This is why I have considered it a good thing to have found information online regarding drama therapy. There is no single solution or one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to catharsis even when it comes to individuals constantly plagued with issues, personal or otherwise. Sometimes it can be easily viewed as an effective approach to increasing the interest in the arts.
According to the book "Acting for Real: Drama Therapy Process, Technique and Performance" by drama therapist Renee Emunah, drama therapy through dramatic play produces the following benefits to children particularly kids that managed to enjoy their childhoods:
- Symbolically expressing and resolving internal conflict
- Assimilating reality
- Achieving a sense of mastery and control
- Releasing pent-up emotions
- Learning to control potentially destructive impulses through fantasy
- Expressing hopes and wishes
- Experimenting with new roles and situations
- Developing a sense of identity
It gets you thinking that at some point, play time for kids meant a way for them to enjoy being kids while at the same time looking forward to a happy adulthood once they get to play the roles for real. The conventional games usually seen in kids in the countryside, for example, is seeing them play mother and father. Some get into playing doctors - dressing in a white coat, getting a rope or something similar to stand in as the stethoscope and having a doll or teddy bear stand in as the patient. The kid may not know what a pediatrician is yet but he or she knew what a doctor is and that is someone in charge of the sick.
Does this analogy apply the moment some of these kids reach adulthood? Yes through the element of spontaneity as Emunah mentioned in her book as she described the work of drama therapy researcher David Read Johnson. She says "Analysis of degree of spontaneity, style of improvisational role play, and maintenance of boundaries exhibited by clients in their play are some of the elements he employs in diagnosis (which is an important part of his research and practice)."
Now she quoted Johnson him regarding the process he developed in drama therapy - transformations - "roles and scenes are constantly transformed and reshaped according to the clients' ongoing stream of consciousness and internal imagery". Sounds like improv theater right? You spit out lines and act out parts based on what is in your head at the moment. You are not forced to be creative. You only unleash stuff that may have been stuck in your head all along waiting for some sort of release. This is why it's fun for kids to do this since the element of play gives them the opportunity to be anything they want to be.
Want some dose of that drama therapy? With the help of Humanist Alliance Philippines International Inc's "Confidence Through Theater Workshop", each one of you reading this would get the opportunity to let go of all your issues without having to charge anything. This is for free and open to all individuals aged 16 and above. To be held at iChill Theater Cafe, it will be facilitated by theater veteran Kuya Manzano on April 5, 2015. Click here for further details and click "Join" as well to secure your slot. Here's to hoping that your appearance at said event be secured. Thank you very much.