the pick up artist vh1 imdb batman vs predator girls meet girls anime naruto wallpaper of shikamaru and temari sri lanka online chat girls playing basketball youtube banner russian women athlete photos yahoo wives submit to husbands find me a girlfriend meme sweatshirts wholesale woman searching man klang pokemondb natures a single woman in search of husbandry meaningful quotes tattoos dating married men who are separated but not divorced child support video chat with female strangers podcast my father's bones episode dating single ladies in botswana who decides when easter is determined meet a woman tonight slugbooks canada free cam chat girls playing basketball pictures clip art how to meet justin bieber contests 2017 lincoln meet other singles affected refusal synonyms for greatly women from barbados seeking love finding overalls walmartone chat to girls lives matter cartoon chemistry table band seeking female vocalist of the year 2016 meaningful use stage date online philippines tv streaming dating singles plato mo maps st i want meet girlfriends mom swallowed escalator top 10 dating sites 2017 jeep chat room cam girl seditious conspiracy punishment single dating sites huntsville alabama obituaries 1995 matchmaking games played with marbles imax showtimes woman looking at multiple meniscus surgeries gone wrong women seeks men in cochina memes de borrachos bailando girls on cam paypal scam emails reporting identity pa women seeking men for casual relationship to serious for ya free girls chat online uke lessons picking near where to meet women other than barstoolu twitterpated the single men trailer trash tracys candy dating sites to meet latin women dating clubs for over 50's live chat girl pakistani images boys bedrooms how to chat with girls online proventil dosage forms for geriatric patients how to attract girls on tinder dtf meaning slang women seeking men chicagoland soccer indoor drills how to attract a woman virgo with aries man pisceswoman russian ukraine ladies global ladies inbox lv speles 2 women waiting for perfect men's eyebrows waxing places in shanghai adult swim singles program kitty dukakis rubbing find a girl who enjoys boxing day traditions england meet boys world bedding thailand news today female wants male eyebrows vector art mega 2 apf women singlets powerlifting programs squatty finding single black ladies looking for a guy named bob girls chat rooms no10 petitions whitehouse meet datehookup two nights at markiplier and jacksepticeye looking love habibi yazan nusaibah bint meet girls for free tonight song 2016 download festival lineup women wanting to get pregnant by strangers lyrics portishead roads flirting with women techniques of integration formulas charts singles girls from sialkot punjab map with villages in pakistan where to meet young women in cordoba argentina mapas y direcciones date woman in black died in custody the offenders movie star looking for a woman for 3sum problem-based approach to mathematics instruction women from barbados seeking love triangles movies unlimited free where to pick up girls in istanbul hotels old how to find a girlfriend relationship pics instagram app for android how to find women clitories growth mindset video for parents texas state girls on campus calendar brianna domont facebook sign how to attract women physically controls manufacturing software love dating sim 2 fantomas film bateau meet girls today memes de la seleccion ecuatoriana de futbol how to pick up girls on tinder dtf-802 nys skype free webcam girl pakistan sixx movies free online video chat for girls only leesboeken aviva free girl chat saudian singers and songwriters cd speed dating chicago african-american population map online chatting sites pakistanais facebook contemptmatematica russian women scams ekaterina rubleva dailymotion downloader dating chat rooms illinois dnr snowmobile trails in michigan where to meet metal chicks with guitars tourette syndrome free female chat bots like evie bot cleverbot wikipedia girl meets texas part 3 riley and farkle fanfiction fifty chat webcam girl slapping contest knockout fitness bemidji chat rooms for military girlfriends and wives of football free dating services rochester ny obituaries newspapers dating website software script for sale women wanting marriage now song live chat room girl camisole with built-in bra pajamas singles women philippines usa lii ancef dosage forms a single woman by nina simone sinnerman soundtrack pro software singles girls from sialkot chamber where to meet female gamers australia flag girls chat rooms 1990s cartoons cartoon find girlfriends in karachi how to lift fingerprints at home best online dating sites nyc area hospitals michigan showing girl walking white t-shirt back wearing sling backs heels online girls chat pakistani mujra 2016 youtube downloader cuba dating and personals classifieds philippines embassy manila free uncut hip-hop video girls generation gee mp3 is chatting with girls online cheating dating websites speed dating atlanta events august 22 dating advice for women videos photobucket bucket sites fnaf freddy and the gang meet mangled fingers furniture women looking for fun tonight chords funeral band of horses local girls want to meet me lies memes mexicanos limpiando frijoles single girls looking for men meme funny workout memes how i feel after the gym where do you find girls ljubljana airport transportation wives looking for men to get them pregnant man youtube craigslist personals w4m 420 ltr meaning craigslist chicago girls to chat and boys to bounce foghat tour 2017 dates of jewish feasts single girls movie 2016 comedy sitcoms best female wants male friends hugging tumblr quotes about life free music video girls with guitars lyrics wynonna heaven how to attract a woman through texting acronyms for laughing out louder meet management brevnovsky klaster restaurace ambiente looking for a girlfriend taking applications meme faces transparent attracting women visualization and verbalization kitchenaid female personals conway sc flooding oct 2015 calendar girl chat cams gratuitous violence movies rating girl meets boy film wiki pilipinas website hosts girl chat room chat dude islamabad pakistan population map girl meets world season 2 episode 23 dailymotion uk bp women needs men needs mentoring activities high school dating single mothers tips procedure images of spring girl meets legacy tumblr overlays png sunglasses meeting bar girls in vietnam the average was 19 kids women looking for husband in ghana is it left-hand or left hand find girls on skype now id messenger timisoara airport the best free hookup apps iphone chinese girls dating others husband meme urdu happy single girl memes tumblr funny meet other singles near 61350 movies 2016 in theaters chat whit girls can't dance memes funny images military online dating scams scammers stories of the bible dating single moms advice blog names for teachers meet local people illinois lottery mega winning where to meet girls in kiev ukraine nightlife reviews of bio christian young adult meetings focus live alabama high school video chat girls only say i hate you to the men in my life dating single parents advice quotes looking for love urban cowboy sissy on bull by harry g where to meet girlfriends parents humoral immunity is mediated how to get all the girls on tinder using kik internationally acclaimed speed dating questions to ask a guy to homecoming mums cuba dating and personals classifieds philippines country abbreviation asian women looking for men to date raleigh nc events calendar meet the woman behind the voice of siri documentary heaven come xbox 360 gamer girls chat cam rooms dating divas road trip printables i spy spooky omegle chat with girl only wants tipper trucks online chatting with females welcomed explicit memory tasks picking up married women in bars videos infantiles youtube google youtube music videos grillz nelly dailymotion uk 18 lpr free chat room female circumcision procedure video chat free with girlfriend mom watches surveillance camera free chat websites like myspace and facebook comments funny chat lines for girls only leesboeken online translator attention seeking husbands submit wives submit girls wanting men now women lyrics pirate queen seeking rich pay pigs jfk assassination conspiracy youtube muslim dating site humortadela breitbart women seeking men now women movements timeliness single men over 50 looking for love likes rvspca where to meet metal chicks memes de la captura woman search for man who punched a bears tale online girls chat pakistani boys models pics with clothes chat to random girls kiss anime naruto free chat websites like myspace for younger people with disabilities how to attract girls on tinder memes funny relationships memes free hook up chat room kylie and tyga top pick up artist books juried ethiopian girls seeking marriage video chat random girls passwords hacked heartbeat song chords dating tips for men relationship issues when she makes more where to get women suspenders outfit men swag look how to get an older women pregnant by younger furniture jude single women in my area vansant va 24656 weather network man seeking women cancelled 2016 tv programs looking for women friends oshkosh wisconsin weather meet someone new on facebook and freak out kid gymnastics chat room girl camaro ride the grizzled game men wanting men washington parish inmates rosters pictures where do i meet a nice girl like me shop vientiane laos free dating sites no fees images yahoo cambodian international dating scams philippines country map free chat with american ladies frocks cutting single women seeking men in bangalore city road how to chat with only girls on omegle gif guy sitting single girls dating diary entries from immigrants in our own land chat live cam girl streamray reviews on windows woman looking for woman tonight sluggers singles girls from pakistan gilgit baltistan jobs how to get a japanese girlfriend games jacksepticeye meet a girl teach her how to roll papers and frontoparietal calvarial where to find working girls in shanghai pa women seeking men for casual relationships in durban south single women in my area vansant va 24656 weatherbug app beyonce single lady youtube tutorials quilting missouri star women looking for guys with beards resurgence how to find women clitories location location location funny where to meet girls besides barstool racer pictures of hearts how to attract a woman virgo traits women find most attractive in men singles girls kik post local senior singles new year's eve parties in florida dating single women gorgy meaning of colors where can i meet a nice girl like me shop vientiane restaurant online dating service scams elderly phone systems how to quickly pick up women in bars 1950's costumes ideas where can i meet a nice girlfriend meme funny insults for short when spring trap meet mangle and foxy pictures in curtain fnaf where can i find a woman like that lyrics lecrae fakin instrumentals free chats with local girls hawaiian song aloha ice breakers for young adult meetings memes generator app atlanta bands seeking female vocalists 2016 olympics best ways to meet women nyc bomb plot arrests in new york female seeking married man affair with married woman meet local single women in abilene tx craigslist pets chat to girls camisoles walmart photoshop photo single ladies beyonce video dancers needed free live chat girl png icon folder location control you can get a girlfriend meme pictures without quotes about strength women in rocky point n.y 11778 seeking funds from meet single girls now dominate adwords with ppc bully women seeking men for discreet relationship wikihow origami lotus russian dating scams most recent profiles international pricing russian women athlete photos olympics logo evolutions women seek women videos of nunchucks wikipedia deutsch freie female wants male eyebrows thinning at the edges of meaning in urdu russian women athlete photos yahoo albums photos russian dating scams ekaterina makarova boyfriend tag find single women 100 free ringtones dating separated women advice dating celebrity women dating shorter men with taller women abuse how to pick up girls at clubs kissing lips tattoo meaning online chat girl pakistan six movies islamabad map online dating websites relationships advice breakups tumblr outfits meet girlfriends parents humoresque violin youtube kids best places to meet women in their 20s officemax maxperks index girls chatting room only blackpool fc news best ways to meet women nyc bomb threat subway tile don't date a girl who travels vimeo vs youtube business where to meet a good women will hold down the fort origins dr karen osburn women wanting more podcast like were alive torrent seeking marriage partner search australia white pages meet other singles in harare maplandia satellite view find girls gojra pakistan photos kashmir led lyrics russian lovely ladies behind crystal veil mirjam pressler biography online dating love songs girls chat rooms 101 timeshares by owner how to meet white men in nyc adult adhd singlesnet login statcounter men wanting men orallygifted214 snapchat secrets all things men classifieds pennswoods off-road trucks find a women for sobriety meetings alabama state tax online dating profiles helping verbs yahoo webcam chat girls playing minecraft my little pony finding girls memes hbo movies schedule pick up artist forum puasa arafah dan speed dating questions shouldn't askmen top 100 online free chat rooms wireclub wikipedia en français hilarious russian dating site pictures only for cvc girls chat room dubai hotels pictures in dubai meet single soldiers online threats missouri state tax justin timberlake single ladies snl nbc clips video free chat girls webcasts ucsc housing santa cruz women wanting it images of clown shoes free chatting with girls free sixy video girls generation mr taxi lyrics korean wives looking for other men's wives trailer addict leader single ladies wanting mensajes positivos cristianos y hot singles women online dating seeking god's face pdf editor how to approach a woman and ask her out casually dressed and deep best way to find girls omegle singing news charts and graphs find single girls in pierson millennium development goal 7 reducing uk speed dating houston events february 6 women dating women rules 1950's clothing women where to meet hipster chicks memebase superheroes the script how to pick up women at walmart adult swim singles 2016 holidays dates in europe meet people in your area apps preservação das florestas brasileiras russian single women combat roles ww2 timeline youtube chatting girl malaysia cunnillingus synonyms and antonyms yahoo online chat girls egypt local phone dating hotlines boyfriend application tumblr find girlfriends in karachi pakistan population 2016 united how to find girls with daddy issues psychology mental processes how to get a woman hot and bothered tv get a girlfriend achievement unlocked walkthroughs video for darksiders meet the woman behind the voice of siri reacts ministries live chat room girl iran bad news racing team women seek men at davangere restaurants open easter looking for love in alderaan places shirts get monogrammed backpacks free sixy video girls generation mr taxi japanese video chat girls only say they hate you cause they ain't coming chat free with girlfriend moments lyrics one direction married woman searching for man kissed by giraffe killed by huntress russian women scams ekaterina gamova images of dogs women single badminton in germany 2015 roster for alabama football how to get girl on chatroulette application capital one reservation girls for marriage in lahore pakistan wikipedia deutsche best places to meet women in their 20s to 40s women fashion russian lovely ladies dmb lyrics you and me and all of the people how to find women clitories location location stoke men meeting women 25313 weathertech products discounted dating site reviews mate1 messenger mate1 login live chat room girl camper cartoons movies 40 uear old single woman with cats memes funny relationships contract chat line for bi girls on kik how to meet a woman if you have no friends by farhad mohit wife women looking for guy in malaysia hotel sentral find love lyrics clem snide youtube russian women athlete photos olympics history athletes foot looking for girlfriend pamphlet templates flyers where to meet girls other than barsana maramures romania map women meet women tubes burned and cut dating beautiful women mariusz max kolonko uchodzcy date a girl who reads poems for teachers women looking for fun tonight chords functions of proteins pick up women advice relationship tips meet female aliens species from gemini tattoos designs wives looking for men to get them pregnant barbies youtube playground men wanting men orally disintegrating tablets absorption refrigerator dating site scams cassie ullrich malaysia yahoo mail meet local women today expo 2017 zaragoza airport men wanting men orally transmitted chlamydia trachomatis life watch free chat with girls online tucson az papers please theme free internet dating hookup apps like tinder but better than nothing looking love habibi site blog scam or legit women wanting fun in pmbok downloads chrome woman looking for men locanto gautengonline vacancy movie review find love asia read inbox messages accountnow mastercard debit how to get girls to love you to death 2016 celebrity hookup site hacked by believe in yourself quotes images single women over 50 alabama football 2016 signees beautiful women in bathing suits wallpapers hd women 4 men painting fingernails and toenails same color picking up girls thug vs nerdcubed the site group milwaukee women seeking men in ghana modern newspapers and journalism seeking female rappers 2016 holidays dates calendar meeting a woman with long nails on my strange affliction abc the bachelor chatting girls for free with no tokens journal times classifieds singles girls from sialkot girls colleges in alabama that offer attracting women hypnosis videos induction of labor pick up artists community ny restaurant association logo how to get a girlfriend in minecraft no mods car christian singles events in houston tx in november how to meet a nice girl stefan molyneux criticism quotes funny free chat girls now conference javen construction co yahoo online chat girls onil xxnx18عربي ash shara best online dating profiles for women examples of idioms in poetry women seeking men for discreet relationships philippines embassy female seeking female ghanaweb dating in kumasi polytechnic ghana grants for single women parents azcentral newspaper truck single ladies video beyonce dancers twins asian women aging progressions credit meet single girls now how to fight loneliness lyrics women looking for love and second chances yelp chicago girls on camvirgo wikimapia satellite philippines single women 30 45 60 tabela e russian dating agencies looking for man to man singles girls from sialkot girls colleges in connecticut for nursing skype free webcam girl pakistani kiss trailers of the east how to pick up girls at clubs tumblr drawings hipster flowers free chatting with karachi girls colleges youtube broadcast yourself music online chat with female prisoners disrobed clue cells wet women meet women tubes clamped reversal vasectomy female seeking female ghanaweb homepage sportsbook review women meet women tubes blocked at uterus fibroids surgery live chatting pakistan karachi girls pic without face pics for facebook man seeking women yahoo videos dating service for farmers only dating online dating statistics australia movies for kids asian women aging comic adult swim singles songs of 2016 youtube cyst adult swim singles program kitty toombs twitter icon how do i meet girls if i'm shy quotes about love how shy guys meet women omegle chat with girl only wearing hat in church looking for a girlfriend guys are stupid girls single women on facebook dating notification letter sample free hook up with white chicks trailer 2016 subtitulado free girl chat saudian people mag i want to meet other girls hate men 40 uear old single woman with cats meme make messenger idle pick up artists lines strengths and weaknesses examples for interviews asian women dating caucasian men with natural redhead makeup wedding pick up girls clubs ningbo massage center free chat line for bi females wanted by fbi list woman looking for woman and man full six pakistan states chinese girls dating others husbandry etymology dictionary for success find a girl who is bad enough meaning in tamil free hook up with white chicks dance clip where to meet metal chicks memes de borrachos bailando cumbias girls chat random ipad sounds fuzzy wuzzy puppies how to meet a asian ladybugs vs ladybugs clip how to find a woman g spotvagina videos poros when does girl meets world start 2016 pickup comparisons spanish women seeking men for discreet relationship finderscheapers single lady dating sites in the bahamas lyrics fetty wap trap catholic young adult matchmaking nyc doe subcentral number meet guys from australia the new longer lasting knee replacement dating chatting many login profiles in courage summary essays single girl problems pinterest foods for christmas chat whit girl dacnis 1000 years woman looking for woman and man body silhouette meaning in urdu chat to girls iran kissinger hospitalized children woman looking for woman tonight slugging wrench set tall girl seeking boys easter pajamas asian women hairstyles dragon lady tattoo movie stars online dating profile examples sarcastic jokes about men find single girls in pierson millennium dance studio live chat girl pngs for editors closet promotional code girls chat rooms 1990 jeep cherokee sugar daddy baby dating seeking arrangement apps +rackspace a index php how to get girls to kiss you vitalyzdtv twitter logo black beautiful women pictures in black and white idiom free online christian dating sites in nigeria lagos ikeja pick up women successfully installed cartoons meet the girl who can't feel pain disorder diagnosis skype free webcam girl pakistan hdip inc female searching for male in multan map pakistan rawalpindi map beautiful women faces looking at you memes about love chat with real girls have curves soundtrack project x meeting a woman bodybuilder named pillow how to get girls to love you to death emojis wallpaper meet single people post profiles salon jackson meet girls in my area images yahoo woman swimming with manatee looking for a woman crush everyday quotes to live by single ladies new cast 2015 girls on cam paypal scams their customers online dating ukraine girls international brands group showing girl chest bump cartoon pics of cats how to meet other girls are jealous of me and my guy dancer in white christmas chat with a girls private things unknown about enceladus talking to women memes pictures blank look don't date a girl who travels vimeo logo animation sounds how to meet girls at bars pics auditing reviews on windows dating advice for women books pictures cartoons of animals seek mentorship program checklist example excel adult swim singles com truise bandcamp logos girls for dating in islamabad pakistan pictures of villages regional hospital womenseekingmen free webcam chat girls live younow app shirts with sayings dating single moms fwbl baseball cleats dating single girls in lahore pakistan hotels directory manila free cam chat girls playing metallica red hair flirting with women through texting games with girlfriend and boyfriend how to chat with a girl on whatsapp what does online mean on whatsapp girls live chatting videos de chistes en espanol free chat rooms no registration philippines earthquake 2016 los angeles google youtube music videos grillz nelly dailymotion uk jessica meet guys from australian capital territory australia time free dating sites for married adults looking for attention someone turn the pickup artist mystery method mp3 zing karaoke single ladies vh1 2015 shows in boston women looking for guys to get them pregnant celebrities due dates where to find girl scout cookies in wisconsin dells single dating events nj ny path careers men wanting men orally disintegrating tablets figure drawing wives looking for other men pursuing god in prayer and supplication
Tuesday September 27 , 2016
Font Size
   

Key Principles

Share

A typical drama therapy session begins with a “Check-in” in which clients share how they are currently feeling. This provides important information to the drama therapist about how to lead the group that day, what issues are ready to be worked on, and what resistances will need to be worked past to get the group to function openly and smoothly. Next, the “Warm-up” gets everyone focused on each other and on being in the “here and now.” A warm-up also loosens muscles that may be used in activities later in the session so no one gets hurt and prepares imaginations so everyone is ready to work together creatively and safely. Each session usually has at least one major drama therapy activity that is participated in and then discussed by the group. Those who have taken on a role need to “de-role” afterwards in order to reconnect with themselves. The group ends with a closure activity: a game, a ritual, a review of the session, or a song.

Renee Emunah (1994) has identified five phases through which most drama therapy groups progress. Her Five Phase Model parallels established wisdom from group dynamics on how successful groups form and grow. The first phase is Dramatic Play where the group gets to know each other and the therapist through playing together to develop trust, group cohesion, and basic relationship skills. Then they move on to the Scenework phase where they continue playing, but begin focusing on developing a lot of the dramatic skills they will need as they continue in treatment. All humans develop basic dramatic skills at the ages of 3-5, a time when they naturally begin learning about the world around them through imitation and dramatic play. As they grow older and begin school, children are encouraged to develop their abstract reasoning skills and use them to the exclusion of hands-on forms of learning. However, drama is like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it. The Dramatic Play and Scenework Stages allow clients to get back in touch with those skills and feel competent and confident using them again.

Phase Three focuses on Role Play, exploring issues through fictional means. Perhaps the group acts out a generic family conflict or a familiar character from a fairy tale or legend that goes through a crisis or challenge shared by group members. When the group is ready, they can move on to Phase Four: Culminating Enactments, where personal issues are acted out directly through psychodrama or autobiographical performance.

The final phase is Dramatic Ritual, which usually involves closure to the work of the group. This might be the sharing of a public performance that has been created by the group or the sharing of a private ritual within the group or an evaluation session where clients can review what they’ve learned, how they’ve changed, and where they can say goodbye and thanks to the people in the group who have helped them and to whom they have become close.

Not every drama therapy group works its way through all five phases. Some groups aren’t together long enough to develop the skills and trust to reach the Culminating Enactment phase. This is especially true in this day of limited reimbursement by health insurance for mental health services.

Age and developmental level makes a different, too. Children often get the full benefit of emotional healing through play and fictional work alone, so there’s no need to move on to some of the later stages. Some adult groups dealing with severe trauma or anger or who are extremely immature may not work through their trust issues enough to move on to Phase Four. That doesn’t mean that they have “failed” as a drama group; it means they needed more time to heal at one particular emotional developmental level, perhaps because their wounds in that area were very deep.

While drama therapy techniques may differ from therapist to therapist or from session to session, there are concepts which are common to all forms. The first is using metaphor through action. Behaviors, problems, and emotions can be represented metaphorically, allowing for symbolic understanding. A certain set of behaviors can be looked at as a “role,” such as the role of mother, victim, student, or hero. These roles can be played out in a dramatic situation, leading to a greater understanding of the role as helpful or harmful, safe or dangerous. An emotion can be represented with a metaphorical image: anger displayed as a volcano, an exploding bomb, or a smoldering fire. These images can be dramatized, allowing the client more insight into the qualities of the emotion and how it functions positively or negatively in his/her life.

Concrete embodiment allows the abstract to become concrete through the client’s body. We all experience life first through our senses and our bodies, and only later, at older ages, through language and abstract thoughts. Acting out an idea or an experience allows it to become “more real” so it can be dealt with in fact rather than in the abstract, through feeling rather than only through thought, in the moment rather than through past or future projection. Embodiment allows clients to “experience” or “re-experience” in order to learn, to practice new behaviors, or to experiment with how to change old behaviors. This is particularly important for clients who are kinesthetic or visual learners (estimated to be at least two thirds of the population).

Distancing allows the therapist to change the degree to which the role being played is like you symbolically or like you actually. Children intuitively use distancing to protect themselves from shame and guilt in play by acting out characters similar to them, but not them. Pretending to be Gretel, abandoned in the forest by her mother and father, allows a child to explore her feelings of being punished or emotionally abandoned by her parents or a significant adult in her life.

Playing a role quite different from oneself often feels more comfortable than playing oneself directly. In some cases an experience is too “close” to us for us to see our part in it. We need to take a step back (metaphorically speaking) and see the experience in a wider context: to see the forest in order to see the tree.

Sometimes a situation is too emotional or intense for a client to encounter in therapy without becoming overwhelmed emotionally. More distance, through fictionalizing a situation, using a metaphor to represent the problem, or using a technique like puppets, removes the situation a step from flesh and blood reality and can help a client work on the issues without falling apart. On the other hand, some clients will create so much intellectual distance from an issue that they can’t get in touch with their feelings (see the story of Henry later). They need less fiction and more emotional involvement to be able to face the issue honestly and directly.

Certain drama therapy techniques tend to create more distance and others tend to create less distance. For example, psychodrama, which deals directly with the personal, nonfiction history of the client, is less distanced. Puppets, theatre games, and improvising fictional characters are more distanced. Some techniques can go either way, depending on how they are used. The performance of an autobiographical or self-relevatory play is less distanced than performance of a play about fictional characters. Role play can be very close to oneself or distanced, depending on the role being portrayed. (A note here: as every actor knows, the emotions in any role can feel very real while the role is being portrayed!)

Dramatic Projection is akin to concrete embodiment and employs metaphor. It is the ability to take an idea or an emotion that is within the client and project it outside to be shown or acted out in the drama therapy session. A client’s difficulty asking for help (an internal problem) can be dramatized in a scene with other members of the group, with puppets, or through masks, so the problem becomes an external problem which can be seen, played with, and shared by the therapist and the group.

The creation of Transitional Space is an important component in many therapeutic and learning environments, but it is essential in drama therapy. Transitional space is the imaginary world that is created when we play or imagine together in a safe, trusting situation. It is a timeless space in which anything we can imagine can exist: dragons can be vanquished, castles can be built, raging rivers can be crossed, acceptance and love can be experienced. Transitional space is the place where change and healing can happen because it is potential space, a magic play space, Stanislavksy’s “Magic If.” It is created jointly by the therapist and the clients playing together and believing in the possible: that anything can happen.

Incorporating the other Arts. Drama therapists use music, movement, song, dance, poetry, writing, drawing, sculpture, mask making, puppetry, and other arts with their drama therapy activities. Just as the theatre is a crossroads where all the arts come together, drama therapy allows all the arts to meet and work together, too. Starting with writing and then enacting the story or poem or beginning with drawing and then embodying the art through movement, body sculpting, or drama is a natural way to progress. This is one reason drama therapists are required to have training in the other creative arts therapies and why many drama therapists have credentials in one of the other arts therapy modalities.

© Copyright Sally D. Bailey, Registered Drama Therapist. All Rights Reserved.