Bannister readily acknowledges that the creative group noticed that some children did not respond to the therapy in a way that showed it was a productive approach for those particular kids. The team's initial response was to reassess how they were interacting with those particular children. The final assessment the team made was that they, as an outside source, could not provide the complete or total stimuli for the children to react in the way that would help the team to identity the therapeutic direction for those particular kids, and that it required the participation of family members to do that. It is to these individual losses and changes in personality that the tool of psychodrama is intended to, perhaps not cure, because, as Hudgins said, the core of the traumatic experience continues to exist; but it is possible to re-establish the connection in time, event vs. The present. It is possible to affect the perception, and the behavioral reaction to the reality of the event. Hudgins writes that the individuals affected are "prone to action and deficient in words."
It is interesting to note, too, that even with psychodrama, the therapists recognized it as a tool, one of many in the repertoire of psychoanalysis and psychotherapies. Their work with children was challenging, and there was really no quick fix to the problems the children they were working with faced. Psychodrama did, however, prove useful in bringing those problems to the surface so that, together, the patient and therapist could work through them. Assessing and reassessing the progress of psychodrama is tangential to its success. Recognizing the need for a different approach, or bringing into the interactive process other participants is essential. It is important to always keep sight of the child's life, the participants and supporting players in the child's life.
Psychodrama has proven useful in therapeutic work with people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). M. Katherine Hudgins (2002) looks at how psychodrama helps victims of PTSD move towards successful therapeutic recovery of their traumatic war experiences. Hudgins says that after the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center in 2001, members of their therapeutic team that she worked with that was responsible for developing the Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM) responded to the needs of the public and rescue people and police officers following the events. The model is the product of twenty years of research, and Hudgins reports that it has been used to success in cases of PTSD stemming from imprisonment, torture, and grief stemming from the events surrounding September 11, 2001.
For those whom might be surprised by the use of TSM in treating PTSD, Hudgins points out that the patient/client has a choice, and, like Farmer and Beaulieu, Hudgins looks at TSM as a tool, psychodrama as a choice to be presented to the patient, or to be decided upon therapeutically in order that the patient/client is able to benefit from everything that psychotherapy has to offer the patient in managing their condition. Hudgins says that it is useful in managing the PTSD, but that it does not "treat" the core trauma that causes these very symptoms.
Flashbacks from the past interrupt the present moment. Body memories crash through during moments of intimacy. Feelings of being a little child in an adult's body are frequent. People with PTSD often have a sense of simultaneously inhabiting two worlds - the "real," outside world and what occurring in it, and a world comprised of the happenings inside them: their thoughts, feelings, and reactions."
Hudgins' says that psychodrama provides the way to communicate the chaos that the PTSD client is experiencing with others. This is consistent with what Beaulieu and Farmer said, and when considered in terms of the patient to precipitating factor relationship, it just makes sense. It is the inability to communicate to others the chaos that exacerbates the patient's condition to a level that exceeds the patient's ability to manage. In addition to being stressful and frustrating for the patient, it can be equally as frustrating and stressful to the people in the patient's life. In the case of PTSD, there is always the concern that it can manifest itself in ways that are harmful to the patient or to others.
The TSM intends to help the patient by:
Client friendly constructs that internal, self-organization for trauma survivors.
Clear clinical action structures for safe experiential practice with trauma survivors.
Advanced action intervention modules for containment, expression, repair, and integration of unprocessed trauma material.
This is the tool of psychodrama. It is a tool that is interactive, and that "plays out" the therapeutic re-enactment, or the way in which the client tells of the events through a story, by way of physical interaction with the expression.
The Images of Psychodrama
Understanding psychodrama as a tool does not necessarily help to gain an overall understanding of the tool. it's to have perhaps a book, but the game plan has to be executed in order to gain the sense of what it is in reality. Wilma Scategni (2002) describes the processes and dreams of psychodrama. Scategni briefly delves into the history of psychodrama, making it come across as somewhat obscure, perhaps even an "art" whose origins is lost in history.
The ancients had no psychology, properly speaking, but they had myths, the speculative tellings about humans in relation with more-than-human forces and images. We moderns have no mythology, properly speaking, but we have psychological systems, the speculative theories about humans in relation with more-than-human forces and images, today called fields, instincts, drives, complexes."
When put into this perspective, it is easy to gain a sense of what Scategni is talking about, because we have the hieroglyphics to reference as visual understanding. The hieroglyphics played, psychodrama, the dynamics of what the rulers wanted to convey to their subjects, be it conquest, or their interaction with their deities. But they provide the visualization that demonstrates that psychodrama - even though it was perhaps not called that - was being employed since the time of the ancients.
As a tool of psychotherapy, Scategni says, psychodrama is attributable to Jacob L. Moreno, in 1889. Moreno described what he considered his own first psychodrama experience, while playing with friends. It is the late 19th century version of little boys who play cowboys and Indians, or the war game, or the game of young children playing tag, acting out the first emergence of attraction that can not be explained by the young girl or boy, in part because they lack the vocabulary, and for those that have the vocabulary, they cannot bring themselves to admit it. So they push, instead of tag.
It is becoming easier now to gain the visual of psychodrama. When used in psychotherapy, psychodrama is perhaps more specifically related to the trauma or the event that is too difficult for the individual to cope with on a conscious level. Some of those events have already been introduced here, and there is no single gender, age, or profession that trauma hits; because it can strike any one at any given moment.
A person's entrance into a psychodrama group is often marked by a sort of initiatory entrance through a 'narrow door'. Emotions, tears, and a heightened potential for empathy sanction his or her emotional entrance into the group. For psychodrama, entering through the 'narrow door' means that a participant brings some deeply meaningful piece of himself and of his life history to the group. He may feel as if he is giving himself or his dreams 'to the group to feed on' and is letting himself be chewed or ripped up into pieces in the hope of being put together again at a higher level of consciousness."
Dreams, too, are a form of individual psychodrama, where in an obscure way the mind acts as the therapist, attempting to help the individual sort through the myriad of images that have a meaning in the life of the individual.
While these are perhaps the more traditional approaches and images of psychodrama, Jose Fonseca (2004) looks at the more contemporary applications of psychodrama. New approaches to psychodrama do not forego the knowledge that brought it into the therapeutic…
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