The Power of Psychodrama

Lovely Tess shares her experience in our Psychodrama group…

There are two things that I can remember from my first day in clinic. Firstly, the amount of love I was showered with. Secondly, this peculiar group called Psychodrama.

Going into this group I was thinking to myself “I’ve done drama therapy before, so same thing right?”  I was totally unaware of what lay ahead of me.

We sat in a circle and did our usual check in. Then each person brought something that they were in touch with and wanted to explore. Being the newbie I was told to watch. As the themes emerged the group choose to work with the theme that had the most energy, and that person became the protagonist. “What the hell is going on?” I thought to myself. I decided to give it a chance and sit through it.

I remember sitting in awe for the rest of the session as the protagonist explored her story with the help of the group.  Each person would play a different character in the story, which could be anyone from a mother or friend, to her inner child or an inner strength. People would then role reverse and empathize with the different roles and relate it back to similar situations from their own lives. It came to an end when the protagonist had several perspectives of the situation and a bit more understanding.

I remember relating to the different parts and really seeing how there are so many sides to a story. This group was unlike any group I had ever done and it showed me how strong the power of empathy can be. I walked out the group thinking to myself, “Yep, this is the place for me.”

As my journey with this group continued, my confidence grew and I went from playing parts in someone else’s story to eventually becoming the protagonist myself. I had some incredibly moving moments in this group. My first time as the protagonist helped me begin to heal my relationship with food. Then there was another where I learned to put in boundaries with friends. I had one where I connected to my 6-year-old self and explored my relationship dynamics with authoritative figures. On Valentines Day I was taken back to my 15-year-old self and helped me to feel love for her. There were many more that I did but these were the ones that stood out for me.

After being in this group for over a year, I noticed that my empathic skills had developed to a point where I felt that I could continue to do this work more on the outside. It is such a powerful group that it really was what made me decide that clinic was the place where I would recover and that belief is still very much there.

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