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Psychodrama and meaning of terms

Psychodrama is a form of therapy, in which patients undergoing treatment are allowed to explore issues through play-action methods, involving role-playing and group therapy. This form of psychotherapy was designed to help patients gain new perspectives on their inner conflicts and emotions; discover that there are new ways to solve problems, and see that not everyone thinks and feels the same way that they do.

The practice of psychodrama is based on the principles of creativity and spontaneity, combined with sociometry, group dynamics and role theory that help patients achieve cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses.

History of psychodrama

The psychodrama was founded in the 20th century, in Vienna, by Jacob Moreno (Romanian-American psychiatrist). Moreno founded this form of therapy as a truly therapeutic method, whose main objective is the healing of all humanity. For this author, the psychic healing of the individual and the psychic healing of the group or society were totally interdependent, therefore if the group or society is contaminated, so will the individual, since this is part of the system.

Although it was believed that Moreno was a follower and even a disciple of Freud , this was denied, because although he shared some of his statements, he also refuted others. Psychodrama arose completely independently of psychoanalysis.

For Moreno, Freud’s method of focusing on the individual, his internal conflicts, his unconscious and leaving aside the broader factors such as the environment and the society in which he inhabits, was not a therapeutic method focused on helping people. people in general, but focused on the individual. He himself said that the limited to verbal exchange of psychoanalysis, makes him unable to take advantage of the holistic process of human self-expression. Hence the well-known phrase of this author: «Freud analyzes dreams. I help people to dream again. »

In 1930, Moreno founded the Beacon Hospital, which offered therapeutic theater where psychodrama could be practiced as part of therapy; In 1942, he founded the American Society for Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.

Today this form of group healing therapy is practiced all over the world.

Meaning of psychodrama terms

Psychodrama sessions are generally conducted as weekly group therapy sessions, usually made up of up to 12 members.

Each psychodrama therapy focuses on the life situation of an individual (member of the group), with other members of the group assuming roles as the psychotherapist deems necessary.

Below we offer the meaning of some of the most important terms when it comes to understanding psychodrama as a psychotherapeutic current .


Coined by Jacobo Levi Moreno to designate the therapist in charge of organizing the dramatization . Today is preferred to use coordinator grup or . Its function is to organize the stages of the session, facilitate understanding and elaboration through signs, etc. and accompany the protagonist in the dramatization.

Often the coordinators are more than one, being able to alternate in coordinating the dramatization (COTERAPIA).


It is the person who is chosen by the group to dramatize . The protagonist will be chosen by the group to star in a conflict, will lend their personal scenes to the group and will be the one who, coordinated by the therapist, will dramatize them in the “here and now” of group events. With this technique it is sought that the other members of the group observe the situation and see how the protagonist behaves, and then make a group return of the same.

Role reversal

The protagonist leaves his own role and takes the role of a significant person in his life (such as a family member, friend or partner). This action is intended to help the protagonist to increase his empathy and understand the person represented; also help the director better understand the dynamics of the relationship.

I help

The protagonist becomes an observer while the members of the group  collaborate with the protagonist in the dramatization, playing complementary roles and protagonist roles that appear in the scene to be dramatized. With this technique, it is intended that the protagonist see the situation from the outside and reflect on his actions, thoughts and emotions.


  1. Warming up
  2. Dramatization
  4. Moreno attached great importance to it, raising it to the rank of method . The possibility of accessing spontaneity was directly related to the warmth that the director had to promote . Today it is not a method but a series of devices that the group coordinator uses and that can include, for example: playful techniques, corporal expression, relaxation.
  5. It consists of the staging, the representation of the scene chosen to dramatize and the technical resources used by the coordinator to accompany the protagonist to de-center it , elaborate conflictive aspects and / or understand resistance elements.
  6. At the end of the dramatization itself, time is allowed to make comments in order to understand what elements and affects emerged . At this stage, time is provided for a group discussion about the events that took place in the action stage. Group members can consider how their thoughts or observations might have an impact on the ways the protagonist interacts or relates to others.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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