Theatre therapy or drama therapy is the therapeutic and intentional use of dramatic processes, such as story telling, role play and improvisation, to facilitate personal growth, enhance self-worth, instill more appropriate behaviors, improve functioning and reinforce proactive choices in a safe and flexible environment. Thus, Application of Theatre Therapy is essential to help recover people from substance abuse
Drama Therapy was initially developed in the 1930s by a psychiatrist, seeking to develop alternative methods of treatment for anxiety-ridden patients. He thus observed how role play and experimental theatre freed people to reveal their thoughts and feelings. He then began to incorporate drama into psychotherapy. Decades later, many experts are now embracing this form of experiential psychotherapy as a way to resolve stressful issues and treat the disease of addictions. When applied to people with addiction, theatre therapy is specially effective because it provides chemically dependent clients with an opportunity to safely practice the behaviors necessary for abstinence.
HOW THEATRE THERAPY HEPLS IN THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY :
Application of Theatre Therapy is essential as it help recover people from substance abuse. People begin to abuse because of drugs and alcohol for a number of reasons. Some feel the need to dull their senses as a way to avoid the feelings of pain or sadness whereas others rely on substance to mask fear or run from painful situations. However, Theatre therapy goes a long way to help people recover from such substance abuse.
Role of Theatre Therapists
Through an active, experimental approach, theatre therapists guide clients. They also work through emotional disturbances, mental illness, trauma, family, social, educational, vocational and community problems. In addition,, clients set and work towards measurable goals, learn to express feelings appropriately, improve interpersonal skills and strengthen the various roles they play in their personal lives. Basically, theatre therapy promotes an environment in which addicted clients can openly express emotions, explore a drug-free future, develop communication skills, make personal connections and practice honesty. Since it is action-oriented, it allows clients to act out negative behavior like drug seeking and provides the opportunity to practice new skills, such as refusing drugs and to imagine and take on new roles, such as a sober self. In addition, techniques such as role-play and improvisation offer clients a fresh perspective on their behaviors, choices and relationships.
THEATRE THERAPY BY KOLAHOL THEATRE WORKSHOP WITH RECOVERING DRUG ADDICTS :
In Kolahal Theatre Workshop we have worked with people who are recovering from substance abuse. Moreover, we had trained them initially by organizing workshops on theatre therapy. The process of theatre therapy is both insightful and enjoyable.
Addicted individuals tend to be sensitive and creative people. They take quickly to the arts. Moreover, they thrive on being able to express themselves through movement, art, words, music and drama.. Rigorous training and workshop of several months, after that, we staged our third production “Bewarish ” with the recovering drug addicts of Alyana Rehabilitation Center. The characters were also played by them. On the day of performance, none from the audience could differentiate between a regular performer and an ex drug addict. Thus It was a great pride for us,