Past experiences that were left unresolved can be a significant motivation for substance abuse. Whether it was the loss of a loved one or a troubled family home, these memories can play a part in your mental health and lead you to a destructive mindset. Learn how psychodrama therapy works to confront these memories and help those in drug abuse recovery.
What Is Psychodrama Therapy?
Considered a form of experiential therapy, psychodrama therapy has a primary focus on examining your past experiences and learning from them. However, what makes this treatment unique is it incorporates role-playing in order for patients to better understand their emotions.
Psychodrama therapy can make a major impact on those who struggle to confront their emotions or understand how their past experiences have impacted their mental health. While psychodrama therapy allows individuals to open up about their emotions, it also aims to create healthy coping skills from negative memories all in a positive environment.
By acting out past experiences and role-playing, different people involved can better understand other perspectives through dramatic action. This therapeutic role-playing can either be done one-on-one with a counselor or within a group session led by your counselor. Of course, if you’re not comfortable doing so in a group, your therapist can begin with individual sessions and introduce group psychodrama therapy later on in your treatment.
A psychodrama therapy session, whether with an individual or group, usually follows three steps:
- Warm-up: Acting as a way to prepare a patient, the counselor will set objectives for this session and plan the role-playing accordingly. This will also help an individual understand what will follow.
- Action: The individual now becomes the protagonist in their own memory through acting. If in a group session, others may play different roles to better analyze the past situation.
- Sharing: After the role-play has been completed, the therapist will ask everyone to share how they felt and how it impacted them. This is the time that the patient can understand any underlying emotions that were involved which have affected their mental health. This drama works for patients to dig deeper into their feelings and mental health.
Targeting Without Triggering
Of course, what many may be worried about is having to relive a traumatic experience. Having to face trauma can be triggering and have adverse reactions on a person in therapy. That’s why a mental health professional would never ask you to do so.
Instead, these role-playing moments can cover conflicts or past arguments, but never traumatic experiences. Those moments, which can be extremely triggering, are undoubtedly part of your life and can’t be removed. Psychodrama therapy will instead aim to target the harmful thoughts or behaviors that were created due to specific stressors and conflicts.
Additionally, this form of therapy doesn’t have to exactly recreate a past experience, but can also create hypothetical scenarios that can help you better understand your feelings, behaviors to avoid, and solutions for the future.
Psychodrama Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Studies have shown that psychodrama therapy can have a positive effect on those in addiction treatment. Psychodrama sessions used in addiction therapy often address issues that affect the whole group, such as potential triggers for relapse or instances in the past when using drugs or alcohol resulted in behavioral or social issues.
Through group psychodrama therapy, people may learn to manage potential triggers and stresses while enhancing communication, practical skills, and family and societal relationships. Psychodrama therapy can effectively address past and possibly future circumstances.
Psychodrama sessions can assist care teams in better identifying individual and group issues. Doing so allows them to develop and carry out more effective treatment plans and recovery strategies. The American Psychological Association (APA) promotes group therapy — also known as psychotherapy — and claims that this technique is often the best form of first care for non-psychotic diseases.
Avalon Malibu’s Approach to Psychodrama Therapy
At our first-class rehabilitation center, our team ensures that every person feels safe during every psychodrama therapy session. Before starting psychodrama therapy, we examine people to see if they are capable of handling delicate matters. During your therapy sessions, your therapist will also go over the significance of keeping information private.
It may be helpful to ease into therapy before you start acting by doing a variety of warm-up activities. Warm-ups can help ensure that you feel completely comfortable expressing yourself.
You may talk about who you are and where you want to go by using psychodrama. This practice can help you unearth the hidden emotions that underlie your addiction. At Avalon Malibu, you can discover the solutions you’re looking for and make use of them to aid your recuperation both within and outside of therapy. We’ll be sure to help you throughout every step to build a strong foundation for sobriety and mental well-being.
Therapy can benefit anyone and is one of the most influential means to explore your negative emotions of the past and present. At Avalon Malibu, we offer various forms of therapy, including psychodrama therapy, to support you as you build a better life and heal from past experiences. By deepening your connection, not only with yourself but also with others, you can create a healthier mindset. You should never feel unsafe during addiction recovery; that’s why we ensure that all patients are truly ready for this therapy before starting. We realize how intimidating the healing process can be and are here to support you throughout every step of your recovery. To learn more, call us today at (844) 857-5992.