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Contemporary Theories and Therapies

Psychodrama

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Psychotherapy in various forms and under various names has existed for many years. The term "mental therapeutics" was used in 1876 in a paper published in the American Journal of Insanity (now the American Journal of Psychiatry). An original form of psychotherapy, psychodrama was introduced in the 1920s and was accepted by the psychiatric community.

Jacob Levy Moreno, M.D., the originator of psychodrama, was born in Romania in 1892 and grew up in Vienna. In 1917 he received his medical degree from the University of Vienna, where his education included experience in the psychiatry clinic. He then became a health officer and set up a general practice in a suburb of Vienna. He came to the United States in 1925 and settled in New York.

 

source: http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/38/10/60

 

Psychodrama is a method of psychotherapy which explores, through action, the problems of people. It is a group working method, in which each person becomes a therapeutic agent for others in the psychodrama group. Psychodrama is performed much like theater, with a stage, props, and balconies.
 
 
 

As there is no universally agreed-upon statement of its therapeutic objectives, psychodrama was assumed to influence dependent variables such as personality, locus of control, symptoms, attitudes, and overt behavior. A mixture of formal and informal, direct and indirect, objective and projective, and clinical and statistical methods of assessment was used to measure these variables.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Psychodrama  uses the creative energy within the group to serve the process of healing and change. The group atmosphere is supportive,encouraging, and dynamic. The process offers a creative way to move beyond old scripts, beliefs, or unconscious bonds  to the past, to a greater awareness of the answers available through being alive  to our own creative potential. 
 

 

 

source: http://lifestage.org/Psychodrama/psychodrama.html

 

 

The reason that psychodrama is useful to the social work practice is because it offers a new way of treatment for a client. Instead of the same process each time, psychodrama is a new way for a social worker to assess and treat a client.

Keosha Smith * Social Work 355 * Fall 2005