Acting For Real
eBook - ePub

Acting For Real

Drama Therapy Process, Technique, and Performance

Renée Emunah

  1. 356 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (adapté aux mobiles)
  4. Disponible sur iOS et Android
eBook - ePub

Acting For Real

Drama Therapy Process, Technique, and Performance

Renée Emunah

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À propos de ce livre

This second edition takes the reader further into the heart of using drama for healing. Dr. Emunah offers an expanded understanding of her Integrative Five Phase model, a foundational approach that embraces the wide spectrum of possibilities within the playing field of drama therapy. Grounded by compassionate clinical examples, including ones that reach over time into deep-seated issues, the book offers tools for action-oriented treatment, embodied therapeutic interventions, and creatively engaging a wide variety of clients.

This comprehensive text also contains over 120 techniques, categorized by phases in the session and treatment series, and subcategorized by therapeutic objective. Process-oriented drama therapy with group and individuals, as well as performance-oriented forms, are described in vivid detail. New to the second edition is an exploration of drama therapy outside of the clinical arena, including dramatic methods in family life and parenting, and drama therapy geared toward social change.

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Informations

Éditeur
Routledge
Année
2019
ISBN
9781317533887
Édition
2
Sous-sujet
Psychotherapy

PART I

Process

CHAPTER 1

Stages

The Integrative Five Phase Model of Drama Therapy

Introduction

During my college years, I could not choose between theatre and psychology. Eventually I bridged the two. In some ways, the Integrative Five Phase model reflects my refusal to compromise any of the central properties and potentialities within the realm of theatre as therapy; they are all of equal interest and merit to me: (1) the healthful if not essential value of play; (2) the liberation afforded by acting; (3) the need for a laboratory space to rehearse, review, preview, and experiment with real life; (4) the emotionally and somatically based opportunity to dramatically revisit, grapple with, and heal deep-seated wounding; and (5) the containing, transcendent, and integrative power of dramatic ritual. As drama therapists, how can we make use of all these properties, without compromising any—and in a way that feels natural, rather than like an assortment? How can each facet not only be brought to the fore fully, skillfully and ethically, but also invite and reinforce the other facets? The responses to these questions are at the core of the Integrative Five Phase model.
The Integrative Five Phase model of drama therapy represents a developmental course of treatment, in which the therapeutic journey is paced and progressive, instilling a sense of gradual unfolding. Each stage paves the way for the next stage, spiraling a series of sessions toward deeper levels of play, intimacy, and self-revelation. In groups, the work typically progresses from a focus on interactive dramatic play, to developed theatrical scenes, to role play dealing with personal situations, to culminating psychodramatic enactments exploring core themes, and ends with dramatic ritual that facilitates integration and closure.
The first two phases proffer the gift of play and acting, an arena in which clients can freely embody and experiment with roles and emotions. The fictional mode provides a protective safeguard, as well as a means of expanding one’s capacities for (and range of) expression. The shift from the fictional to the personal is typically prompted by the clients. The drama therapist is attentive to the point at which the clients naturally and spontaneously make personal connections to the fictional enactments. This point signals the end of Phase Two; the clients are moved to explore their real lives more directly. The early phases afford a sense of freedom and possibility, and elicit or amplify healthy traits, as clients’ spontaneity, creativity, imagination, humor, and resourcefulness are accessed. The personal work that follows emerges from the fictional scenes and the clients’ associations to these scenes, thereby circumventing the potential pitfall of having preconceived notions of one’s “issues” when one first embarks on psychodramatic work. And as clients delve into matters that are often painful and highly emotional, they are equipped with ego strength and resilience fostered in the earlier phases, and which continue to be honed throughout the drama therapeutic journey. The initial playful stages of the Integrative Five Phase model are a pillar to the later intensely personal stages of work. Experiencing and having others witness one’s strengths creates greater openness to later disclose and examine experiences or parts of the self that are painful, shameful, or frightening.
Elements of early phases remain present even as a group or individual client progresses to later phases. Clients relish occasionally re-experiencing the earlier playful work, and this “return” fosters a continuous and cumulative process. In Phase Three and Four sessions, for example, familiar warm-ups from earlier phases are often revisited, expanded upon, and modified to help clients reconnect to the prior session and prepare for the deeper work ahead. Each stage encompasses and builds on the prior stages, and the final phase is reminiscent of the first phase, bringing the journey full circle.
The Integrative Five Phase Model of drama therapy is a framework for both initiating an intentional drama therapy process and for tracking clients’ evolving needs and stages of readiness—enabling the drama therapist to situate, respond to, and maximize the potential of each particular client and group’s multifaceted therapeutic journey. The model promotes a gentle but ultimately deeply layered therapeutic process, creating a solid container that can hold multiple levels of exploration. A quality of organic progression in the work/play bolsters the therapeutic process. Fears and resistances are minimized and trust is augmented. The phases are not separate blocks, but rather fluid and overlapping stages. The entire model is about fluidity, not rigidity. It is about facilitating what often appears to be a seamless flow and progression, deepening both the aesthetic and therapeutic possibilities of the clinical relationship and treatment journey. It is about meeting each individual client and group in their uniqueness and complexity and facilitating a process that matches their needs, strengths, limitations, personal and cultural sensibilities, and potentialities.
While typically there is a progression from Phase One through Five in group work, the model is not limited to a linear structure. For example, a client or group may begin in Phase Two or Three (when the nature of this phase is most relevant or inviting to that person or group) or a group may linger or remain in a particular phase in which it is thriving. In this sense, each phase can be viewed as a mode of practice within the vast array of possibilities within drama therapy—augmenting the therapeutic direction for that client or group at that particular point in time. The phases provide a roadmap for the drama therapist, helping her to assess and situate herself within this wide array and to determine directions for deepening and expanding the drama therapy journey.
The sense of gradual unfolding within a strong container is significant, as clients over the course of treatment take risks, dive into meaningful layers of healing, and make new discoveries. Yet, because a major aspect of this model involves investigating and enhancing how drama therapy unfolds, progresses, snowballs, and makes a lasting impact over time, the model may not be as easily recognizable as some other models in the field (where, if one were viewing a segment of a session, that model would be readily identifiable). The Integrative Five Phase model of Drama Therapy is based on the notion that within the realm of theatre as therapy, the possibilities are so multifarious that to make full use of the gamut of dimensions of drama therapeutic work, some overarching formation, if not formulation, is needed. While this overarching formation may not always be concretely identifiable in action (at a single point in time), features of the model that are more practically distinguishable are its focus on emotion, relationship, and perspective (rather than, for example, on role or character). The Integrative Five Phase model of drama therapy considers affect as a primary component of well-being, not only in terms of emotional expression but also in the sense of knowing and containing one’s feelings. Another central aspect of mental health highlighted within the model is the quality of relationships with others and with oneself, and the capacity to connect in deep empathic ways (to both others and oneself). A third focal point pertains to the expansion of perspective as a source of wholeness, hope, understanding, and interconnection.
Based in humanistic psychology, the model elicits and augments clients’ health and potentialities. Qualities that bolster self-esteem and self-image are tangibly exhibited within the work/play. The model is also guided by central concepts of psychodynamic, existential, and cognitive-behavioral approaches to psychotherapy. In addition to the expansion of emotional repertoire, perspective, and sense of self that underlies this approach to drama therapy, there is also an acknowledgment of limitation and challenge, and a pursuit of core emotional, psychological, and sociocultural issues that may have impacted or obstructed well-being and optimal functioning. While there is a focus on psychodynamic understanding and healing, life skills are also rehearsed and practiced.
The Integrative Five Phase model is eclectic, encompassing the wide spectrum of processes, techniques, and healing properties innate to the field of drama therapy—typically in a paced, sequenced fashion, requiring reflection and perception on the part of the drama therapist. The model is neither technique-based nor technique dependent, although numerous techniques that tend to catalyze drama therapeutic work are available to the drama therapist. Such techniques are the focus of Part II. Dramatically oriented interventions are more important than techniques, and these are discussed later in Part I. In general, more techniques are utilized in the early phases, and interventions are primary in the latter phases.
The five phases delineated in this chapter are linked to the five conceptual sources described in greater detail in the next chapter. While elements of all five conceptual sources are evident in each phase, each source corresponds to a particular phase. Phase One is most influenced by dramatic play, Phase Two by theatre/acting, Phase Three by role play, Phase Four by psychodrama, and Phase Five by dramatic ritual.
Drama therapy emerged from the art form of drama, and aesthetics are fundamental to the Integrative Five Phase model. Therapeutic work in drama therapy can be infused with an aesthetic sensibility that enriches healing impact. The fusion of aesthetic/theatrical and therapeutic goals ignites the life force in drama therapy. As drama therapists, we can take hold of the aesthetic in all of our work, not only when directing performances but in the sense of wholeness within a session, in the poetic interventions within a cathartic Phase Four scene, and in the potency of imagery or ritual that bring poignant nonverbal closure to sessions.
The Integrative Five Phase model grew out of extensive observation and facilitation of drama therapy groups rather than from pre-formulated structures or designs. The development of the model was based on articulating and conceptualizing what I was witnessing and instinctively facilitating. Over the years, the model has been expanded upon and refined, and used with many different populations and within a wide variety of contexts by many drama therapists. While originally conceived for group work, the model is also useful in individual drama therapy, and while originally conceived for work over a period of time, the model is also applicable to brief drama therapy (both of which are discussed in this chapter).

Core Concepts

The Integrative Five Phase model is based upon the following premises:
  1. The therapeutic journey is eased and strengthened by a sense of gradual unfolding, in which the work is paced and progressive, creating in the clients a sense of security as well as readiness for the next step/level.
  2. The therapeutic relationship is primary and the work is client-centered. The drama therapist pays close attention to the particular needs and dynamics of individuals and groups, continually fashioning a dynamic process that addresses their uniqueness.
  3. Beginning the therapeutic process within a creative drama mode is liberating, enabling clients to experience a sense of freedom from the constraints of everyday life and from engrained patterns. The fictional realm is protective, at the same time that it indirectly enables self-expression and revelation. Over time, the need for safeguards diminishes. However, the start points and overall trajectory vary according to the needs and affinities of particular individual and groups, and the model is not dependent on following a linear progression.
  4. The engagement in the fictional realm circumvents the tendency to immediately rehash predictable, familiar life issues. Over time, the associations clients have between the fictional scenes and their lives lead to a direct working through of real-life issues, but from a fresh, often unexpected perspective. Alternatively, when one begins with real-life issues, later fictional work can expand perspective, repertoire, and options related to personal concerns.
  5. Intense and complex emotions can be safely expressed in the context of fictional roles, scenarios, and acting processes. Through these processes the drama therapist comes to know the client’s capacity and tolerance for emotional expression and the degree of containment s/he needs, information that is useful in guiding the client and making interventions when the client later engages in highly personal scenes.
  6. Developing skills, or at least ease, in drama/acting leads the eventual personal scenes to be performed with greater authenticity. The more authentic the enactment, the more deeply the client is affected. A familiarity with dramatic processes also reduces the cognitive distance or disruption that can occur when a client is responding to various drama therapeutic interventions during emotionally delicate scenework in the latter stages.
  7. The building of trust and interrelationship/s within a group, and/or between drama therapist and client, provides a critical foundation to the later emotional work. The therapeutic value of an individual’s personal scenework is integrally linked to the depth and sensitivity with which other group members—or the drama therapist in individual work—witness, support, empathize with, and thereby help contain that person’s work.
  8. Techniques used in a session are never isolated, but always interrelated, creating a sense of non-disruptive flow, gradual progression, and aesthetic cohesion.
  9. Therapeutic work is action-based, including interventions. Dramatically oriented interventions help to develop, deepen, and contain therapeutic work, and even to afterwards “process” what took place.
The Integrative Five Phase model focuses on three core areas:
  1. The Integrative Five Phase Model is emotionally-based. A central priority is supporting the capacity to identify, express, release, contain, master, “unpack,” transcend, and transform familiar, new, and deep-seated emotions. Emotional expression and containment is built into every phase.
  2. The Integrative Five Phase Model is relationally-based. There is an ongoing emphasis on building capacity to experience play and self-revelation in the context of a meaningful relationship with the therapist and with others. Processes and interventions in each phase emphasize interconnection.
  3. The Integrative Five Phase Model is perspective-based. Underlying all phases is an attempt to expand perspective in terms of deepening understanding of others, one’s own multifaceted nature, sociocultural impact on self and other, and one’s relationship to past, present, and future.
In keeping with these foci, most of the early processes and techniques are geared toward interaction and emotional expression. Interventions during latter phases pay particular attention to emotional expression and containment, interrelationship, and perspective.

The Drama Therapeutic Process

Phase One: Dramatic Play

The first phase lays the foundation for the work that is to follow. A non­threatening, playful, and engaging ambiance is established. Processes include versions of creative drama, improvisation, interactive techniques, and theatre games which have been adapted and modified for therapeutic purposes to further the goals of Phase One (see Part II). In a group drama therapy context, many of the techniques are physically active and most are socially interactive. Dramatic play, the most influential conceptual source of Phase One, generates spontaneity and fosters relationship and interaction. Clients play with relevant themes symbolically, creatively, and collaboratively. Familiar themes and issues are also left behind as clients enter the world of the imagination.
Individual and/or group skills are developed, which in turn promote self-confidence and self-esteem, along with an awareness of, and appreciation for, the qualities of co-participants in group drama therapy. Based on a health model, the strengths of the client are elicited. In keeping with the humanistic paradigm (Maslow, 1999; May, 1994; Rogers, 1961), expressiveness, playfulness, creativity, spontaneity, humor and aliveness are nurtured. These qualities augment clients’ ego-strength, enabling them to tolerate the more intense and vulnerable work which often involves painful self-examination later in the treatment series.
Trust begins to develop—in one’s own capacities, in the drama therapist, and between group members. Acceptance of self and others, a growing connectedness between group members, and group cohesion are central features of a successful group process. Although these features evolve naturally over a period of time, following at times a rocky course, drama offers specific means of accelerating and fortifying this course. Interaction between members, which can be so awkward or minimal in beginning...

Table des matiĂšres

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Praise for First Edition of Acting for Real
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Prologue
  10. Introduction
  11. Part I: Process
  12. Part II: Techniques
  13. Part III: Performance
  14. Part IV: Life
  15. Epilogue
  16. References
  17. Index
Normes de citation pour Acting For Real

APA 6 Citation

Emunah, R. (2019). Acting For Real (2nd ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/1560153/acting-for-real-drama-therapy-process-technique-and-performance-pdf (Original work published 2019)

Chicago Citation

Emunah, Renée. (2019) 2019. Acting For Real. 2nd ed. Taylor and Francis. https://www.perlego.com/book/1560153/acting-for-real-drama-therapy-process-technique-and-performance-pdf.

Harvard Citation

Emunah, R. (2019) Acting For Real. 2nd edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/1560153/acting-for-real-drama-therapy-process-technique-and-performance-pdf (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Emunah, Renée. Acting For Real. 2nd ed. Taylor and Francis, 2019. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.