Spontaneous dramatization, role playing and dramatic self-presentation are the key components of psychodrama, an action-based form of psychotherapy. Psychodrama brings deep issues to the surface in an interactive and visual format to help clients work through problems and issues from their past. It is this combination of mind and action that enables clients to strengthen their sense of self and the relationships that are important to them.

What Is Psychodrama?

Psychodrama is a blend of creative and therapeutic art. Some have described psychodrama as similar to having a good cry and feeling better afterwards. When we’ve buried secrets so deep because they’re too painful to admit, or shoved experiences so far back into our consciousness because we don’t want to revisit them, we’ve lost a big part of ourselves. We can no longer live spontaneously, afraid that we might dredge up difficult emotions. In essence, we do not really live. We’ve lost a part of what makes us human.

Psychodrama can help clients reclaim their natural human emotions, instead of being closed off to them. Psychodrama’s goals are to help clients gain insights, resolve problems, and learn and practice new life skills and behaviors.

During a psychodrama session, participants act out or reenact specific scenes, and experiences with a therapist’s guidance. Included in these scenes may be dreams, past situations or role-playing future events. Other participants act the roles of significant others or the audience. This serves to bring underlying issues and beliefs to the surface as well as offer support to the actors in the psychodrama.

How Psychodrama Benefits Recovery

Psychodrama offers an empowering alternative to traditional therapy. By participating in psychodrama, clients can learn how to:

  • Improve their communication skills and nurture their relationships with others
  • Express their feelings in a supportive and safe environment
  • Restore well-being and confidence
  • Overcome loss and grief
  • Experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving
  • Build life skills

Psychodrama is used to treat a variety of conditions, including addiction, eating disorders and trauma. Various studies have found that psychodrama constitutes a valid alternative to other therapeutic approaches, especially in promoting behavior change in adjustment, antisocial, and related disorders.