Academic journal article Field Educator

Psychodrama Preparation for Internship

Academic journal article Field Educator

Psychodrama Preparation for Internship

Article excerpt

Psychodrama is a psychotherapeutic technique that aims to guide patients in expressing their life experiences through dramatic enactments. It is a clinical technique that can also enhance clinical skill learning. According to Avrahami (2003), psychodrama focuses on a "protagonist," or drama character, to explore life issues, conflicts, unfinished business, and maladaptive behaviors in front of a group of learners or patients. Psychodrama has been shown to be successful because it is action-oriented (Dayton & Nicholas, 2009) and offers discussions of each session between the therapist and the protagonist (played by a client) (Avrahami, 2003; Drakulic, 2010). Jenkyns (2008) suggests that psychodrama can be used as a supervisory tool, as it is a "projective work" approach that encourages professionals to act or observe the enactment of life situations relevant to clients (p. 99). Hinkle (2008) calls this a "parallel learning" process in that a counseling professional learns through the enactment group and appreciates learning from the client's perspective (p. 401). This article illustrates the experiential use of psychodrama techniques to provide internship orientation and its educational impact on an MSW intern . We analyzed the intern's notes and the supervisor's responses for evidence that using psychodrama could provide interns the means to conduct self-reflective learning to prepare them for placement.

Using Psychodrama in Treatment

Recent literature addresses the use of psychodrama in clinical practice and illustrates its dual utility for clinical practice and social work education. A prominent therapeutic issue related to the use of psychodrama as a treatment modality is about clients' fears to disclose their problems. In order to help clients understand the importance of therapy in a group setting, every group member, including the clinician, participates in a psychodrama to visualize the process of how influential life factors can be examined. Garfield (2003) suggests that life force analysis is best revealed when an action-oriented approach is used, following a role reversal experience to identify life stressors or facilitators that have either negatively or positively impacted the client. When using the action-oriented technique, treatment goals are identified before the action takes place, so that the clients involved can connect learning from observations to therapeutic successes (Haen, 2007). With role reversal, personal inner problems and transpersonal conflicts are experientially examined and confronted by playing another person's role. The visual impact of personal involvement enables the clients to feel and see changes in the psychodrama moment. The use of these techniques is to encourage clients to experience the "now" moment, which is a visual and experiential way of exploring and analyzing one's thinking patterns as related to actions and behaviors (Vassilious, Livas, Karapostoli, & Papdakis, 2006).

There are a number of outcomes studies of psychodrama. For example: Kipper and Hundal (2003) use thirty-four cases to illustrate the impact of using role-play psychodrama as an intervention modality. They conclude that the techniques are congruent with psychotherapeutic theories that aim to achieve therapeutic change. In a meta-analysis conducted by Kipper and Ritchie (2003), "role reversal" (stepping into "another person's shoes") and "doubling" (inviting another group member to imitate a participant's role and actions) have been proven effective for promoting a client's involvement in psychodrama therapy. In another study with twelve adult participants in psychodrama, Kim (2002) found that the most beneficial therapeutic factors were the existential elements of re-enactment and universalization. When clients use their own self by re-experiencing the past in order to understand current feelings, psychodrama produces a positive effect toward change and reduces resistance. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.