Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Psychodrama in Medicare: A Missing Link in Nigerian Healthcare System

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Psychodrama in Medicare: A Missing Link in Nigerian Healthcare System

Article excerpt

Abstract

Psychodrama is a real-life "externalization of inner mental processes" of a disturbed individual on stage through a protagonist. Nigerian drama has experienced all forms of theatre for development (TfD) impacting lives in communities and rural areas leading to greater awareness of problems and their solutions. However, illnesses arising from mental or emotional disturbances have received little attention in Nigerian dramatic experiments. Finding shows that treatments of mental illnesses in Nigeria both psychological and emotional have depended largely on doctor-patient approach, including counseling as therapy. Instances will be given how psychodrama works and how medical personnel can complement the little efforts began but abandoned by Chuck Mike in '90 due to lack of support. There is urgent need to integrate psychodrama in the Nigerian healthcare practice as an effective means of a patient's self examination, confession and correction. The paper thus advocates the need to integrate therapeutic gains of drama in the Nigerian Medicare system through collaboration between psychotherapy units and drama groups.

Introduction

Permit us to define theatre in an explanatory approach in order to avoid skipping dangerously. The first reason is that this gathering is not a conference of theatre professionals. The second reason is that beyond popular culture as projected by the social media, what appears to be an international practice sometimes requires great amount of pressure to kick-start in Nigeria. For instance, as important as our health is to us, how many Nigerians go for regular medical check up? Again, Nigerians know that drama involves performance (a play if like), but how many people here make out time to see one? The point is that if you do not understand something, you cannot appreciate it. If do not appreciate it, it would be difficult to recommend it.

That said, drama is simply an imitation of the actions of people with the purpose of entertaining while at the same time educating and correcting behaviours. The selected dramatic modes and techniques are extracts of studies of human actions and their consequences. Hence we can talk of psychodrama in the forms of play therapy through individual or group approach. Some are made for the target audience to watch and apply, while some are designed for the target audience to participate and act-out-self. Some of these packaged drama are designed to make us laugh, while some are designed to makes us cry. Whether theatre is designed to make us laugh or cry, the condition of man is at the centre of every piece of drama.

You may have seen the British comedy serial "Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em". Frank Spencer, the character around whom the story revolves, is unintentionally destructive under very funny circumstances. He is a danger to every property he comes in contact with, leading to inability to keep steady job, loss of self confidence and of extreme psychological trauma to his life fiancée, Betty. And often, he laments as the reality haunts him, "I'm a failure". Once a while, he is taken to a hospital for interactive discussion that often yields no positive result because he appears to be normal. But between a split-second of distraction before discharge, the office equipment would come crashing, such that could lead to fire outbreak or something worse. The same situation occurs at job interviews. In these hilarious episodes, we inadvertently laugh at our brother, friend and family member. But Frank is distraught and misunderstood. Frank persistently "goes through a difficult period" (S0E01-The Job Interview) and makes those around him do the same. He is safe and sure only around Betty whom he trusts. How can Frank be helped? Psychodrama can be an alternative. But in psychodrama, we do not give drugs, we give Betty.

Our second example comes from a film titled "For Coloured Girls" which focused on eight women with unique problems; each involved in a relationship arising from poor judgment. …

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