Introduction to Dramatherapy: Person and Threshold

Introduction to Dramatherapy: Person and Threshold

Introduction to Dramatherapy: Person and Threshold

Introduction to Dramatherapy: Person and Threshold

Synopsis

This work examines the relationship between the 'self' and the 'other'. Beginning with a history of dramatherapy, Salvo Pitruzzella goes on to examine the issues of identity, and the mediation between the internal and external worlds.

Excerpt

Entering with my body inside the narration, I participate in it, making it, in its mimetic resonances, a community event… . in this sense, the narrative dimension reaffirms the principle of the freedom and the power that we exert over our destiny as human beings able to think and to imagine.

I have chosen this passage from Salvo Pitruzzella's book for two reasons. First, it penetrates to the living, healing hearth of drama and shows it to be therapeutic in the deepest, most human, sense of all. Second, it reveals the most outstanding quality this book possesses - its intense and unashamed humanness. Pitruzzella's writing is rooted in the experiential, emerging all the time from the realities he is describing. He is a drama therapist, and his business is with the embodied and not simply with argument and disembodied imagination: 'Entering with my body…'. Thus, for him, body is both revealer and thing revealed, 'primal experience and mask … the point of departure for a shared dramatic language'.

The author's passion for the things he describes does not involve any blurring of his intellectual grasp, however, concerned as he is with therapy as art, able to overcome the all too familiar distinction between affect and cognition by moving and convincing us at the same time. (This is dramatically illustrated in a powerfully stated exposition of the dynamics of playing, a sphere of human activity in which imagination and actuality, freedom and structure, mingle creatively.)

All in all, this is a resonant piece of writing, particularly in its exploration of the ways in which human personality is conceptualized as mad or sane according to a culture-bound identification of 'mental illness' with specific kinds of loss of interpersonal communication. Through the

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