Introduction to Psychodrama

"Tell me, and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand."
Psychodrama is an action method of psychotherapy founded by Viennese J. L. Moreno, M.D. It is often used in groups but also used in individual psychotherapy. It is a way of practising living without being punished for making mistakes. It is an exploration of truth through dramatic method. It is considered a rehearsal for living. Psychodrama is a therapy of relationships, or a therapy for fallen Gods. Psychodrama, with a trained director or therapist, explores problems and issues of every day life, either professional or personal in nature. Insight, integration and resolution are achieved through participating in this action method with other members of the group and/or with the therapist. A contract is made with the client or protagonist as to what they want to achieve within the session. Both the client and the therapist work within that contract. The scenes all take place in the present, even though they may have happened in the past, or may occur in the future. Surplus reality may be used to enable the client to say and do what has never been said or done.
Action methods involve physical, cognitive and emotional movement of the client rather than sitting and talking, as in more conventional therapy. The protagonist may enact a scene from their life using their familiar space, time, reality and expression. The focus is on what doesn't happen in life and what life doesn't give the client the opportunity to express. It may free the person, to do in life, something different or alternative to what was expressed in the session. Spontaneity and creativity are the cornerstones of this method. There is time available to discuss and share the process.
Techniques such as role reversal, doubling and mirroring may be used to enhance and deepen the expression of unconscious thought and feeling or of material difficult to access. If behaviour can become conscious rather than unconscious, and if the implicit drama can be made explicit, the client has more choice over their behaviour. If the work is done in a group, a group member may be asked to play the role of the client's significant other, such as girlfriend, mother or boss. The group member may or may not agree to play the role, depending on their willingness. no one is forced to participate. Each group member decides the level of participation. The role of the significant other is showed by the protagonist, in action, and the role is described. The protagonist is able to continually help with the role by role reversal and playing the role through his/her own perception. The group member creates within the role and reports the feelings and thoughts in the role.
The auxiliary ego, or group member playing the role, is a therapeutic agent of the director and each group member is a therapeutic agent of the other group members.  
There are stages to the psychodrama. These are called the warm up, the enactment, the sharing and the closure. It is a safe and creative atmosphere. Moreno wanted to be remembered as the man who brought joy and laughter into psychiatry.