Psychodrama is a holistic therapy that offers clients the opportunity to “act out” situations, emotions, interpersonal scenarios, and experiences that impact mind, body, and their spiritual wellbeing. It’s often thought of as a form of group therapy, but it’s more accurate to think of it as individual therapy that is executed within a group. Psychodrama is a wonderfully creative and fluid modality that has a myriad of clinical applications. It allows clients to tap into and heal unresolved issues from the past or rehearse and prepare for future risk-taking or emotionally loaded situations that might evoke anxiety or fear. Clients can gain confidence, an increased sense of mastery, new cognitive insights, and enhanced inner peace as important issues are externalized, explored, and processed.
The pairing of this modality with the concept of “inner parts of self” is an organic and natural fit. Clients can move away from a unilateral view of self and embrace the notion that there are many internal parts that sometimes work collaboratively and at other times create internal conflict and polarization. We often see this when clients struggle with ambivalence: a part of them wants to engage in a certain behavior or choice and another part wants something different. Since human beings typically feel uncomfortable with dissonance and internal conflict, the natural tendency is to immediately reject one possible perspective, so the remaining option can be fully embraced and accepted.
“Psychodrama…can lead to greater internal cooperation, a decrease in conflict, a greater acceptance for all points of view and potentially new insights and choices.“
When we incorporate psycho-dramatic techniques, including: role plays; role reversals; doubling; and mirroring, we are allowing clients to give antithetical ideas “equal time.” Although this can initially feel counter-intuitive to clients who feel compelled to eliminate opposing ideas, it can lead to greater internal cooperation, a decrease in conflict, a greater acceptance for all points of view and potentially new insights and choices. This, in turn, enables clients to be less judgmental and more self-compassionate towards all parts. And that often translates into greater acceptance and compassion for the various parts in other people as well!