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  • Drama Therapy

    What Is Drama Therapy?

    As one of the many forms of creative psychotherapy we use at our practice, drama therapy uses elements of drama and theater techniques to enhance psychological and social well-being. Between storytelling, roleplaying, and improvisation, this form of therapy acknowledges the many ways that dramatic exercises can aid in skill-building and adjusting perspectives.

    The History Of Drama Therapy

    While the human psyche has always been an essential aspect of the theater, drama therapy became popularized during the mid-twentieth century, when theater was used as a therapeutic tool in helping World War II veterans explore and cope with their trauma.

    Since then, this method has been studied and documented throughout a variety of contexts and among a diverse range of populations. By offering clients a safe space to identify and express their emotions, drama therapy contributes to emotional release and catharsis. As such, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues can be treated using this approach. And because it creates space for emotional exploration that goes beyond words, drama therapy can be particularly beneficial for clients who struggle with trauma-specific symptoms and/or are nonverbal.

    What Does Drama Therapy Look Like?

    In drama therapy sessions, the therapist incorporates creative improv and storytelling techniques to help clients understand and reframe their stressors. For example, trauma survivors can use theatrical elements to re-enact and direct the narrative of what happened, ultimately resulting in a newfound sense of empowerment and healing.

    Additionally, roleplaying exercises can improve communication and adjust interpersonal perspectives. Through exploring different scenarios and outcomes, clients can figure out strategies for having difficult conversations, managing emotions, and developing empathy for the other. In essence, drama therapy paves the way for clients to “rehearse” successful interactions and healthy behaviors.

    With a more grounded and controlled stress response, clients using this form of therapy can feel more confident to engage with and express their feelings, reinforcing a strong self-worth. Drama therapy has the ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, drastically improving mood and outlook.

    Drama Therapy Is One Of Our Many Creative Approaches At ARTS Rx

    Our therapists recognize the amazing potential that creative approaches can have in reducing the effect of trauma on the lives of our clients and have thus been offering drama therapy since 2011.

    Regardless of the modalities used in treatment, encouraging creative expression and imaginative play is a common short-term goal we have for all of our clients. And in the long term, our approach is designed to provide clients with lifelong emotional regulation skills.

    We always tailor the process to the unique creative inclinations of our clients and pace therapy in a way that will be healing and non-traumatizing. Moreover, we are happy to coordinate care with psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and parents for clients under 18.

    Set The Stage For A Happier, Healthier Perspective

    Elements of drama and storytelling can help you reframe your challenges in a way that promotes growth, resilience, and a sense of empowerment. For more information about how we can help or to schedule an appointment with a drama therapist at our practice, contact us.