What Is Psychodrama Remedy? 10 Methods for Your Classes

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, corresponding to a father or mother, 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 method has broad functions, together with treating melancholy, phobias, alcohol and drug use, relationships, and household points (Nicholls, 2017).

On this article, we discover a number of the psychodramatic methods and actions that practitioners can combine alongside their present approaches when treating purchasers.

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What Is Psychodrama in Remedy?

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

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

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

The method provides purchasers the chance to discover how previous experiences could have influenced their pondering, feeling, and habits within the current and the way it will form the long run by drawing “on the group’s power 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 supplies 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 includes 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 Methods

DoublingA latest systematic evaluate of the literature recognized 11 core psychodramatic methods.

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


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

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


This system supplies 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 down and observe one other group member reenact a scene whereas mirroring their habits. The method is especially priceless when the protagonist is caught in a job or unaware of how their habits impacts others.

By swapping locations with a member of the viewers, they will acquire perspective, see maladaptive relational patterns, and determine adjustments they’ve created because of therapy.

Position reversal

Stepping out of 1’s personal identification and buying and selling locations with one other is taken into account an important method in psychodrama. Seeing one other’s perspective (corresponding to the opposite accomplice in a relationship, a job mannequin, a historic determine, and even God) could be a highly effective expertise.

As an method, it will possibly increase the protagonist’s notion and assist them change into unstuck from damaging emotions corresponding to guilt and disgrace.

3 Greatest Psychodrama Interventions

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

Preliminary interview

Having chosen a protagonist, the subsequent step is the preliminary interview with the director. Whereas normally stored quick and sometimes 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
  • Creating belief, understanding, and connection
  • Making a contract across the aim of the enactment
  • Gathering extra data concerning the presenting matter

Scene setting

Instantly after the preliminary interview, it’s important 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, exhibiting the way it ought to look whereas doubtlessly accessing and sharing deep reminiscences.


At this level, the protagonist begins to indicate 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, rising spontaneity whereas decreasing anxiousness.

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 motive, 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 workout routines can assist create and keep the power 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 robust calls for on them, creating distance from their unique psychodramatic matter.

For instance, somebody combating dependancy could also be requested to behave out being a father defending his household. Spontaneous improvisation may be priceless 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 means for the protagonist, rising spontaneity and doubtlessly uncovering new behavioral responses and points of the persona.

A Have 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 supplies 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, rising its impact on its members, and may be handled because the recognized shopper. Analysis over latest years has proven group remedy to be at the least as efficient as particular person remedy and stays a elementary facet 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).


Relatively 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 methods sculpt and make concrete the perceived relationships with their household, surroundings, and even inside components of the self.

Empty chair(s)

Relatively 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 method reduces the load on the protagonist, significantly helpful when having a single individual performing the position might be too nerve-racking. 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 constructive or damaging messages related to the protagonist’s life.

3 Fascinating Books for Therapists

The next three books present priceless perception into the speculation and observe of psychodrama inside and out of doors the session room.

1. Social Work, Sociometry, and Psychodrama: Experiential Approaches for Group Therapists, Neighborhood 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 neighborhood observe.

This sensible ebook explores psychodrama and its sensible utility in working with people, teams, and communities going through trauma. Together with scientific vignettes and idea, the textual content consists of instruments for evaluation and intervention.

Discover the ebook on Amazon.

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

The Handbook of Psychodrama

This handbook provides a priceless information for trainees and skilled psychological well being professionals to know the speculation and observe behind psychodrama and its relationship with different psychotherapies.

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

Discover the ebook on Amazon.

3. Psychodrama – Jacob Levy Moreno


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

Revisiting these unique writings by the founding father of psychodrama provides highly effective insights into the necessity to embody the total individual in therapeutic therapy.

Discover the ebook on Amazon.

Coaching Choices: 5 Programs & Certifications

Psychodrama has been common over the previous few a long time as a therapeutic therapy, and there are a selection of psychodramatic coaching and accreditation faculties worldwide.

  • Onsite Workshops – Psychodrama Coaching Institute
    College students are taught the speculation 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 Heart (NPTC)
    Obtainable throughout the US, NPTC trains college students within the idea and strategies of J. L. Moreno and their utility inside and out of doors psychotherapy.

Discover out extra on their website.

  • London Centre for Psychodrama
    Registered with the British Psychodrama Affiliation, this coaching supplier provides 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 provides a number of on-line alternatives for studying extra concerning the idea and observe of psychodrama and potential areas and alternatives for its utility.

Discover out extra on their website.

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

Discover out extra on their website.

Assets From PositivePsychology.com

We have now many sources accessible for therapists offering psychotherapeutic assist to people, {couples}, and households.

Why not obtain our free constructive 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, progress, and belief. This software is designed to assist {couples} look at how effectively their relationship is functioning by means of the lens of the sound relationship home metaphor.
  • Connecting With Others by Self-Disclosure
    Analysis into self-disclosure has discovered robust hyperlinks between vulnerability and constructive relationships (Laurenceau, et al., 1998). These findings assist the view that the braveness to be weak is an important ingredient in forming constructive relationships. On this train, we discover ways to observe self-disclosure to strengthen present and create new connections.

Different free role-play and drama sources embody:

  • Assertive Message Position-Play
    Assertive messages state our wants, opinions, and concepts actually 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 may 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 strong group experiential train to assist purchasers observe permitting distressing inside experiences (e.g., ideas, emotions, reminiscences, sensations, and urges) to emerge and selecting to behave in keeping with their values in triggering conditions.

The shopper learns that taking the ache or misery with them in a valued course is feasible as an alternative of avoiding painful feelings or performing on their emotions. The train is an interesting group exercise that includes role-play and intermittent debriefing of therapeutic ideas.

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

The 1st step – Determine and checklist their strengths.
Step two – Analyze the interplay of their strengths.
Step three – Create a visible mannequin.
Step 4 – Replicate on what they realized from the train.

For those who’re on the lookout for extra science-based methods to assist others improve their wellbeing, take a look at this signature assortment of 17 validated constructive psychology instruments for practitioners. Use them to assist others flourish and thrive.

A Take-House Message

Therapists continuously attempt to search out the most effective therapy for his or her practices. They be taught, discover, and check out numerous methods to assist purchasers overcome obstacles and change into unstuck, introducing instruments and methods to assist them stay a extra full and fulfilling life.

Psychodrama has a historical past of serving to purchasers take care of numerous issues throughout a number of settings. The impact of using the ability and power of the group to assist the person as they confront their previous to assist their current and future selves may be profound.

For protagonists, exhibiting vulnerability in opening as much as how they deal with battle or troublesome conditions supplies the chance for deep perception and progress.

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

The methods, books, and coaching really useful on this article provide new instruments for therapists and additional hope for purchasers to discover a new means 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 methods of Morenian psychodrama: A scientific evaluate of literature. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1263.
  • Giacomucci, S. (2021). Social work, sociometry, and psychodrama: Experiential approaches for group therapists, neighborhood 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 Character 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