What is Psychodrama?
Psychodrama employs guided dramatic action to examine problems and issues.
Conceived and developed by Jacob L. Moreno, MD, psychodrama employs guided dramatic action to examine problems or issues raised by an individual (psychodrama) or a group (sociodrama). Using experiential methods, sociometry, role theory, and group dynamics, psychodrama facilitates insight, personal growth, and integration on cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels. It clarifies issues, increases physical and emotional well being, enhances learning and develops new skills.
The basic elements (operational components) of psychodrama are:
- Protagonist: Person(s) selected to "represent theme" of group in the drama.
- Auxiliary Egos: Group members who assume the roles of significant others in the drama.
- Audience: Group members who witness the drama and represent the world at large.
- Stage: The physical space in which the drama is conducted.
- Director: The trained psychodramatist who guides participants through each phase of the session.
The three distinct phases of classical psychodrama are:
- Warm-up: The group theme is identified and a protagonist is selected.
- Action: The problem is dramatized and the protagonist explores new methods of resolving it.
- Sharing: Group members are invited to express their connection with the protagonist's work. Psychodrama affords participants a safe, supportive environment in which to practice new and more effective roles and behaviors.
Definition from the American Society of Group Psychotherapy