What Is Psychodrama Remedy? 10 Strategies for Your Periods

Psychodrama TherapyPsychodrama has been described as particular person remedy in a gaggle format, with motion going down across the protagonist’s a number of roles in life, similar to a mother or father, accomplice, sibling, and worker.

Maybe surprisingly, psychodrama as psychotherapy is deeply related with psychology, sociology, and even theater, with the potential to bridge divides between people, teams, and communities (Cruz et al., 2018; Giacomucci, 2021).

This fascinating strategy has broad purposes, together with treating melancholy, phobias, alcohol and drug use, relationships, and household points (Nicholls, 2017).

On this article, we discover among the psychodramatic strategies and actions that practitioners can combine alongside their current approaches when treating shoppers.

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What Is Psychodrama in Remedy?

Psychodrama started with J. L. Moreno within the Twenties and stays standard, having developed and been reinterpreted many instances since. It’s a “therapeutic mannequin extensively utilized in Europe in personal and public well being settings, together with hospitals, […] and psychological well being providers, […] within the remedy of assorted pathologies similar to schizophrenia […] and substance abuse” (Cruz et al., 2018, p. 2).

This type of psychotherapy – whereas ideally carried out in a gaggle setting – is concentrated on the person on the heart of a number of relational roles (similar to being a partner, sibling, or mother or father) and their difficulties and potential challenges, similar to a concern of rejection or flying, or doubts concerning talents at work (Cruz et al., 2018).

Psychodrama is commonly described as a person remedy carried out in a gaggle format, homing in on the assorted roles or identities shoppers tackle all through their lives.

The strategy affords shoppers the chance to discover how previous experiences could have influenced their considering, feeling, and habits within the current and the way it will form the longer term by drawing “on the group’s vitality and spontaneity to discover the protagonist’s scenario” (Nicholls, 2017, para. 2).

Sometimes, psychodramatic classes are made up of social, group, and dramatic contexts, utilizing 5 devices, together with (Cruz et al., 2018):

  • Protagonist
    The member of the group who gives the content material for the psychodrama
  • Stage
    The place the actions happen and are contained
  • Auxiliary-ego(s)
    Different group members or workers
  • Director
    The individual facilitating the session, normally the therapist
  • Viewers
    The remaining members of the group who bear witness to the protagonist’s story

Every session entails three distinct phases (Cruz et al., 2018; Giacomucci, 2021):

  1. Heat-up – Get the members prepared for bodily motion and the psychodrama.
  2. Motion (enactment) – Convey the protagonist’s intrapsychic or interpersonal life onto the stage.
  3. Sharing – As soon as enactment is full, group members de-role and share their experiences.

Psychodramatic instruments present a warm-up for the motion part or mix to “help the protagonist within the dramatization of the battle that must be solved” (Cruz et al., 2018, p. 2).

3 Examples of Psychodramatic Strategies

DoublingA latest systematic evaluation of the literature recognized 11 core psychodramatic strategies.

We embody three under and others in subsequent sections (Cruz et al., 2018; Giacomucci, 2021).


The double goals to provide voice to the protagonist’s interior world by digging deeper than the seen “I” and revealing how they speak to themselves within the security of their personal world.

Doubling could be achieved by one other individual (the therapist or anybody within the group performing because the double) bodily standing shut by the protagonist, mimicking their posture, and speaking as in the event that they had been them. The protagonist corrects them if the doubling is inaccurate however owns and repeats what they are saying when appropriate.

Such a way could be significantly useful in supporting the protagonist in integrating feelings and considering which have beforehand been “cut up out of consciousness because of the overwhelming nature of the traumatic expertise” (Giacomucci, 2021, p. 255).


This system gives the protagonist with the chance to see themselves as others do by taking a look at themselves in a ‘mirror.’ The therapist asks them to sit and observe one other group member reenact a scene whereas mirroring their habits. The approach is especially helpful when the protagonist is caught in a task or unaware of how their habits impacts others.

By swapping locations with a member of the viewers, they’ll acquire perspective, see maladaptive relational patterns, and establish modifications they’ve created on account of remedy.

Function reversal

Stepping out of 1’s personal id and buying and selling locations with one other is taken into account an important approach in psychodrama. Seeing one other’s perspective (similar to the opposite accomplice in a relationship, a task mannequin, a historic determine, and even God) generally is a highly effective expertise.

As an strategy, it could actually increase the protagonist’s notion and assist them change into unstuck from destructive emotions similar to guilt and disgrace.

3 Finest Psychodrama Interventions

The next three interventions are integral to and highly effective supporting instruments for psychodrama as a remedy and can be utilized alone or together with different strategies (Cruz et al., 2018; Giacomucci, 2021).

Preliminary interview

Having chosen a protagonist, the following step is the preliminary interview with the director. Whereas normally stored quick and infrequently carried out whereas strolling collectively in a circle to create bodily motion, it has a number of functions, together with (Giacomucci, 2021):

  • Persevering with to heat up the protagonist
  • Warming up the group and the director for enacting the psychodrama
  • Growing belief, understanding, and connection
  • Making a contract across the purpose of the enactment
  • Gathering further info concerning the presenting matter

Scene setting

Instantly after the preliminary interview, it’s critical to decide on a setting for the psychodrama and begin utilizing objects that assist make it actual. This marks the transfer into what therapists consult with as “surplus actuality,” the place the protagonist strikes into motion, warming up their physique, feelings, and creativeness.

The protagonist could also be left to set the scene up on their very own, displaying the way it ought to look whereas doubtlessly accessing and sharing deep reminiscences.


At this level, the protagonist begins to point out the director, auxiliary-egos, and the viewers how they sometimes act in a given scenario. This intervention establishes a place to begin and the chance to enter the excess actuality, growing spontaneity whereas lowering nervousness.

Maybe most significantly, self-presentation is a chance to “externalize their very own subjective actuality, perspective, and expertise” (Giacomucci, 2021, p. 260). The protagonist can then proceed with enactment of their previous, current, or future-based psychodrama.

2 Efficient Actions and Workouts

Group psychodramaPsychodrama is as a lot about motion as speaking.

For that purpose, it’s important to heat up the group and create a scene that has lots of the qualities of the scenario being enacted.

The next actions and workouts might help create and keep the vitality required (Giacomucci, 2021).

Spontaneous improvisation

Not like self-presentation, the protagonist is requested to tackle the position of a fictitious character. The director sometimes locations sturdy calls for on them, creating distance from their unique psychodramatic matter.

For instance, somebody battling dependancy could also be requested to behave out being a father defending his household. Spontaneous improvisation could be helpful for a warm-up or as a grounding intervention after a very intense private psychodrama.

Resistance interpolation

Whereas the protagonist units the bodily scene, the director could select to make modifications that place new position calls for. The train could also be modified in some beforehand unexpected method for the protagonist, growing spontaneity and doubtlessly uncovering new behavioral responses and facets of the persona.

A Take a look at Psychodrama in Group Remedy

Psychodrama makes use of a gaggle format and instruments from theater, psychology, and sociology to carry out psychotherapy (Cruz et al., 2018).

Whereas a session focuses on one particular person as a protagonist, others within the group tackle roles as wanted. The therapist works straight with the protagonist, however the group gives supporting energies and creativity by performing out roles inside their psychodrama (Nicholls, 2017).

Apparently, as soon as security and cohesion throughout the group have been achieved, it turns into its personal organism, growing its impact on its members, and could be handled because the recognized consumer. Analysis over latest years has proven group remedy to be a minimum of as efficient as particular person remedy and stays a basic side of psychodrama (Giacomucci, 2021).

2 Psychodrama group actions

The next two actions, particularly, interact a number of members of the group within the enactment (Cruz et al., 2018; Giacomucci, 2021).


Somewhat than different members of the group remaining static or disengaged, they’re concerned in finishing the scene.

The protagonist directs the place they’re and what they’re doing. Together with doubling and position reversal, psychodramatic strategies sculpt and make concrete the perceived relationships with their household, setting, and even inner elements of the self.

Empty chair(s)

Somewhat than solely speaking to the empty chair – as is the case with another therapeutic approaches – this exercise is used to facilitate position reversal and doubling in psychodrama.

The strategy reduces the load on the protagonist, significantly helpful when having a single individual performing the position may very well be too traumatic. The chair (or chairs) can stay empty or alternated between a number of group members. For instance, a number of group members could take turns sitting at a chair and verbalizing optimistic or destructive messages related to the protagonist’s life.

3 Fascinating Books for Therapists

The next three books present helpful perception into the idea and observe of psychodrama inside and outdoors the session room.

1. Social Work, Sociometry, and Psychodrama: Experiential Approaches for Group Therapists, Group Leaders, and Social Staff – Scott Giacomucci

Social Work, Sociometry, and Psychodrama

Scott Giacomucci takes the reader past the therapeutic session to the place psychodrama meets social work and group observe.

This sensible e book explores psychodrama and its sensible utility in working with people, teams, and communities dealing with trauma. Together with scientific vignettes and principle, the textual content contains instruments for evaluation and intervention.

Discover the e book on Amazon.

2. The Handbook of Psychodrama – Marcia Karp, Paul Holmes, and Kate Bradshaw Tauvon

The Handbook of Psychodrama

This handbook affords a helpful information for trainees and skilled psychological well being professionals to grasp the idea and observe behind psychodrama and its relationship with different psychotherapies.

The textual content follows the psychodramatic strategy of warm-up, motion, sharing, and subsequent processing and explores how we are able to use them to deal with shoppers with melancholy.

Discover the e book on Amazon.

3. Psychodrama – Jacob Levy Moreno


The e book explores Moreno’s work in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy to develop a deep understanding of its potential for serving to shoppers face challenges of their lives by role-play.

Revisiting these unique writings by the founding father of psychodrama affords highly effective insights into the necessity to embody the complete individual in therapeutic remedy.

Discover the e book on Amazon.

Coaching Choices: 5 Programs & Certifications

Psychodrama has been standard over the previous few many years as a therapeutic remedy, and there are a variety of psychodramatic coaching and accreditation colleges worldwide.

  • Onsite Workshops – Psychodrama Coaching Institute
    College students are taught the idea and observe of psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy and its utility to people, {couples}, teams, and households.

Discover out extra on their website.

  • Nationwide Psychodrama Coaching Middle (NPTC)
    Out there throughout the US, NPTC trains college students within the principle and strategies of J. L. Moreno and their utility inside and outdoors psychotherapy.

Discover out extra on their website.

  • London Centre for Psychodrama
    Registered with the British Psychodrama Affiliation, this coaching supplier affords a one-year foundational course and a three-year coaching certification to change into a therapist.

Discover out extra on their website.

2 On-line programs to think about

There are a number of on-line programs exploring psychodrama, together with:

  • Group Psychodrama
    Group Psychodrama affords a number of on-line alternatives for studying extra in regards to the principle and observe of psychodrama and potential areas and alternatives for its utility.

Discover out extra on their website.

  • Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute (HVPI)
    HVPI gives on-line and in-person coaching in psychodrama, sociometry, sociodrama, and extra, serving to individuals uncover and construct connections between people, teams, and communities.

Discover out extra on their website.

Sources From PositivePsychology.com

We’ve got many assets accessible for therapists offering psychotherapeutic assist to people, {couples}, and households.

Why not obtain our free optimistic relationships pack and check out the highly effective instruments contained inside? Some examples embody:

  • The Sound Relationship Home Inspection
    Relationships require nurturing and common motion to advertise friendship, development, and belief. This software is designed to assist {couples} look at how effectively their relationship is functioning by the lens of the sound relationship home metaphor.
  • Connecting With Others by Self-Disclosure
    Analysis into self-disclosure has discovered sturdy hyperlinks between vulnerability and optimistic relationships (Laurenceau, et al., 1998). These findings assist the view that the braveness to be weak is a vital ingredient in forming optimistic relationships. On this train, we learn to observe self-disclosure to strengthen current and create new connections.

Different free role-play and drama assets embody:

  • Assertive Message Function-Play
    Assertive messages state our wants, opinions, and concepts truthfully and respectfully. This example scenario features a role-play for working towards formulating and utilizing assertive communication.
  • Remaining Calm Throughout Battle
    These helpful tips for coping with battle could be useful prompts for role-play.

Extra intensive variations of the next instruments can be found with a subscription to the Constructive Psychology Toolkit©, however they’re described briefly under:

  • Passengers on the Bus group exercise
    The “passengers on the bus” metaphor is a robust group experiential train to assist shoppers observe permitting distressing inner experiences (e.g., ideas, emotions, reminiscences, sensations, and urges) to emerge and selecting to behave in keeping with their values in triggering conditions.

The consumer learns that taking the ache or misery with them in a valued route is feasible as a substitute of avoiding painful feelings or performing on their emotions. The train is a fascinating group exercise that entails role-play and intermittent debriefing of therapeutic ideas.

  • Exploring Strengths Dynamics
    Strengths don’t work in isolation. As a substitute, they work together with different strengths, interacting and overlapping, permitting the individual to learn maximally from their interplay (known as “strengths dynamics”). The method could be explored by a sequence of steps carried out by the consumer, together with:

The first step – Determine and listing their strengths.
Step two – Analyze the interplay of their strengths.
Step three – Create a visible mannequin.
Step 4 – Mirror on what they discovered from the train.

In the event you’re searching for extra science-based methods to assist others improve their wellbeing, take a look at this signature assortment of 17 validated optimistic psychology instruments for practitioners. Use them to assist others flourish and thrive.

A Take-Dwelling Message

Therapists always attempt to seek out one of the best remedy for his or her practices. They be taught, discover, and check out varied strategies to assist shoppers overcome obstacles and change into unstuck, introducing instruments and strategies to assist them dwell a extra full and fulfilling life.

Psychodrama has a historical past of serving to shoppers cope with varied issues throughout a number of settings. The impact of using the facility and vitality of the group to assist the person as they confront their previous to assist their current and future selves could be profound.

For protagonists, displaying vulnerability in opening as much as how they deal with battle or troublesome conditions gives the chance for deep perception and development.

For therapists, psychodrama could supply a brand new and completely different software that may interact a gaggle in a reflective and energetic remedy, figuring out maladaptive relational patterns whereas validating modifications created from the remedy.

The strategies, books, and coaching advisable on this article supply new instruments for therapists and additional hope for shoppers to discover a new method ahead in overcoming a legacy of previous difficulties beforehand untreated.

We hope you loved studying this text. Don’t overlook to obtain our three Constructive Relationships Workouts free of charge.

  • Cruz, A., Gross sales, C., Alves, P., & Moita, G. (2018). The core strategies of Morenian psychodrama: A scientific evaluation of literature. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1263.
  • Giacomucci, S. (2021). Social work, sociometry, and psychodrama: Experiential approaches for group therapists, group leaders, and social employees. Springer.
  • Karp, M., Holmes, P., & Bradshaw Tauvon, Ok. (1998). The handbook of psychodrama. Routledge.
  • Laurenceau, J.-P., Barrett, L. F., & Pietromonaco, P. R. (1998). Intimacy as an interpersonal course of: The significance of self-disclosure, accomplice disclosure, and perceived accomplice responsiveness in interpersonal exchanges. Journal of Persona and Social Psychology, 74(5), 1238–1251.
  • Moreno, J. L. (2020). Psychodrama (vol. 1). Psychodrama Press.
  • Nicholls, Ok. (2017, March 22). Psychodrama. Counselling Listing. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/psychodrama.html