I. Defining Psychodrama
- Founded by Dr. Jacob Levy Moreno
- Which means It means full psycho-realization
- It is a technique for expressing difficult emotions and facing deep conflicts by having group participants enact significant life events. It is a method to externally express the internal psyche and work with a person's representation of the past, present, and future in the current moment.
- Dr. Moreno defined psychodrama as "the science which explores 'the truth' by dramatic methods". Moreno emphasized that the main goal of psychodrama was to help clients discover their inner truth, express repressed re·pressed
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Moreno’s wife ran the Institute after his death. He died in Beacon, NY. At his request his only epitaph was “the man who brought laughter to psychiatry”. (Buchanan, 1984) His wife Zerka Toeman Moreno is in her late 80′s and continues to teach, train and write on psychodrama. Moreno defined psychodrama as the “exploration of the subjective truth of the protagonist by methods of spontaneous dramatic improvisations”.
He believed that within our uniqueness lies our strength and coined the term “normosis” which means pressure to be normal. Ironically, the less we try to constrain our uniqueness in order to conform, the closer we get to our center, to our authentic selves, the more we find ourselves connecting to the others on the level that is real, authentic, deep, the level of connection which does not require masks and pretenses. We discover that we can live successfully in the world being our true selves, and isn’t it what we all want? As children, we are all authentic, creative and spontaneous, we believe in possibilities and our dreams, we trust our own magic and the magic of the world.
As parents and society start to teach us to adjust to their norms, we start abandoning the authentic state of being in order to “survive” in the world. The threat of not being accepted, not being loved is a basic threat to survival, and we exchange our need to be authentic for the need to be loved, because we believe that that is the choice we are required to make. As a therapist I strongly believe that it is the process that is in the center of any therapy, and it is the process that heals.
The whole psycho-dramatic process is designed to bring a person into the experience of the authentic state of being. When there, spontaneity is released, and creative choices are made for bettering one’s life.
III. Therapeutic Goals
Moreno: A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of mankind
Moreno's expansive goals are concerned with all aspects of living and the maximizing of human potential: "Psychodrama enables the client to build a bridge beyond the roles he plays in his daily existence, to surpass and transcend the reality of life as he lives it, to get into a deeper relationship with existence, to come as close as possible to the highest form of encounter of which he is capable". The focus is wider than symptom relief, extending towards full experience and relish of life.
IV. Therapeutic Technique
WARM-UP is designed to produce atmosphere of creative possibility. This phase is concerned with establishing connections, building cohesiveness and increasing spontaneity. At this phase issues and concerns central to the group emerge and a protagonists is chosen. The client may be chosen by the group, by the leader or by oneself. The group becomes the safe container, the womb within which a child is warmed up to the ultimate spontaneous act of birth.
ACTION: The protagonist steps on the stage to take action on...