Drama Therapy

Drama therapy is a form of holistic psychotherapy that can help treat symptoms associated with mental health disorders, abuse & trauma, addiction, family conflict, and social problems. It does so by employing the use of drama and theater techniques to achieve therapeutic goals. The therapy allows individuals to explore fictional situations and stories in order to gain social experiences that can translate into real world scenarios.

Art therapy drama and music

How Drama Therapy Works

Drama therapy is typically employed to improve behavioral, communication, and social skills, as well as boost self-confidence to help patients’ become more comfortable with real world situations.

The therapy stimulates the brain via the use of games, exercises and roll play, in which participants get to tell their stories, solve problems, express feelings, achieve their goals and achieve catharsis as a result of their efforts.

Through this series of therapies and treatments, drama therapy aims to promote multi-sensory stimulation (auditory, visual, and tactile) to aid the development of skill acquisition, learning and performing, public speaking and carrying oneself in public.

Drama vs Music Therapy

Whilst closely associated with Music Therapy, which is officially recognized in medical literature as an effective form or special education, it is important to understand that drama therapy remains and experimental practice.

Despite there being almost no official research, according to the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, drama therapy dates to the 18th century in Europe when medical reports begin to note health practitioners use of the technique.

Although very few credible studies have been performed through the ages, nowadays there has come to be wealth of anecdotal reports, as well as a growing number of studies, that are slowly quantifying the efficiency of drama therapy.

Although there may appear to many similarities between Music and Drama therapy, the way in which they work on the brain and body is actually quite different. Whereas music therapy utilizes the brain’s unique response to either listening to, or playing music, drama therapy focuses more on replicating real world social situations, in a fun, stress-free environment.

Nevertheless, drama therapy still offers a treatment method that, unlike medication, is free from the risk of side effects or adverse reactions.

 

 

Drama therapy is a form of creative art therapy. It utilizes drama and theater techniques in a therapeutic manner to
assist people in exploring their emotions, and working through challenges, both social and personal.

How Drama Therapy Works

Drama therapy is typically employed to improve behavioral, communication, and social skills, as well as boost self-confidence to help patients’ become more comfortable with real world situations.

The therapy stimulates the brain via the use of games, exercises and roll play, in which participants get to tell their stories, solve problems, express feelings, achieve their goals and achieve catharsis as a result of their efforts.

Through this series of therapies and treatments, drama therapy aims to promote multi-sensory stimulation (auditory, visual, and tactile) to aid the development of skill acquisition, learning and performing, public speaking and carrying oneself in public.

  • Improve behavioral skills
  • Improve interpersonal relationship skills
  • Improve physical and emotional well-being
  • Improve quality of life
  • Achieve personal growth and self-awareness

Benefits of Drama Therapy

Drama therapy offers a number of health benefits for participants. These include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Boost creativity
  • Relieve depression
  • Help process trauma
  • Develop personality
  • Improve concentration
  • Develop self-awareness
  • Express emotions clearer
  • Overcome eating disorders
  • Improve social relationships
  • Boost self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Overcome challenging life situations
  • Reduce some symptoms and cravings of addiction
  • Reduce some symptoms of Schizophrenia and/or Dementia
Drama Therapy

Benefits

Drama therapy can familiarise participants with real world situations to provide a number of social and emotional benefits. By utilizing drama and theater techniques in a theraputic manner, the therapy can offer relief from anxiety and emotional stress when in public.

Who Are The Best Candidates for Drama Therapy?

Drama therapy is suitable for patients of any age, but is especially effective for children, toddlers and young adults with social and/or behavioral issues. It may be used in conjunction with other therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Drama therapy can be a great alternative, or supplement, to medications used to treat depression, anxiety, trauma and substance abuse.

It can also be extremely helpful to those who find talking, socializing or the intimacy of traditional therapy, awkward and difficult to cope with.

Furthermore, a 2021 study conducted by a team from the UMass Psychotic Disorders Program’s Arts and Music module initiative, showed that drama therapy could help treat individuals with serious mental illnesses such bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

Drama Therapy Treatments

Drama therapy utilizes a number of different creative techniques from the performing arts to help treat patients in the most fun, memorable and stress-free manner possible:

These creative techniques include, but are not limited to:

  • Acting
  • Creative Writing
  • Games
  • Guided Visualizations
  • Improvisation
  • Puppetry
  • Role-Playing
  • Storytelling

Drama therapy can offer a fun and risk free treatment to help relieve stress, ease social discomfort, improve social skills and as a result, it can also reduce anxieties associated with social interactions.

Experience the Benefits of Drama Therapy

The Koru method of practice is established through relationship. See How Drama Therapy Can Treat Conditions and Improve Overall Health and Well-Being

Ideal Candidate for Drama Therapy

Music therapy has been shown to help patients of any age, suffering from a number of conditions. These therapies can reduce symptoms in students suffering from one or more of the following conditions:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Blindness/Visual Impairment (BVI)
  • Deafness and Hard of Hearing (D/HH)
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  • Emotional Disturbance (ED)
  • Speech or Language Impairment (SLI)
  • Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Multiple Disabilities (MD)
  • Behavioral Disorder (BD)
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI)

Drama Therapy

Enjoy the fun-filled social benefits of Drama Therapy!

Drama Therapies FAQs

Drama therapy has reportedly used as a treatment for diagnostically heterogeneous groups at a rate of 40%, for emotional and behavioral difficulties at 33%, and following traumatic experience at 20%. 

Drama therapy is suitable for individuals of any age; however, it is often employed to aid social and emotional develop of children, adolescents and young adults, largely in part due to there being no risks of harmful side effects.

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) represents 10,000 music therapists, corporate members, and related associations worldwide. AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, and research in support of the music therapy profession.

AMTA’s mission is to advance public knowledge of music therapy benefits and increase access to quality music therapy services. Learn more at www.musictherapy.org.

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