Therapeutic Enactment

“Psychodrama is a method of psychotherapy in which clients are encouraged to continue and complete their actions through dramatization, role playing, and dramatic self-presentation.

Both verbal and non-verbal communications are utilized. A number of scenes are enacted, depicting, for example, memories of specific happening in the past, unfinished situations, inner dramas, fantasies, dreams, preparations for future risk taking situations, or simply unrehearsed expressions of mental states in the here and now.

These scenes approximate real-life situations or are externalizations of mental processes from within. If required, other parts may be taken by group members or by inanimate objects.

Many techniques are employed, such as role reversal, doubling, mirroring, concretizing, maximizing, and soliloquy. Usually, the phases of warm up, action, working through, closure, and sharing can be identified.

Therapeutic enactment differs from classic psychodrama in that therapeutic enactments are more carefully planned and scripted. Often there is little reliance on spontaneity, especially in enactments conducted to repair trauma.

Therapeutic enactment is a venue to release and express repressed emotion. It then may serve as a corrective emotional experience in trauma repair therapy where new analogs are created” (Morley, 2000, p. 13-14).

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