Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Drama Therapy Helps Teens in Recovery

Drama therapy takes a unique approach to helping teens by using drama techniques to include doing improvisation, role-playing, using puppets and acting out stories. It is an active, experiential form of therapy that helps teens gain self-confidence and explore new problem solving skills.
What is Drama Therapy?
Drama therapy combines drama and therapy methods to offer teens new ways to express what they are thinking or feeling in order to cope more effectively with behavioral and emotional problems. No previous experience or dramatic training is needed for a teen to participate. A Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) facilitates this specialized type of therapy.
Drama therapy appeals to teens for the following reasons:
  • The chance to rehearse new ways of being or acting
  • Telling their story to an audience 
  • The story details and ending can be changed
  • Acting-out is encouraged as a learning tool
  • Looking at problems from a different perspective 
Examples of drama therapy:
  1. A teen having significant conflict with a sibling is asked to role-play a scene in which they pretend to be the sibling and speak from their perspective. 
  2. In a group setting each teen acts out the role they take in the group such as someone who exhibits leadership or is scapegoated by others.
Amongst the expressive therapies drama therapy offers the best forum for teens to try on new roles, ways of relating and expressing how they feel. Drama therapy and other expressive therapies are usually offered in residential treatment programs.

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