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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Acting Out! Psychodrama: Healing Eating Disorders and Addictions

Effectively employing psychodrama requires mastery of specific techniques, as well knowledge and experience in the ethics of how and when to employ such interventions.

Sally Acts Out

Sally, the protagonist, (main character) stands in the center of the room with her shoulders caved in enclosing her heart, her head in hands while tears roll down her face.
Heather, her alter ego, is at her right side supportively taking a stand against the life-long disruptive voices that fostered Sally’s crippling depression and eating disorder.
Harry plays the role of Sally’s’ most unrelenting critical inner voice standing directly in front of her, his finger pointed towards her. “You are pathetic, no good, just like your mother!” Further away, another peer plays a more distant yet troubling voice that never ceases. “You are no good, you are not thin and nobody will accept you…” Over and over the voices echoed in this symphony of inner chaos as Sally stood quietly while other peers supported her to fight them off. Heather repeats to Sally the words she is working hard to believe, to take in. Sally soon opens up her arms, pulls back her shoulders stamps the ground with one foot forward as she leans into the space that assaults her boundaries and yells, “Get out! You are no longer allowed to live in my head and heart!” Sally motions for these voices to be moved further away from her boundary space bringing in the voices she is claiming and practicing to become her own. She asks Heather and others to surround her as her inner circle repeating words of love, compassion, and nurturing logic.

The Power of Psychodrama

Here in lies the power of the psychodrama. Such a Cognitive Distortion and Remediation map can be constructed by the client with the skilled assistance of the Director, the group leader. For Sally, this intervention enabled her to claim and strengthen adaptive, fresh beliefs building her motivation for self-acceptance, relational health, and supporting a continued recovery choices and living. The psychodrama work can be referenced to reinforce and maintain this change by connecting heart, mind, and body.
At Rosewood we understand a pivotal part of the work of recovery includes gaining an understanding of core traumas and how they leave undeniable impressions on one’s development and relationship schemes. Many patients come with wounds that are coded and expressed through somatic sufferings. Hence, we utilize a variety of action oriented techniques that help patients identify, name, claim, and embody their untold and hidden experiences. These interventions assist patients in working through the traumas so they don’t continue to destructively numb themselves in order to keep them at bay.
For eating disorder help 800-845-2211 or visit rosewoodranch.com.