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How Does Psychodrama Create Change In Recovering Addicts?

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Home QA How Does Psychodrama Create Change In Recovering Addicts?

“More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it.” –Alcoholics Anonymous

Actors and actresses are meant to be seen as though they have feelings- all of them. However, they are acting.  When one is tasked to play a certain role, they have to get into the mind, heart, spirit, and body of whomever or whatever it is they are playing. In life, we also assume roles. Though we may not be aware of the roles we play, we all play a part in our lives, for ourselves, for our social environment, and for people we are in relationships with. How can we change the roles we play if we aren’t aware of them? Psychodrama is a therapeutic approach which challenges those in treatment for addiction issues to look at the roles they play in a literal way.

Psychodrama puts clients on the spot to step into the present moment and really examine what it is like to see addiction from their own perspective as well as the perspective of others. Understanding relational challenges can be hard to do simply by talking about them. Psychodrama brings relationships and life situations alive through storytelling, scene setting, and role playing activities.

Empathy and compassion are important tools for recovery. Both spiritual practices help us to put ourselves into the shoes of another person and identify the universality of the human struggle. Though we may not recognize the details of one’s strife, we can immediately recognize pain we have been through ourselves. When our ability to be empathetic and/or compassionate is blocked, it is usually because we have a difficult time with self-kindness. Addiction is full of guilt, shame, fear, and self-hatred. Since we cannot recognize justness for ourselves, we have a difficult time feeling justness for others. Psychodrama creates a unique environment for addicts to recognize their pain and the pain of others. Creating the removed setting of “acting”, addicts in treatment for recovery are able to open themselves up to a new level of vulnerability which they may not have been able to access before. Feeling safe and protected in the psychodrama therapeutic session, some find their ability to express themselves in “hypothetical” situations which mirror real life.

Design For Change serves as a refuge for those in recovery offering treatment programs and recovery services. For more information, call (877) 267-3646 today.  

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