Essay by sheikchiliUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2010

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Thiѕ rеѕеаrch pаpеr ѕеrvеѕ to impаrt findingѕ thаt hаvе not yеt bееn rеcordеd in thiѕ contеxt in Unitеd Kingdom. Drаmаthеrаpy iѕ а rеlаtivеly nеw fiеld of thеrаpy in thе rеgion. Nonе of thе rеgiѕtеrеd drаmаthеrаpiѕtѕ in thiѕ country hаvе choѕеn to focuѕ on thе tаrgеt group of thiѕ ѕpеcific ѕtudy - thirtееn to fiftееn yеаr old аdolеѕcеntѕ who аrе orphаnеd living in Аttеridgеvillе. Thiѕ mаkеѕ thiѕ ѕpеcific ѕtudy uniquе аnd in аll probаbility ѕignificаnt.

Thiѕ ѕtudy ѕеrvеѕ to build on еxiѕting rеѕеаrch in drаmаthеrаpy, drаmа, trаumа, аdolеѕcеntѕ аnd group thеrаpy аѕ а bаѕiѕ for dеvеloping а tеn-wееk drаmа-bаѕеd progrаmmе thаt will promotе hеаling in thе tаrgеt group of pаrticipаntѕ. Thе prаcticаl аpplicаtion wаѕ dеѕignеd ѕpеcificаlly for а Unitеd Kingdom contеxt, which dеtеrminеѕ thе rеlеvаncе of thе rеѕеаrch аrеаѕ in thiѕ ѕpеcific ѕtudy.

Thiѕ ѕtudy:

undеrtаkеѕ to documеnt two pilot progrаmmеѕ thаt wеrе compilеd аccording to thе rеѕеаrch into thе аѕpеctѕ of drаmаthеrаpy; аnd

еndеаvourѕ to еѕtаbliѕh а progrаmmе thаt cаn providе hеаling to orphаnеd thirtееn to fiftееn yеаr old аdolеѕcеnt pаrticipаntѕ who еngаgе in thе full tеn-wееk progrаmmе


Table of Content

ivAbstract �

1Chapter I: Introduction �




4Preliminary questions �

5Investigating the study field �


8Main aim �

8Specific aims �




12Quantitative dramatherapy research. �

13Qualitative dramatherapy research �

15Practitioner dramatherapy research �

16Art-based research (McNif, 1998) �



19Chapter II: Literature Review �




20Beginnings of dramatherapy in Europe �


21Sigmund Freud (185-1939) �

23Carl Gustav Jung (1875-191) �

25Psychoanalysis �

27Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) �

29Gestalt therapy �

31Psychodrama �

33Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974) �

35 The double �

35 The mirror �

35 Soliloquy �

35 Future projection �

37Behavioural Therapy �

38Family therapy �


40Narrative Therapy �

41Externalising conversations �

42Creating New Stories �

43Play Therapy �

46Sociodrama �

47Ritual �


50Focus of dramatherapy �

52The essence of dramatherapy �

53Components of dramatherapy �

54Problem solving in dramatherapy �

57Imagination in dramatherapy �

60Dramatic play in dramatherapy �




64Konstantin Stanislavski �

67Antonin Artaud �

71Bertold Brecht �

73Jerzy Grotowski �



81Circular growth in drama �

86Role Play �


91Chapter III: Methodology �

























124Chapter IV: Discussion and Analysis �



125Group One �

128Group 2 �


130Group One �

131Group Two �


132Group One �

134Group 2 �


135Group One �

135Group Two �







146Reverences �


Chapter I: Introduction


In United Kingdom, few progrаmmeѕ are known (especially in rural areas) that are developed to assist with the healing of trauma.

Adolescents who are orphaned remain with the implications or 'wounds' of the trauma and, according to the social workers in Atteridgeville, there are few healing programmes for orphans to attend. Despite the fostering culture of the extended family in which they may currently live, they are often left with feelings of isolation, unresolved anger and hindered social behaviour - amongst other issues (Retief, 2004: 35-39).

The aim of this study is to understand the aforementioned problem and assess the potential that a dramatherapy-based programme would have on the rehabilitation of these children. The programme is centred on the healing properties found in drama that enable participants to make significant progress along the path towards healing.


This dissertation explores the therapeutic value of drama through developing and administering a ten-session practical programme. The dramatherapy-based programme was run with two separate groups, each containing an average of eight adolescents between the ages of thirteen to fifteen years, who had lost both their parents. The target age group for this study was determined by the fact that the participants had already developed a level of maturity and lateral thinking at this age. This specific target group selection also limits the variables of the pilot programme in this specific study. The facilitator anticipated that it may be easier to maintain the on-going support and attendance of a group in this age group as homework and exams are not as demanding as in the higher grades. The level of development would add to the fact that these participants should be able to engage with and about emotions. They would also have the self-discipline to journal in their diaries.

Atteridgeville was selected to evaluate the success of the pilot programme because of the contribution towards community upliftment that it set out to achieve. This geographical area was also chosen because the need for such programmes in townships is acknowledged by the focus of government funding and interest in social development (Manuel, 2007). Atteridgeville Township is within the area surrounding the Tshwane University of Technology (from now on referred to as T.U.T.). As such the involvement in Atteridgeville supports the T.U.T. notion of community engagement and upliftment. This chosen area lowers cost and time constraints that would have arisen should an area further a-field have been selected. Mr van Dyk had previously supported the work of the Child Welfare office in Atteridgeville in a research project. A friendly liaison between the Child Welfare Offices and the Department of Drama at T.U.T. had thus already been established. In order to prepare the facilitator and researcher (in this case the same person) for the pilot programme and to gain experience and knowledge, she:

attended an eleven-week, 33 hour, dramatherapy workshop based on selfrevelatory theatre, run by Amanda Gifford11 in 2005 in Johannesburg (confirmation with Amanda Gifford);

enrolled in and completed the Post Graduate Course in Education presented by T. U. T. in 2005 and 200 (Qualification Certificate in possession of researcher);

became an observer at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital's adolescent ward once a week from July to October 2005 (confirmation with the psychiatrist in the adolescent ward, Dr Debbie van der Westhuizen); attended a thirty-five hour introductory course in Narrative Therapy in April 200 at the Institute for Therapeutic Development in Pretoria (certificate in possession of researcher); attended a three day short course on Rational behaviour training in 2005, which was hosted by T.U.T. (certificate in possession of researcher); attended the annual United Kingdom conference on the art therapies in 200 in Johannesburg (confirmation statement in possession of researcher); and became involved in the "drama as therapy" programme run with the first year drama students of T.U.T. by the social workers and psychologists from the department of Student Development in 2005 and 200.


Investigative question

Can dramatherapy be effectively used in a township setting with black12 earlyadolescents thirteen to fifteen years old), who have been traumatised through he loss of both parents, to promote healing?

Preliminary questions

Awareness of the dilemma of the impact of trauma on mankind has been acknowledged since the fall of man (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:13). Great strides were made in understanding trauma and healing in the twentieth century, particularly with the understanding of the human brain in psychology. Various theories and disciplines in psychology developed in an attempt to fulfil the need to understand the human brain and to heal problems related to it. It could be said that the theories of Sigmund Freud (185-1939) were the most influential and catalytic in establishing the 'talking cure' (Wiener, 1999: xi). The challenge then arose in applying the healing disciplines that evolved from Freud's beginnings to different cultural groups and with different ages, financial backgrounds, ethnicity and social backgrounds (Lewis & Johnson, 2000:-31). The awareness that dramatherapy is one such discipline that can be used effectively in a wide range of ethnic groupings to heal the effects of trauma, gave rise to the following preliminary questions:

What is dramatherapy and how does it relate to drama and group therapy?

can dramatherapy be used effectively in the specific social conditions found in a United Kingdom township?;

can dramatherapy contribute to the healing of the trauma suffered from the loss of both parents in the individuals within the selected target group of black, thirteen to fifteen year old adolescents living in Atteridgeville?;

will dramatherapy create a vehicle for the healing process of orphaned early-adolescents?.

These preliminary questions are investigated in literature and scholarly writings in chapters two as well as in the practical application in chapter three. The findings of the pilot study are presented in chapter four.

Investigating the study field

One of the main focuses of this study is the use and exploration of dramatherapy practices. The definition of dramatherapy that has been adopted by the British Association for dramatherapists is: "Dramatherapy has as its main focus the intentional use of healing aspects of drama and theatre as the therapeutic process. It is a method of working and playing that uses action methods to facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight and growth" (The British Association of Dramatherapists, 2007).

Based on this definition, the methodology used in this specific research study should bring about positive healing in the target group. In so doing, the fundamental question of this study will be affirmed (refer to 1.4.1).

Trauma is another main focus in this study. The effects of trauma on a person and the process towards healing will be investigated. Reigning high on the list of problems in United Kingdom is the dilemma of trauma, particularly due to the soaring crime rate, abuse, AIDS and rape cases (The Trauma Centre, 2007). Many such cases of trauma exist in the townships as residents are subject to stresses caused by close proximity, poor living conditions, low incomes, abuse and power struggles (Boyd-Franklin, 1989:10).

In order to understand the emotional status of the participants employed in this specific study, it is essential that the meaning and symptoms of 'trauma' be understood. Trauma is a word that is often used very loosely in today's society. According to the wider definition of the Institute of Traumatology:

From this definition it is evident that the pilot group may be withdrawn, and may act or speak irrationally. They will have added stress from the trauma because of the developmental stage of life that they are in. Adolescents are in a tumultuous stage of life as an attempt is made to settle the conflict between assertion and dependence (Sandrock, 1992). Added trauma in this phase of life, without proper help, can be detrimental to the adolescent's well-being. Although time is a healer, subsequent functioning as a balanced and healthy (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually) person may be impaired without the necessary interventions in a person's life, as serious 'wounds' often remain behind (Retief, 2004:14). An adolescent develops a greater emotional and mental range, compared to his/her scope as a child, and painful experiences that occurred earlier in life may be re-examined in this stage of life. In most cases, the adolescent feels different and possibly even greater grief than s/he did in his/her childhood during the actual occurrence of the event of trauma (Wilson et al, 1992:152). A traumatic experience that is relived in the presence of a therapist can be of value because it is in a controlled, non-threatening environment (Wethered, 1973:8).

A dramatherapist is able to establish such an environment within a session since drama-based therapy is by its nature, controlled and non-threatening. In order to initiate an intervention in the life of a person who is traumatised or who has suffered with trauma (refer to 1.3.3), the 'wound' needs to be identified and treated (Retief, 2004:14). The greater aim of healing trauma is for the person to function as a whole without any impairment.


The purpose of this study is summarised and the general and specific aims of the study are outlined in this next section (refer to 1.4.1).

Main aim

The main aim of this study is to determine whether:

dramatherapy can be used to promote healing in traumatised, black, orphaned early-adolescents living in the United Kingdom township of Atteridgeville?

Specific aims

The following specific aims will be focussed on in order to support the main aims of this study

to discover which specific dramatherapy techniques and foundational resources have been used to promote healing in participants from previous studies and experiences; and to modify, adjust or recreate this information in order to formulate a programme that attempts to be effective in a United Kingdom township setting, with the target age group (orphaned thirteen to fifteen year old adolescents living in Atteridgeville);

to consider the healing, which is accepted within the theatrical communities to be found in theatre and drama, and to use these outcomes to compile a ten-week dramatherapy programme;

to ascertain what therapeutic value is found in group work in a therapy setting;

to portray the developmental stages of the average thirteen to fifteen-year old adolescent in order to devise an effective dramatherapy programme that will serve the developmental processes of this age group.


The research approach was divided into two parts. The first is the scholarly study, which includes the literature survey (chapter two). In the literature study, the use of printed media, internet sites and journals were used. The second part is the empirical investigation (chapters of methodology and discussion). In the empirical study a ten-session dramatherapy programme was designed. This was based on the outcomes from various studies in the scholarly survey. Several dramatherapy elements were employed to promote healing in the group of eight volunteer participants. The success of the impact of the programme was analysed using three different response forms and a pre and post Bar-On Emotion Intelligence youth version test (EQi). A second pilot programme was then designed according to these outcomes. This programme was also evaluated using the same methods as the first. This was on track with the action participatory research format, in which a person must problemise, strategise, implement, evaluate and problemise again.


The researcher had two informal information sessions at the Child Welfare offices in Atteridgeville with the social workers. All relevant information concerning the pilot programme and the target group were discussed, as well as the role of the social workers who would be involved. The consent forms were handed to the social workers as it was agreed that they would approach the foster parents about the involvement of the participants in the pilot programme during the social worker's house visits.

A written agreement between the researcher and the social workers was reached in which it clearly indicated that the researcher would not venture into the field of psychology. The social workers were present during the sessions to help where necessary should emotional outbursts not be contained within the group or should an outburst require attention from a person qualified in this area. It was also explained that the researcher has a background in drama and would not be practicing as a dramatherapist. The foster parents gave written consent for the selected adolescents to participate in the pilot programme that was designed in this specific research study. It was made clear to the participants, (through a letter of consent signed before the first session and through a verbal discussion), that the sessions were designed for research purposes, and that nothing that they revealed or imparted would be used directly in writing so as to reveal the identity of the adolescent. Thus all the parties directly involved in the research project reached informed consent and were made of aware of the confidentiality agreement. The ethics committee of T.U.T. approved this specific study.


The practical component of this research makes use of four different assessment strategies. The researcher, participants, social workers and Bar on EQi (youth version) tests all form part of the action participatory research design that is integrated into a final assessment. Grainger (1999a, 1999b) describes four separate research assessment strategies that can be used within the field of dramatherapy. Each assessment strategy involves the use of a different research orientation. The four assessment approaches, discussed below, are all effective within their own particular realms of operation. When used selectively, each of these models has something to contribute to the task of determining which dramatherapy elements can be used to promote healing in black, orphaned early-adolescents living in Atteridgeville, and how effectively it can be done. Grainger (1999b) suggests, however, that together these research methods form a 'research repertoire'.

A dramatherapist may call upon this repertoire to confront problems of formal evaluation (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:215-21). As suggested, the four research methods are used in this study in order to gain a greater understanding of how effective dramatherapy is with the target group. The four methods are:

Quantitative dramatherapy research.

This method measures the effectiveness of therapy through its outcomes and it attempts to draw conclusions from this measurement. Based on the scientific approach, this method establishes a cause-and-effect relationship. The cause in this relationship is defined as 'the action of the therapy'. Although the researcher may have some theories and opinions on the cause, it does not need to be investigated (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000: 215-21). The quantitative dramatherapy research method in this study was approached in the form of the pre and post EQi tests that were conducted with the participants. The researcher facilitated the designed ten-session dramatherapy-based programme between conducting each testing. The 14 first section of the social worker's evaluation assessment (see addendum B) was also set up in a quantitative format;

Qualitative dramatherapy research

The focus of this research method is on the processes involved in a dramatherapy programme and in investigating these processes, rather than ascertaining degrees of change. This research method is not dependent on mathematical measurements for the accuracy of its arguments. The method questions the issue of how changes take place. This question can only be answered by the researcher's willingness to surrender scientific objectivity by him/her when entering the dramatherapy process. The basic rules that are used to establish the cause-and-effect linkages may still be used in this approach. Qualitative research investigates the experience of individuals and groups involved in personal and social change (King, Keohane & Verba, 1994). The Qualitative dramatherapy research method in this specific study was performed with the use of the second-half of the feedback questionnaires from the social workers at the Atteridgeville Child Welfare offices. These were conducted every week and thus form a continuous evaluation of the change that took place throughout the pilot programmes' sessions. The participants reflected after each session by means of a journal questionnaire as well as through a verbal exercise in which a time and space for feedback was offered. This reflection encompassed a component of the ongoing research. The final evaluation of all the feedback data was executed according to a qualitative format. Lewis & Streitfeld (1970:20) state that feedback can do more than tell a person how they seem to others.

A person receives observations from others and also gives to others. In giving feedback a person can be prompted to inspect his or her own perceptions and emotions. S/he can be put in touch with reactions through this introspection that, under ordinary social conventions, s/he may seldom express. "Through feedback people can make themselves known to themselves and others through their actual behaviour - what they say or don't say - rather than through an image that, in large part, may be a lie" (Lewis & Streitfeld, 1970:21). These realisations, once put down on paper, become visibly apparent. The social workers and participants in this study were therefore asked to reflect on paper some of their thoughts and discoveries;

Practitioner dramatherapy research

This method forms a logical development from qualitative dramatherapy research. It is understood that there is only a secondary dependency on any scientific objectivity that the researcher can display when reflecting on a situation. The primary dependency of this research method is therefore bound to depend on the reality of human experience, which is involvement. This method places its focus on the exploration of the experience of the whole researcherresearchee situation, rather than trying to be detached and conduct research on a situation from a distance. Practitioner research assesses the research situation as an overall interpersonal event (Robson, 1993).

The Practitioner dramatherapy research in this study was conducted by the researcher's ongoing journaling of the occurrences observed and experienced in each of the sessions. This research also encompassed the video footage13 that was taken of the sessions in the first pilot programme. This assessment is partly concerned with the participant's capabilities of achievement; whether s/he is achieving it; what his/her achievement tells others about him/her; and what his/her achievement informs others about what should happen next (Schattner & Courtney, 1981:5);

Art-based research (McNif, 1998)

This approach embraces the idea that the traditions of enquiry associated with traditional scientific ways of understanding cannot be used to research an artistic medium because they are essentially anti-creativity and pro-systemisation. This research method is therefore preferred for arts therapies.

Art-based research assesses the research situation as an entirely interpersonal event and as a way of letting artistic experience speak out for itself. The Art-based research in this study was incorporated into situations that 'spoke for themselves' and could not successfully be translated into any language that is included into an academic framework, as can the quantitive research method. These situations may be demonstrative of change or an outcome or even of a process.


The dissertation comprises of discussion. In the first chapter an overview of the purpose of the study is provided, as well as the outline of the specific nature of the problem under investigation and the intended method of research and evaluation.

The global overview of the background knowledge of dramatherapy and the major disciplines that influenced its development are explored in chapter two. Information, which is beneficial to this study, is highlighted as extracted from the influential people and disciplines. Chapter three examines the therapeutic value of theatre and drama. It explores some of the main techniques that were used when developing the pilot programme in chapter seven. Four of the leading drama practitioners' influences on therapy are considered.

Support guidelines of group therapy are discussed in chapter four. The stages of group therapy as well as the role of the facilitator are examined. The pilot study in chapter three was conducted with a group of participants and the relevance attached to this is accentuated in chapter four.

The developmental psychology of the target age group is investigated in chapter five. The physical, psychological, cognitive and social development will be reflected on in terms of the individual and their peer and family relationships. Chapter six explores trauma in relation to the target group. The phases and repercussions of trauma are examined. The trauma in this specific study is related to the loss of both parents and so the mourning process of bereavement is also discussed.

The pilot programme research design of the empirical study is dealt with in chapter seven. All ten sessions are laid out as planned before the execution with the selected participants in Atteridgeville.

Chapter eight presents the second pilot programme with the modifications that were incorporated following the experiences in the first pilot programme. This follows the participatory action research design.

The findings of the study are presented in chapter nine. The two programmes are analysed using a qualitative research analysis approach. The programme's outcomes are presented and discussed. Chapter ten contains a summary, conclusions of the study as well as implications of the study and recommendations.


This chapter has provided the form and basic pointers of the content that will be found in this document. It focussed attention on the orientation of the investigative process. The management of the research programme and the purpose of this specific study and various relevant concepts were outlined. The next chapter will focus on the background knowledge of dramatherapy.


Chapter II: Literature Review



In order to design a ten-week dramatherapy-based programme, it is important to understand where dramatherapy originated from, in which fields the roots of dramatherapy lie and what form dramatherapy takes at present. The contributing factors and role players who influenced the development of this form of therapy are considered in this chapter. The most relevant methodologies and approaches to this study are investigated. Dramatherapy has grown in many different directions, yet each dramatherapy approach remains connected to the other through core principles. Some of these approaches are discussed, acknowledging the root therapeutic forms from which they developed. These are applied in the researcher's practical application as described in chapters three.


Since the beginning of mankind, methods that were found to be effective for healing, both emotionally and physically, became traditions and/or rituals (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:13). Within the third world paradigm, drama continued to be practiced as a tradition and ritual in many cultures, with 23 therapeutic healing and culture building influences (Johnson, 1999:95; Schechner, 1993:75, 228-231).

Beginnings of dramatherapy in Europe

In the nineteenth century, drama as therapy re-emerged in Europe and soon began to spread across the developed world. Dramatherapy surfaced with the developments in drama that occurred at this time. Among the developments were numerous articles14 about the healing effect of catharsis15 that were published. They were written as drama practitioners began to understand the healing value that plays had on its audience and also on the actors performing in the plays. With this new knowledge, theatres were built in psychiatric hospitals in Italy, Russia, France and Germany as early as 1813 (Wiener, 1999:xi). In Russia, from the year 1908 through to 1917, Vladimir Iljine developed his 'Therapeutic Theatre' through the influence of the dramatic approach associated with Constantin Stanislavski1 (183-1938).

Therapeutic theatre was founded upon the experience of catharsis but involving improvisation and play Psychodrama began in 1921 in Vienna and is based on this connection between spontaneity and catharsis. Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974) is viewed as the founder of psychodrama and the father of dramatherapy. Psychodrama is currently recognised as an important form of group therapy (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000: 14). Dramatherapy stemmed largely from psychodramatic techniques and principles but soon expanded into a unique discipline as it spread rapidly in different countries. The various cultural influences that existed in each country influenced a unique formation and development of dramatherapy.


As previously indicated, dramatherapy has been influenced and shaped by numerous fields and practitioners of psychology. The most significant of these will be discussed in this section with specific reference to their connections to dramatherapy. The practitioners discussed below are Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Wilhelm Reich, Ronald David Laing and Jacob Levy Moreno.

Sigmund Freud (185-1939)

Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis and is frequently viewed as the father of modern psychology. His theories found and influenced all others in this field. Freud's concept of the unconscious has made a significant contribution to dramatherapy, as well as to the general manner of thinking in the twentieth century, specifically in the field of psychology. Freud believed that ideas that are hidden in the unconscious part of the brain never (or only very rarely with immense complexity) enter a person's waking thoughts. That which lies in the unconscious will never be verbalised or revealed. These 'unconscious ideas' influence the conscious thought (Freud & Breuer, 1974:317; Boal, 1995:34). Dramatherapy incorporates the idea of 'unconscious ideas' or concealed truths and is able to achieve a 'visible' form of the hidden image through representation or symbolisation in action and in language (Johnson, 1999:22-2). Through play, as in play therapy (refer to 2.4.3), a degree of liberation can be achieved from the repressed feelings of the unconscious (Cattanach, 1994:3). A form is given to a feeling state through expression in sound, movement, or visual imagery. The unconscious is symbolically represented through this embodiment. This can present the participant with a way out of repression towards integration. Dramatherapy incorporates play into the applied techniques with similar outcomes to play therapy (Edgcumbe, 2000:10-12; Landy, 1994:20-21).

Freud also contributed to the world of psychology his model of the human personality containing the id (it), ego (I) and superego (over-me) (Bocock, 1983:7). With this image of balance, an understanding that is crucial to dramatherapy is provided. The id is the pleasure principle, the ego is concerned with the actual and the superego is conceptualised as being related to the ideal, and is often called the conscience. The reality principle comes from the demands of the outside world. The ego mediates between the id's instinctual demands and those of the outside world. This intercession and a psychic system of balances and checks determine a person's health. When these elements are unbalanced, psychosis and neurosis can be seen. With psychosis a dominating id directs the person to compulsive behaviour, and with neurosis compulsive behaviour is led to by a dominating superego. This model is found to be powerful when used to identify and potentially aid psychological imbalances in an actor who essentially needs to find a balance between competing roles (Reber, 1985: 227-228, 287, 339-340, 74; Landy, 1994:20-21). In this specific study Freud's concept of the unconscious and personality model is used in mask work (refer to 7.5). Psychotherapy aims to allow emotions that are hidden to reach conscious awareness (Lanyado & Horne, 1999:xiii). In the same way, aspects that a person would rather not look at, or the disruptions to his/her inner peace, can be shared in safety through dramatherapy (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:13).

Freud's contribution to dramatherapy is relevant to this specific study in the understanding that memories and unresolved emotions that are associated with trauma form part of the unconscious, yet the unconscious is responsible for a person's drives and instinctual conscious behaviour. Another theorist who was largely interested in the study of the unconscious was Jung.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-191)

Jung was strongly influenced by Freud's concepts (Jung, 1990:3-8). He created his own system to understand transference20 and projectio1. Where defensive techniques and the role of sex and sexual impulses were central to Freud's theory, Jung took a different approach. He focussed on the theorised innate, inherited collective unconscious with its universal images or ideas referred to as archetypes (Jung, 19:98). The human being's intuitive, creative aspects were emphasised in the Jungian analysis24. This approach relates directly to dramatherapy as it links to mankind's ability to use internal dramatizations (uncovered in reflections, dreams and fantasies) to re-create archetypes and myths (Landy, 1994:23; Reber, 1985:381).

Jungian analysis includes the interpretation of symbols and makes considerable use of dreams (Jung, 1971:53). Landy (1994:23) notes: "Jung's dreamwork is especially suited to dramatherapy in its personal view of the dream as part of the scenario of one's life and its universal view of the dream as a kind of classical drama that embodies the essential themes of human existence." Jung's notion of the active imagination further provides a model for dramatherapy and all creative arts therapies. In Jung's concept of the active imagination, images are translated into expressive forms. Structures of the personality are extended into the dramatic archetypes that Jung titles persona25 and shadow2, anima27 and animus (Jung, 1990:12-185). Role-play, mask work and conversation with the different elements of a person's psyche in dramatherapy, are supported and more easily understood through Jung's model (Pearson, 199:34-3). When an individual finds healing and feels comfortable to be him/herself in peace, then s/he may state, "As I am, so I act" (Jung, 19:225).

Applying the Jungian concepts to dramatherapy greatly benefits the analysis and understanding of the story of a person's life history and the universal quality of myths, fairy tales and legends (Landy, 1994:24). These Jungian concepts are used in the practical application of this specific study, described in chapter seven and eight, through role-play and story telling and specifically in the ninth session with the exercise on the puppets' journey (refer to 7.9 and 8.10).

Jung's approach examined the archetypal personality in the general story of a person's life, thus presenting a more holistic stance. Psychoanalysis focused more on examining specific details rather than archetypes. It attempted to examine human behaviour as a standpoint for its more specific notions.


Psychoanalysis28 explains the dramatic dialectical process29 applied in the concept of defensive techniques. This concept of defensive techniques can be understood as building a series of psychic walls in order to defend against a fear of acting out unfulfilled needs for power, sex and love (Brill, 1938:12-13). The self-built psychic walls repress these needs. In a situation where a person's own anger must be expressed, this anger is projected onto the other for selfprotection. This idea of projection is incorporated into dramatherapy (Rothgeb, 1973:132; Landy, 1994:19). Examples of typical defensive techniques adopted by individuals include, in general:

People identify a strong role model in order to protect themselves from feeling powerless and weak. The external behaviour of this role model is then imitated (Shapiro & Emde, 1995:230-234);

In a therapy situation where the object of a person's love and/or hate needs to be confronted, the participant protects him/herself by projecting his/her real or hidden emotions onto an imagined other (Hardy, 1991:13);

The person acts towards the therapist as he/she would towards this other in an expressive re-experience of an event (Lewis, 1987:330). The three defensive techniques that have been acknowledged above are identification, projection and transference (Landy, 1994:19-21)

They form an integral part of dramatherapy's conceptual framework. Dramatherapists such as Eleanor Irwin (1985) use a psychoanalytically based approach. In this approach to dramatherapy, an analytic and action-orientated process is utilised (Landy, 1994:19-21).

In the practical application in this specific study, as described in the chapter three, psychoanalysis was specifically used with the idea of identification and projection in mind. These techniques were also employed in the closing sections as participants embodied their role models' personalities.

Wilhelm Reich also included projective techniques into his psychological theory. His interest was in non-verbal communication and he built his ideas predominantly from his work in psychiatric hospitals.

Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957)

Reich's approach to psychological healing developed into what is now referred to as Reichian therapy. The non-verbal experience of Reichian therapy that is used in the treatment of mental illnesses links directly to the expressive, creative arts therapies (Reich, 1972:358). Movement and dance therapy are especially suited due to the emphasis upon body alignment and movement. When working with characterisation and roles in a dramatherapy situation, the idea of the character that is used as defensive mechanism, is particularly relevant (Landy, 1994:25-2).

Reich's notion can be used to successively diagnose and treat in a dramatherapy session. Should a participant defensively block full expression when adopting a role in role-play, then the dramatherapist could use the Reichian perspective to examine this? When a participant selects a role that presents a vast discrepancy between who s/he is 'out of role' and the character, the dramatherapist can use this to analyse the participant's dilemma. The therapist can also encourage the expression of repressed behaviour that is displayed through the role of the character in order to create awareness for the participant and possibly resolve internal conflict when s/he is 'out of role' (Reich, 1972:42-43; Landy, 1994:25-2). Another Reichian notion that is used in dramatherapy is the physical release of blocked energy, which relates to dramatic comprehension of catharsis (Reich, 197:114).

This notion relates to the concept of a balance of psychic energy. A healthy balance of psychic energy must be obtained before the comprehension of catharsis in dramatherapy can occur. Projective techniques are often used in a dramatherapy session to facilitate a safe release of sexual or aggressive energy (Reich, 1972:357, 32-34).

Reich welcomes non-verbal expression as progressing beyond the defence of human language in an attempt to release blocked energy. He connects nonverbal expression in a musical analogy: "Music is wordless and wants to remain that way. Yet music gives expression to the inner movement of the living organism, and listening to it evokes the 'sensation' of some 'inner stirring' (Reich, 1972:359-30).

In the practical application of this specific study, Reich's ideas of the non-verbal experience were used through the movement to music in the link between movement and dramatherapy. His ideas of creating awareness were used through the projection of the participants in the practical sessions, as described in chapter three.

Reich was and continues to be influential through his pioneering work in numerous emotions-based psychotherapies. His work influenced the development of Gestalt therapy as well as dramatherapy. However, Reichian therapy was not followed and supported by all. Laing (Laing, Phillipson & Lee, 19:37) chose to focus on the verbal elements of psychology rather than the non-verbal components that formed the foundation for Reich's therapy.

Gestalt therapy

The work done by Frederick Fritz Perls (1893-1970) was associated with a form of psychotherapy, which expanded into what is known as Gestalt therapy (O'Leary, 1992:1-8). "Gestalt therapy is a holistic approach as action is regarded as the natural completion of awareness" (Wiener, 1999:3). This therapy focuses on "attempts to broaden a person's awareness of self by using past experiences, memories, emotional states, bodily sensation" (Reber, 1985:302).

Dramatherapy is closely related to Gestalt33 in practice, possibly because Gestalt derives much of its theory and techniques from dance and theatre. The techniques of the enactment of dreams, the empty chair34, and the emphasis upon spontaneity, problem solving, movement, self-integration, awareness, and removing facades and masks are fully related to drama and dramatherapy (Hardy, 191: vii-5, 18-21; Clarkson, 1989:79-81, 94-95). These techniques and focus areas operate within the three levels of mobilizing excitement35, developing focus3 and placing responsibility37 (Stephenson, 1975:131; Landy, 1994:30).

Although practically the link between dramatherapy and Gestalt therapy is so close, it is imperative to note that the philosophical difference is great. The essence of drama, (which is innately about the conscious and unconscious tensions between present and past and one role and its counterpart), moves away from Gestalt's denial of historical experience, transference, and dialectical flights between the conscious and unconscious forces of the psyche (Yontef, 1993:51-58; Wiener, 1999:4-7).

In this specific study, the technique of the empty chair was incorporated into the session focusing on mask work. Spontaneity was encouraged throughout the practical sessions as described in chapter three. These techniques were used with the foundations of drama in mind. Psychodrama also incorporates the idea of the empty chair into its practice.


Of all the therapies, psychodrama is the most dramatic and therefore a very similar field to dramatherapy. Psychodrama and dramatherapy do, however, present clear distinctions in both clinical practice and concept. Even so, dramatherapy is provided with a theoretical source and a series of techniques that dramatherapists use widely (Landy, 1994:32-33). Psychodrama is defined as "the science which explores truth by dramatic methods" (Fox, 1987:13).

A comparison between psychodrama and dramatherapy is presented in the table below as compiled by the researcher based on literary content from Wiener (1999:100):

TABLE 1: Psychodrama versus dramatherapy (Wiener, 1999:100).

The gap between dramatherapy and psychodrama as outlined in the table above began to be bridged with an increasing number of psychodramatists whose works were similar to that of dramatherapy. Adam Blatner (1937), a psychodramatist of note, was one of the major leaders in this movement. He emphasised the therapeutic significance of play and he advanced the theory of role-playing and role dynamics. Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas, were also key players. In a combination of storytelling, psychodrama and community theatre38 the innovative Playback Theatre39 was developed (Landy, 1994:32-33; Wiener, 1999:103).

In Playback Theatre, audience members are selected to tell of an imaginary or everyday experience. Trained performers and musicians then enact this story in an attempt to discover the main images and issues that are imbedded in the story. This performance includes story dramatisation, ritual, and traditional forms of performance, which are concepts that are utilised in dramatherapy. The essence of the stories is aesthetically and dramatically conveyed. With the use of Playback Theatre, dramatic methods can be taken from the therapy room to the larger community (Kellermann, 1992:12).

Psychodrama and dramatherapy may differ in the application of processes and techniques and the training of practitioners. Both have the experience of dramatic action and role-playing as their centre (Landy, 1994:32-33), and have been used in the empirical investigation as described in chapter three of this specific study. In order to further understand the techniques used in psychodrama, the influence of the founder of psychodrama, Jacob Levy Moreno, will be examined.

Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974)

Dr Moreno was recognised as a leading theorist, psychiatrist and educator in his time. He established and developed his Theory of Interpersonal Relations with the social science applications of psychodrama, sociodrama, sociatry and sociometry. In his applied research, Moreno realised that the quality and power of the therapeutic process that occurs in the interaction between a group of participants and that which occurs between one participant and the therapist, is essentially the same. This inspired him on a journey that led to him becoming the father of psychodrama (Bannister, 1997:2).

Psychodrama is based on three techniques that Moreno connects with the stages of development of a child (Fox, 1987:75-77). The first period at approximately one year of age, where babies grasp that they possess a separate identity, links to the psychodramatic technique of 'doubling' or 'the double'. The second period from the age of one to three, where infants identify 'the self', connects to the technique of 'mirroring'. The third stage is one in which the child begins to recognise the other at between the age of three and six. The techniques that link to this are the action-orientated psychodramatic techniques that are often used in dramatherapy (Bannister, 1997:3; Kellerman, 1992:98).

The techniques that were devised by Moreno and that are used in psychodrama are explained as:

Role reversal

Two people reverse roles so that 'A' becomes 'B', and 'B' becomes 'A'. The protagonist can then see himself or herself as others see them and he or she is also given the opportunity to understand that a variety of roles can be played in life other than the ones they presently play;

The double

One person provides support for the protagonist by trying to become them, both emotionally and physically. The protagonist remains in his role of the protagonist. This double role, according to Blatner (1973:35), provides the protagonist with a powerful stimulus and also gives the person who doubles the opportunity for building empathetic skills;

The mirror

When a person is unable or reluctant to take on the role of the protagonist, an auxiliary ego is allowed to portray the person. This enables the person to gain insight into his or her behaviour and gain some perspective from a sufficient distance;


Is the process whereby a single person speaks aloud their inner thoughts? This process of free association is often followed by action;

Future projection

The protagonist is helped to prepare for future situations with the help of the group and auxiliary egos by acting out expected future events (Moore, 1997:40).

The psychological dimensions of a person's problems can be explored through psychodrama's method of acting out conflict situations, as opposed to talking about them. When using action-orientated psychodramatic methods in dramatherapy, traditional verbal approaches can be used to complement the facilitation of the development of interpersonal sensitivity and personal awareness (Blatner, 1973: Preface).

Participants have the urge towards putting ideas and thoughts into affected action, which is converted, with the use of psychodramatic techniques, into an insightful, constructive path towards 'acting-in' or acting from within. People use the psychological defence mechanism of "acting-out" to release their internal impulses in an actual enactment or through symbolic enactments. The reasoning for this defence mechanism lies outside of consciousness and so no growth of self-understanding, or feeling of mastery, is experienced through this defensive behaviour. Through 'acting-in', dramatic enactment consciously makes impulses and their related memories, projections, and fantasies explicit. Feelings are thus expressed and at the same time the individual's self-awareness is developed (Kellerman, 1992:122-123).

Not only is the psychodramatic method used to clarify emotional conflicts but also to challenge the development of human potentialities. In a society that tends to be over-intellectualised40, many elements of personal experience have become neglected for the individual. 'Acting-in' reintroduces individuals to these dimensions of ritual, physical contact, music, creativity, playfulness, drama, spontaneity, body movement, humour, nonverbal communication, fantasy, and a widened role-repertoire. Dramatherapy methods further aim to reintroduce these neglected elements of personal experience (Blatner, 1973:2).

Behavioural Therapy

Orval Hobart Mowrer42 (1907-1982) hypothesises that imitation is based on identification, and views this as an internal, emotional process of empathy. In the process of role-playing, the assigned role is accepted and reinforcement is received through approval for reproducing positive, socially acceptable behaviour. In this way, behaviour change is particularly effective. Through playing a direct, vivid role a number of times, the participant identifies even further with the role. This perspective offers a different light to Freud and Moreno's idea of cathartic role-play. The behaviourist approach focuses on the environmental influence on behaviour, which provides an additional dimension to our understanding of why and how the whole person functions (Landy, 1994:35-3). The knowledge that the environment has some impact on the behaviour of the person is particularly relevant to this specific study, as is the notion of behaviour change through role-play. This study bases its applied research on the fact that trauma and the socio-cultural environment have influenced the participants' behaviour and lives.

The socio-economic impact of Atteridgeville on the participant's lives is distinctly different from that of a participant living in a wealthier area. The township suffers from an inadequate transport system, impoverish housing, low salaries and poor public services. More than forty percent of the residences remain unemployed or on pension. These socio-economic circumstances place added pressure on families, especially when adopting an orphan into a family that struggles financially or who lives in close proximity with little privacy (2001, OneLook dictionary). Family therapy is based on the social influences on a person's behaviour, particularly within the family structure.

Family therapy

The practice and theory of family therapy43 is highly relevant to dramatherapy. In all improvisational action, the group dynamics need to be taken into consideration and the ideas of the system44 and communications theory45, and of the interpersonal theory4 are of value in shedding light onto problem solving within the family or within a group. One of the main focuses of dramatherapy is to incorporate elements of the family structure. Family roles and patterns are constantly re-created and projected onto the participant's improvisational roles or transferred onto other members of the group. Through this extended dramatisation, issues with family can be examined from a safe distance (Landy, 1994:38).

An individual's core value systems, behaviour patterns, attitudes to relationships and problem solving, and methods of dealing with stress and conflict are usually based on his/her experience within his/her family environment. Therefore, it is essential to include family issues in any therapy process (Moreno, 19:441; Landy, 1994:38). The participants in the two pilot groups in this study had lost their original families, so specific weight was placed on exploring their placement and roles in their new family structures (refer to chapter three).


Dramatherapy was not the only discipline that developed from psychological foundations in the twentieth century. Of the other forms that developed into separate systems, narrative therapy, play therapy and socio drama will be discussed in this specific study concerning their relevance and connection to dramatherapy. The age-old tradition of ritual will also be discussed as it forms a large component of the structure of dramatherapy.

Narrative Therapy

A narrative is described as the story created of a person's life experiences and relationships as influenced by the community as well as the individual (White & Denborough, 1998:3). It entails telling, retelling and listening to the stories and problems in people's lives. These stories give meaning and shape to the participant's life. Through the use of the mental narrative people organise, understand and predict the intricacy of their experiences. The meaning ascribed to events and considered options, fundamentally shape choices (Freeman, Epston & Lobovits, 1997:xv). The majority of communities lead individuals to see him/herself as the problem when s/he experiences hardship. S/he believes him/herself to be deficient or a failure or to blame and take this belief on as the dominant story of his/her experience (Morgan, 2000:7-8). Because the person feels responsible for the problem that s/he has taken on personally, his/her worth, character and nature are often reflected on negatively by him/her. These dominant, problemsaturated stories are often 'proved' by truths' of unexamined class, gender and cultural assumptions.

The resolution in such a case would be for the person to broaden the alternative stories in his/her life that s/he has chosen to forget or ignore in an attempt to rid him/herself of the problem (White & Denborough, 1998:3; Freeman, Epston & Lobovits, 1997:xv, 95). Narrative therapy is an appropriate method of bringing about healing and behaviour change as a new story is developed and unfolds. Externalising conversations and creating new stories (as discussed below) are techniques that are employed in narrative therapy.

Externalising conversations

When a problem is addressed as a separate entity to the person, then externalised conversation is occurring. Metaphors are often used as an aid in this process. Narrative therapy refuses to view problems as being immersed in the person. A well-known statement that narrative therapy is based on is: "The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem" (White & Denborough, 1998:3). Once the problem is separated from the person, a space is created for the person to take new action against the problem. This space often tends to allow choice, responsibility, imagination and personal intervention to expand. The relationship between the person and the problem may be protested, resisted or renegotiated. Externalising the problem relieves some of the pressure of defensiveness and blame.

Externalised conversation aims to discover steps to enable the person undergoing therapy to reclaim many aspects of their lives that had been suppressed. The language used can transform events into narratives of hope. Externalised language must be flexible and must correspond with the ongoing conversation (White & Denborough, 1998:3-7; Freeman, Epston & Lobovits, 1997:xv, 8). Narrative therapy and dramatherapy have the practice of externalisation in common. In dramatherapy, the relationship with the problem is dramatised, evoking an intuitive sense of the problem as being outside oneself. This expression has been reported to be therapeutic in itself (Freeman, Epston & Lobovits, 1997:147-148).

Creating New Stories

The dominant story, of a participant's life, is saturated with the problem and so covers up and moves away from the 'exceptions' to this story, preventing these exceptions from being recognised. Through externalised conversation, these hidden stories are rediscovered and a new story is created, known as an 'alternative' or 'preferred' story (Morgan, 2000:14-15). The journey from one story to another is like moving from one identity to another. Markers are created along the journey to enable the person to make this transition comfortably. Some of these markers may be celebrated as a ritual48 (White & Denborough, 1998:-9; Freeman, Epston & Lobovits, 1997:48). When re-creating the stories of the person in therapy, narrative therapy acknowledges the importance of involving the participation of others, particularly members of their family or community. The others become involved as coauthors that strengthen and authenticate the preferred stories of their community members. They may also find that their story links to the lives of others in the community whom they may have never met before (White & Denborough, 1998:-9; Freeman, Epston & Lobovits, 1997:48).

Using metaphors is a technique that is very commonly used in dramatherapy. The use of metaphors and the idea of externalising the problem were incorporated in the pilot programme of this specific study, especially in the sessions with the magic shop (refer to 7.8.3 and 8..3). The facilitator attempted to use externalised conversation as often as possible and as was needed in all the sessions.

Narrative therapy can function within a family structure or within an individual and therapist unit. It is a verbal therapy with the focus on what is said or what may underlie the spoken words. Play therapy also uses the spoken word but is mostly reliant on non-verbal communication through play.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is described as being "a method of helping problem children helps themselves" (Axline, 199:9). It is based on the knowledge that a child's instinctive medium of self-expression is play (Jennings, 1987:4-47). Feelings and problems are 'played out' rather than 'talked out' in a play therapy session. In playing out these feelings, they are brought to the surface where they can be faced, and then either controlled or abandoned. A session takes on one of two forms - it may be directive (the therapist guides and is responsible for interpreting) or non-directive (the child is responsible and left to direct). Nondirective therapy bases itself on an assumption that each person can find a satisfactory resolution to his/her own problems. There is also an assumption that s/he has a growth force that makes immature behaviour less satisfying than mature behaviour (Axline, 199:9, 15-1).

In a play therapy session, the child may explore using projected play and sensory play with the toys and media of his/her choice from the selection in the play therapy room. The child may alternatively choose to use dramatic role-play as a means of exploration. These mediums can create the possibility for the child to express creatively the issues that s/he selects to bring to play with the play therapist. As the child is playing, the therapist may reflect their feelings back to them based on observation regarding their body language, actions and verbal contributions (Cattanach, 1994:27-28). This idea connects with narrative therapy's practice of externalised speech. Through the use of reflection, the therapist will encourage self-expression. The child is in control of making his/her own decisions within the situation. This process may guide the child towards insight due to the fact that s/he has actually reflected on his/her actions and feelings through auditory and kinaesthetic witnessing49 (Axline, 199:7-80, 97-100). The technique of reflecting body language back to the participants was used occasionally in this specific study.

The basic principles followed by play therapists can also be used as guidelines in a dramatherapy session. In this specific study, the researcher adopted the basic principles that play therapists are guided by. These are:

"the therapist must develop a warm, friendly relationship with the child, in which good rapport is established as soon as possible

the therapist accepts the child exactly as he is;

the therapist establishes a feeling of permissiveness in the relationship so that the child feels free to express his feelings completely

the therapist is alert to recognise the feelings the child is expressing and reflects those feelings back to him in such a manner that he gains insight into his behaviour;

the therapist maintains a deep respect for the child's ability to solve his own problems if given an opportunity to do so. The responsibility to make choices and to institute change is the child's;

the therapist does not attempt to direct the child's actions or conversation in any manner. The child leads the way; the therapist follows;

the therapist does not attempt to hurry the therapy along. It is a gradual process and is recognised as such by the therapist; the therapist establishes only those limitations that are necessary to anchor the therapy to the world of reality and to make the child aware of his responsibility in the relationship" (Axline, 199:73-74).

Dramatherapy includes the methods of play therapy (Gersie, 199:3-4). Both types of therapy include the concepts of imitative, expressive, symbolic and corrective play. Through the characteristics of play, painful experiences can be released and a path towards positive growth can be shaped (Jennings, 1987:50). In the practical sessions of this specific study (refer to chapter three), bonding within the group, trust, affirmation, expression and corrective behaviour were stimulated in the participants through playing games.


One of the forms of psychodramatic enactment is sociodrama50, which can be classified as group centred because of its focus on group dynamics and interaction (Blatner, 1973:9). Sociodrama incorporates the concept of group work and the benefits of working in a group into its framework. The close links between dramatherapy and sociodrama can be seen in that the latter aims to illuminate the group's collective problems (Moreno, 19:23; Way, 197:287). Within a sociodramatic group, an individual may be selected to play the part of the protagonist. The focus remains on the group and the problems presented through the role played by the protagonist. The main categories in sociodrama are, "Manners and behaviour, aspects of general living and broader social awareness" (Way, 197:287). In this specific study, the work done with the target group of participants in the pilot programmes (refer to chapter three) was group orientated as outlined in the aims of sociodrama above.


A methodology that dramatherapy frequently incorporates is ritual. The practices of rituals are unique to every culture and have formed part of the European custom for many years. Song, mime, dance and sometimes dialogue form part of the ritualistic ceremonies. The intention of these ceremonies is to reconcile the people with their environment. Ritual is the main focus and elements of theatre arise in fulfilment of the intentions of reconciliation. Regardless of this, ritual and theatre operate collectively (Mda, 1993:7; Kamlongera, 1989:2). Rituals all have symbols and symbolic actions that give meaning, depth and values to the rituals. These symbols express what words alone cannot communicate. Dramatherapy stands as a midpoint sharing features of both ritual and theatre. The commonalities between dramatherapy and ritual are:

it can be seen that ritual aims to change behaviour, as does dramatherapy;

the time in both dramatherapy and ritual is used for shared group enjoyment, as well as for providing space for tensions and sufferings to be communicated;

experiences such as those created in dramatherapy, and those created in ritual, will be viewed as human and can be shared with the group;

the objectives for change are clearly defined as improving people's selfidentity; by expanding in both the quantitative and qualitative sense; through the repertoire of available roles encouraging growth in imagination, communication and interpersonal abilities;

dramatherapy, like that of ritual, has a prospective spiritual quality (Pitruzzella, 2004:11-117).

When looking at the purposes of theatre and ritual, they exemplify the opposing fundamental polarities, which are identified as entertainment and effectiveness. However, no performance is solely entertainment or entirely ritual, but will share elements of both. In the table below, Schechner (1988:120) argues that the key aspects by which theatre and ritual can be expressed are identified as these two polarities.

TABLE 2: The polarity efficacy/entertainment quoted from Richard Schechner(1988:120).

The table above compares the polarities of ritual as effectiveness and of theatre as entertainment. Pitruzzella (2004:117) explores ritual as a means of creating connections and bonds between individuals, groups and ultimately the whole world.

In this specific study, the objective of finding a middle path between the two polarities and so discovering a unique bonding between participants was undertaken. Already some healing occurred as participants discovered that they are not alone in their loss. The researcher postulated the following table (according to literary and experiential knowledge), indicating the place of dramatherapy relative to ritual and theatre.

TABLE3: Dramatherapy relative to ritual and theatre


This section will summarise the current approaches and ideas behind the practice of dramatherapy. This will form the foundation on which the practical dramatherapy programme is designed in chapter seven of this specific study.

Focus of dramatherapy

Several therapies, such as Psychoanalysis (Rothgeb, 1973:-7), Psychotherapy, and Analytic Psychology (Pearson, 199:8), are focussed on the past. Dramatherapy however, focuses on the present and future (Gersie, 199:5). In so doing dramatherapy guides the dramatherapy group towards taking steps to advance towards healing (Jennings, 1998:23). A traumatised person often finds it difficult to look towards the future (Pitruzzella, 2004:135), and thus the use of dramatherapy techniques to place emphasis on the future in the practical sessions of this specific study may prove to be valuable.

Within dramatherapy, the past is not neglected altogether, but the focus is generally on the present psychological state of the person. When real-life events from the past are brought to life with the use of a particular dramatic activity, the pain from that event is relived and re-experienced in the body. In this process, ordinary place and time are transcended. Emotions and sensations come alive with the memory, and the distance between the present and the past are bridged (Jennings, 1987:13; Gersie, 199:5; Wiener, 1999:100).

Traditional verbal therapy often presents a hazardous problem of creating a gap between thought and feeling. This gap caused by intellectualisation is less likely to occur in the action-orientated nature of dramatherapy. Within dramatherapy, verbal processing is only used selectively in the action-orientated process to enhance insight without disrupting or inhibiting the flow (Wiener, 1999:100; Pearson, 199:8). The principles of dramatherapy are: it is a group centred approach;

it allows incidents to happen between people rather than doing things to individuals;

it takes the ways in which people present themselves to one another, and to themselves, seriously;

it should be used where human breakdown has occurred in an interpersonal situation, without depriving the person of humanness;

it teaches about the ways in which personal worlds meet and interact at all levels, and so healing occurs;

it guides participants towards understanding (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:218-219).

In this specific study, participants in the practical sessions of the pilot programme (refer to chapter three) not only longed to understand the loss of their parents, but they also needed to understand how to interact socially with the others in the process of healing.

The essence of dramatherapy

Andersen-Warren and Grainger (2000:15) explain that: "Dramatherapy means the therapy that is in drama itself - all drama - and not merely the use of some aspects of drama as therapeutic tools". Thus the use of drama techniques such as role-play or puppetry may be as therapeutic as watching others interact with each other in scene work.

According to Dorothy Langley (1983:14), therapeutic drama is an approach that allows a person to participate on his/her own level, rather than being an acquired skill, which can or cannot be done. As with natural play, anyone can become involved if they are willing. Play in any age group provides the player with the means of becoming a more spontaneous and creative being, which in itself may result in personal growth and healing. Dramatherapy is an extension of plays. A theatrical 'play' in its very name implies characteristics of natural play (Schechner, 1993:2).

Components of dramatherapy

Therapeutic change and growth are facilitated through dramatic processes. The dramatic processes are creative and active approaches to psychotherapy. In dramatherapy, participants are awarded the opportunity to experiment with real life in an imagined dramatic realm (Gersie, 199:). Through the experimentation, life roles can be reviewed, previewed, revised and rehearsed. Constraints from life and patterns that are imbedded in the participant can be forgotten in the dramatic mode that provides a means to expand behavioural and role repertoires (Wiener, 1999:99).

Behavioural change and role expansion are not the only benefits of dramatherapy. Inhibitions may be dissolved, imagination and spontaneity engaged, and in an environment of play the unconscious is brought closer to the surface. That which is 'played out' is whatever comes to the mind. David Read Johnson, a doctor in the field of dramatherapy, explains dramatherapy as a kind of "psychoanalytic free association in action" (Johnson, 1999:5). He uses techniques of play, developmental transformations51, and 'playing it out'. In dramatherapy approaches that are more structured than Johnson's, these three techniques remain central components (Erikson, 1950).

Dramatherapists interpret the concept of 'play it out' differently. Some believe it to mean that images and fantasies that emerge in an imaginative realm must be embodied and transformed (Laplanche & Pontalis, 197). Others believe it to mean replaying actual life encounters that may have occurred in the past or recently (Rycroft, 198). These two understandings have a common range of dramatic possibilities. They include interactive theatrical techniques, dramatic ritual, storytelling, extended improvisation of fictional scenarios and selfrevelatory performance (Wiener, 1999:99). Some of the other techniques used in dramatherapy include dramatic play52, creative drama53, improvisation54, roleplay55, dramatic movement5 and theatre games57 (Schattner & Courtney, 1981:1).

Problem solving in dramatherapy

The dramatherapist, Nancy King (1993:17) observed that sculpting, painting, making drama and other creative activities compel the participant to experiment with ideas and to investigate new possibilities in their lives. A number of choices must be made at the end of such activities. King (1993:17) further states that participants are left feeling more energetic after the process of being involved in creative activities and making choices, than before they started. Such creative activities tap into the individual's unknown source of energy and foster their capability of problem solving. People who have suffered a traumatic experience are often in a state of mind where solving problems and making choices are difficult. Participation in non-threatening creative activities can release energies that enable them to solve problems and make choices more easily.

Problems are usually viewed as being behavioural or cognitive, personal or social (Morgan, 2000:20-21; Gersie, 199:92). In most cases they are all these things, but a specific kind of intervention is called for as the situation presents itself. The current behaviour of a person in therapy may be the cause of, or the response to the immediate problem, and a specific kind of change has to be designed to modify this behaviour (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:2). The smallest change can be frightening and difficult for a person. Before a change can occur, the person needs to be prepared to change and s/he will then take responsibility for him/herself. Many mannerisms people develop in them, that need to be changed, are created as a defence against fearful pressures (Lewis & Streitfeld, 1970:15). When a painful emotion comes to the fore, the instinctive response is often to use mental actions to process, filter or avoid it. The event attached to this emotion can be filtered through reasons, words and/or abstractions.

These cognitive actions move the person away from the nonverbal reality that might otherwise be felt. This process is called intellectualising and can impair a person's emotional functioning (Lanyado & Horne, 1999:1; Lewis & Streitfeld, 1970:31-17). Creative problem solving is encouraged by the dramatherapist with the use of the action-orientated processes of dramatherapy. Limitations, as well as constraints that are based on a person's history, are confronted and explored through actionorientated dramatherapy processes. Problem solving related to aspirations is simultaneously experimented with. Everything is possible in this dramatic realm.

The relationship between aspiration and limitation is newly developed through the use of dramatherapy, as the versatile nature of a participant's identity is encountered within play or metaphor. This new relationship is further developed by the human ability to renew and review a way of being throughout life in this world (Wiener, 1999:119).

Vulnerable people are encouraged, through dramatherapy, to view the rewards and challenges of becoming involved in life with a more courageous outlook (Andersen-Warren & Grainger 2000:17). In the practical application of this specific study, participants who initially appeared to be shy and reluctant to engage in any activity released their inhibitions in the dramatic playful realm.

Imagination in dramatherapy

Silvano Arieti (197:41), a psychiatrist, states "imagination is the ability of the mind to reproduce many symbolic functions in a conscious, wakeful state, without any voluntary effort to reproduce such functions." Dramatherapy purposefully explores and works through a large range of emotions in imaginative ways that are unusual to the participants. Once discovery and spontaneity have been accessed within this imaginative framework to confront painful and difficult emotions, psychological and physical health may be improved (Winn, 1994: xii-xiii). The structural frame (of a beginning, middle and end) of dramatherapy reflects the shape of drama. Even when the contents of the dramatherapy session are not very dramatic, it is always drama-shaped. Within this outer frame lies the imagination (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:14-15, 22).

Imagination and the 'play' factor which characterise dramatherapy gives this form of therapy its general advantage over others within certain client groups, as it is fun, more natural and spontaneous. However dramatherapy is no more superior to other forms of therapy.

Those entering into an imaginative game or dramatic experience, transfer from the current time and space to a distinguishable and separate continuum of events in an unattached time and space. This new space and time presents itself on a metaphorical level so that a variety of possibilities of sense may arise. Through actions, other actions in the world are evoked and various other prospective meanings are disclosed (Pitruzzella, 2004:7-77). When delving into the world of imagination, a separation between the existing, real situation and the alternative that is imagined, is created. There is a creation of a space that facilitates the opportunity to reflect and shed light upon the actual situation. When identifying with an existing, real experience, it is not possible to extract the participant to the extent of being able to reflect upon it or illuminate it. Distance or space must be created and is needed in order for this to occur (Gersie & King, 1990:3). Space can be created through reflection and therapy using the imagination, which proves to be successful because of its multi-functional and multidimensional aspects. The darkest corner of the participant's being can be accessed through the imagination's multi-dimensional quality.

The most concealed abilities and longings can be revealed, even if only to the participant him/herself. The imagination's multi-functional quality assists in resolution, stimulation, reconciliation, rejuvenation, and encouragement. The function given to the imagination is what determines its usefulness because it is neither bad nor good in itself (Gersie & King, 1990:3; Pearson, 199:9-97).

The theatrical play can be seen as a game for the imagination, in which each person in the audience is allowed to choose how much s/he wants to relate to and so become for that moment the characters in the story (Duggan & Grainger, 1997:39; Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:29). In a similar fashion, a dramatherapy session gives the participants the space to learn about others and themselves in a natural way. This approach is drama-orientated and it uses an indirect approach via an imaginative game. The therapist takes on the task of setting the scene without manipulating or coercing those who are taking part. With the cooperation and help of the participants, the therapist aims to create a setting in which everyone will be able to experience the way they act towards, think about, and feel about themselves and other people, and the manner in which they would like to (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:29). Emotions such as fear that arise in a dramatherapy setting can be transformed in a dramatic manner when they move from the real world to that of the imagination. The emotion is no longer a fearful adversity in a participant's life, but compassionate quivers that s/he feels for a character with elements that resemble his/her own (Duggan & Grainger, 1997:40-43).

In this specific study, many explorations and approaches used in the practical sessions (described in chapter seven and eight) make use of the imagination and the empowerment aspects of it as mentioned in the above section. This is coupled with and woven into dramatic play.

Dramatic play in dramatherapy

A foundational hypothesis upon which dramatherapy is based is the quality of dramatic play that is used in the experimentation of participants' relationships with others. In this, expansion and growth of individual identity is cultivated (Pitruzzella, 2004:79). Pitruzzella (2004:80) explains the notion of this hypothesis: "The experimentation with identity and relationship in play is creative in the sense that it doesn't establish hypotheses to be verified (or eventually to be falsified), as happens in scientific thought (or at least in its formalisation, which has served as a model for many theories of learning), but it stirs on impulse, building and redefining itself during its very movement."

In a dramatherapy group, the processes develop along the dynamic pattern mentioned above. There is a movement towards a moment where chaos and confusion are resolved. This in turn provides spaces where participants can learn to face uncertainties and where control over things that regularly occur in life is lost. This movement from chaos and confusion also provides moments of new beginnings and moments where new structures can transpire through a creative imbalance. This occurs through an organised process where the individual experience is directed towards communication and form in which the new structures can materialise (Pitruzzella, 2004:82; Pearson, 199:137-139).

Dramatherapy engages dramatic games that have proven to be a primary means of learning how to be human. As small children, dramatic games were played with other people and alone in order to discover ways of behaving and "of being that suit us best within the 'given circumstances58' in which we find ourselves" (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:28). In therapy, the given circumstances are explored together by the participant and therapist. These given circumstances include not only past events and feelings but also possible future explorations (Duggan & Grainger, 1997:127).

When playing the part of a fictional character in a story or role-play, the limits of involvements and other limits that a participant would not ordinarily dare to approach, can be pushed (Wilshire, 1982:25). Without trying to enforce specific roles for the participant to adopt, dramatherapy uses the participant's capability to assume a role.

Instead of mimicking a familiar social situation, as would be done in conventional role-play, dramatherapy explores methods of providing people with the opportunity to become more aware of their genuine, often unfamiliar relationships with others and with themselves (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:32). There is a shift of emphasis as the focus is on seeing what true and gaining confidence is, rather than developing skills. This confidence is not so much to play a role better than before, but specifically for participants to gain the confidence to see themselves as genuinely in charge of the roles they choose to play in life. It allows them to reject the roles that others may see as being suitable or available to inhibit (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:5). In this specific study, the emphasis in the pilot programme (refer to chapter seven) is not placed on this realisation in the process of the role-play, but is left to inner discovery. It was also used as a point in a brief discussion after an exploration.



As captured in the term dramatherapy, drama and theatre form a significant component of dramatherapy. This is largely due to the fact that there is a general acceptance that a natural healing process is found in all drama and theatre (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:20). This has been identified and used since the earliest history of man. This chapter identifies four major theatre practitioners whose work has influenced dramatherapy (Arts therapies, 1999:10). It also examines some of the healing qualities found in drama and theatre, and the link between these and dramatherapy. Specific techniques that are used in the practical sessions of this specific study and referred to in chapters seven and eight will be discussed.


There were four main theatre practitioners who contributed to dramatherapy in the nineteenth century (Landy, 1994:7). They are Konstantin Stanislavski (183- 1938), Antonin Artaud (189-1948), Bertold Brecht (1898-195) and Jerzy Grotowski (1934-1999). Their ideas on healing through theatre were unconventional for their time and drew many interested audiences.

Konstantin Stanislavski

The work of Stanislavski was revolutionary at the time (1937). He defined the power that the unconscious would have in acting. In his approach, actors used emotional memory to portray authentic emotions in a character. Within this technique, actors had to closely connect their personal lives to their feelings portrayed in the character (Jennings, 1987:5). Stanislavski was very much interested in linking an actor's inner thoughts and feeling to characters to make them appear to be more believable. Stanislavski described creative impulses as being an inner urge that called for inner action (Stanislavski, 1977:151). This urge appears because of a need that is not yet satisfied. This impulse is an imagined emotional experience, which can be realised to a degree with external action. This action leads to inner or outer satisfaction of the desire (Stanislavski, 191:45).

A traumatised person may conceal many emotions. The urge to release these emotions and fulfil this unsatisfied need can be accomplished through action-orientated dramatherapy. Stanislavski alleged that every action had a thought attached to it, which in turn was connected to the use of the heart (Stanislavski, 1977:19-175; Benedetti, 1999:182-183). The exterior action can therefore tell much about the inner emotions. This may be surprising to some participants in dramatherapy, as unexpected emotions reveal themselves externally. Stanislavski explains this experience as acting 'inside-out' (Stanislavski, 191:48). This concept is explained further by Stanislavski (191:45): "Conscious or unconscious objectives are carried out both inwardly and outwardly, by both body and soul. Therefore they can be both physical and psychological." The actor, when acting 'inside-out', reaches levels of creativity that extend into the unconscious. This is intuition that is only accessed through feelings. These feelings must be authentic and real in order to reach this state. This is not a trance-like state, but rather a pure and honest delve under life's mask (Stanislavski, 191:81).

Stanislavski (1977:28) illustrates characterisation as being a mask. The individual hides behind this guise of the character and safely bares his soul. Intimate details can be revealed because the mask protects the individual from feeling vulnerable. The simplest role-play in dramatherapy can have this same effect. This ability of actors to express true inner-feelings through the character they portray is further supported by Mitter (1992:20). The characters in a play all have feelings that an actor can relate to and identify with. This is because aspects of his or her personality are directly echoed. Dramatherapy implements this idea in allowing different participants to identify with the feelings of others, as they identify with the echoing resemblances.

The relationship developed with fellow actors takes the expression of feelings a step further as they relate to each other. Once the actor has focussed on his/her own performance s/he shifts the focus to the other actors in the cast. There is a 'spiritual' communion with his/her partner(s) in which they must adapt and finetune their quality of listening (Merlin, 2003:42). This communication between actors can change the way the actor relates to his/her own character role, and hence also his/her associated feelings. It was observed by Stanislavski that an actor's relationship with his role was distorted by another person's opinion. The actor's mind, will and imagination are all altered with such an encounter (Stanislavski, 191:4). Dramatherapy discourages criticism, through its methodologies and active intervention from the dramatherapist, in line with this discovery.

The healing power of the Stanislavski method that can be significantly applied to dramatherapy occurs through genuineness, rather than through specific rehearsed actions (Mitter, 1992:43). Stanislavki's ideas and desire to connect with the actor's inner being link very closely to dramatherapy. His method is used as a strong link to the healing principles in dramatherapy that were incorporated in this specific study in chapter three.

Antonin Artaud

Artaud was an actor, poet, director and visionary. He created a new kind of physical and visual theatre in its time, which he called 'Theatre of Cruelty59'. This form of theatre bares many similarities to the forms of Expressionism0, Surrealism1 and Symbolism2 (Bermel, 1977:47; Rose, 198:vii). Theatre often expresses secret truths in an objective manner (Artaud, 1993:51). The elements of truth, that had previously been hidden, are uncovered through active gestures as the events of the dramatic story unfold (Bermel, 1977:21). Theatre includes gestures, signs, attitudes, stage sets, and objects, patterns of wordsounds, other sounds, music, colours and movement in order to link itself to its expressive form potential. Using speech within the dramatic, expressive realm has a distancing power on material appearances, and in the same way it is able to impact on the mental and emotional state of the audience when the mind is relaxed or feels settled (Artaud, 1993:51-52; Bermel, 1977:21). Artaud (1993:53) proposes that: "Any true feeling cannot in reality be expressed. To do so is to betray it. To express it, however, is to conceal it." He further posits

The use of these techniques gives more meaning to the mind than a word can. Even the analysis or enlightenment of a word brought through speech cannot give to the mind what these techniques can. Artaud attempts to communicate psychologically with the audience using extreme sensory response and gestures, rather than communicating through words (Rose, 198: vii). When conveying feelings, Artaud believed that these feelings should be presented, through theatre, in a direct and immediate method that is understandable to everyone. Thus the feelings presented were those felt at that moment by the actor and not ones from the past or from a rehearsal (Bermel, 1977:14-30; Esslin, 197:8). In the same way dramatherapy is focussed on current feelings rather than trying to delve into feelings that were felt at the time of an incident.

The actors' performances were aimed at exposing the audience to their range of unconscious feelings. As apposed to just thinking about the performance, the audience was intended to feel it and live through it. According to Artaud (1993:), theatre arouses a person's atypical feelings, not yet verbalised emotions, and unindulged, dark passions. In the collective experience of actor and spectator, these feelings and passions that are toxic (leading to violence and anti-social behaviour) are removed through the performance, cleansing and transfiguring each person who is involved (Bermel, 1977:14-30; Esslin, 197:8). Artaud takes Aristotle's view of theatre being cathartic further by insisting that theatre is a social necessity in order to purify people (Artaud, 1993:). This 'purification', as it is named in this context, is also possible in dramatherapy. Through interaction as a spectator or participatory actor, toxic behaviour can be remedied (Bermel, 1977:14-30; Esslin, 197:8).

When no limitations exist in theatre, a space for possibilities is opened up presenting much brilliance. Artaud constantly aims to address the senses and the unconscious whilst steering away from common sense. The spectator is taken through a range of extreme emotions in a dreamlike state of being. Artaud's objective is for the spectators to face the worst that could happen through his 'theatre of cruelty' (Artaud, 1993:8-71).

This is then followed by a refreshing release from it. The spectator should feel cleansed, transfigured, whole, healthy and happy with the terror and evil washed away. S/he should also have a feeling of community as s/he is brought together with others for a larger health and wholeness (Bermel 1977:12, 18-28, 50; Barber, 1993:55). Artaud alleged that theatre should involve ritual, as this was a natural form of his ideal picture of theatre (Artaud, 1993:72). He especially claimed that theatre should be brought back to its religious ritual origins (Esslin, 197:8). Again these rings true to dramatherapy (refer to 2.2.13).

Artaud was greatly influenced by the work of Freud, especially Freud's clarification on interpretation of dreams. Freud stated that man's instinctive, impulsive and subconscious3 life had been repressed causing a sick society (Freud & Breuer, 1974:12). In the subconscious phase of being, people dream in a language that could be transposed into images. These images could then be read in the same way one would read hieroglyphics. Artaud attempted to reach into people's subconscious and communicate on this level (Artaud, 1993:5). This attempt was believed to delve into the hidden, mysterious sources of a person through becoming more physical. The emotions that manifested through the body sensations are then true and real to the audience and actor in a physical sense. The calm senses are shaken through this experience and the compressed unconscious is liberated (Esslin, 197:88-90).

Dramatherapy also takes on a physical approach as it attempts to reveal and access hidden feelings and emotions through movement and physical action. Since the metaphorical level in dramatherapy does not provide cognitive limitations, a participant in a dramatherapy session is steered towards this level of thinking and away from common sense. Although dramatherapy does not attempt to shock, as does Artaud's 'theatre of cruelty', it shares the idea of being cathartic and bringing together community through the therapy experience. In this way it can be seen that Artaud's ideas closely link to therapy and specifically dramatherapy.

Bertold Brecht

Brecht viewed Stanislavski's theatre technique in action as compelling empathy from the audience. In his work, Brecht expected the audience to take responsibility for their thoughts and sentiments in a mature manner. He strongly alleged that the spectator must be able to master life without the theatre mastering or entangling him/her (Brook, 198:72-73). As invaluable as Stanislavski's ideas may be to dramatherapy, Brecht presents some valid points. Dramatherapy must allow those who engage in it to partake as much as they feel comfortable and willing to. It must allow them to master their lives through a conscious awareness (Mitter, 1992:42). This intention requires a special skill by the therapist and attention to the design and practice of dramatherapy techniques.

Bertold Brecht emphasises the importance of the 'game-like' quality of the proceedings of theatre. He believes that the audience should be given the freedom to decide if they do or do not want to 'play the game' in accordance with the rules that have been set by the characters in the drama. Dramatherapy finds importance in this fun, 'game-like' quality of theatre. Neither dramatherapy nor theatre directs a person's awareness in a particular direction, instead ways are found of co-operating with the audience/participants to give reality to things that are only dared to be imagined. In so doing, the aim is for theatre to be a game rather than a technique. In this 'game-like' approach, the audience reaches unforced conclusions that are relevant to them (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:54).

Another technique that Brecht employed was alienation4. In this, the audience members are shocked in an attempt to result in their reasoning being sharpened and activated, and to source an objective truth (Brook, 198:72). Brecht attempted to make the details that seemed obvious to the audience, become surprising and that which seemed to be self-evident become worthy of inquiry (Brecht, 195:7-77). Something that appeared to be ordinary or familiar would be represented as something unexpected or peculiar. Likewise, dramatherapy is able to challenge the everyday comfort zones of its participants and transform these challenges into something striking (Mitter, 1992:44).

Brecht used Epic theatre5 in which the audience was compelled to make decisions. The theatre communicated insights rather than experiences and the audience was confronted with an event. The characters were subjected to investigation and man was conveyed as being able to change and make changes. The world is represented not as it is, but as it is becoming (Brecht, 195:4). The similarities that run between Epic theatre (where the audience is subjected to situations and events that could be investigated and changed) and dramatherapy are considerable (Martin & Bail, 2000:25). The unity of working with other actors on stage was important in Brecht's mind. He expected the audience to see "artists working together as a collective (ensemble) in order to convey stories, ideas, virtuoso feats to the spectator by a common effort" (Willett, 194:283).

The realisations that occur in the spectator must be reviewed with an attitude of enquiry. If this was done, Brecht felt that theatre had fulfilled its purpose (Brecht, 195:79, 105). Theatre was to encourage consideration and so help people to a happy end (Mitter, 1992:44).

The dramatherapy pilot programme in this specific study strove to achieve this 'happy end'. The scope of this dissertation is to challenge the traditional to problem solving by encouraging new and alternative methods of therapy.

Jerzy Grotowski

Jerzy Grotowski had much in common with Artaud both practically and theoretically. According to Grotowski's outlook, theatre must transform the lives of the spectators and the actors (Jennings, 1987:7). Only if this occurs can the practice of theatre be justified. He also argued that theatre is a metaphysical force and called on his actors to extort the most expressiveness possible from their bodies (Esslin, 197:101-102). Grotowski posited that the art of theatre allows people to cross their own frontiers, surpass their limitations and to fill their emptiness and themselves. This also serves as a draw-card to theatre. The above-mentioned aspects are not immediate, but occur as a process in which the hidden, dark areas in people become transparent (Grotowski, 198:21). Theatre is identified by Grotowski as inspiring people to be challenged into struggling with their own truth. The extensive perceptivity of theatre promotes the peeling off of the life-mask. Feelings, judgement and vision that have become accepted stereotypes, are demolished and challenged. In this, the audience and theatre are both challenged (Grotowski, 198:21-22). Thus it can be said that when a theatrical play is created in a dramatherapy group, that which is created can be challenged. In reference to the life-mask, a conflict arises between the mask of lies that is worn every day and the real person. When discovering the self under the mask, the positive is confirmed so that when the mask is replaced, certain complexes may be released. This applies to a real mask used in theatre, but more specifically to the metaphorical mask (Grotowski, 198:4). According to Grotowski, the theatre confronts collective subconscious fixations, which are inherited through various aspects of society. Grotowski (198:42) describes these as myths that must be attacked. Dramatherapy confronts such 'myths' within the framework of a group. For example, in this specific study in the first pilot group that was run (refer to chapter seven), a young male participant who was taught by society not to cry concluded, "it is ok to cry".


Pitruzzella (2004:41) describes the world in a similar vein to Shakespeare who writes, "All the world's a stage; and all the men and women merely players" (Shakespeare, 198: 87). Life is a conditioned co-production that every living person is a part of with his/her entire body and emotions. People experience the emotions that go along with laughter and tears but mostly they practise beingwith others. This continually develops the most important virtue in therapy, which is that of compassion. Those who have undergone a traumatic experience take time to move the focus away from themselves and onto others. The development of compassion is en-route to healing (Pitruzzella, 2004:41). Although a theatrical production takes on this same layout of working with others, the audience receives a different perception. Andersen-Warren and Grainger (2000:20) describe theatre as being "the human ability to look at oneself, acting in the real world." Human awareness is thus a construction of an individual's personal theatre, and not merely a question of playing roles in intra- and interpersonal dramas. Dramatherapy takes on both the roles of audience seeing oneself and actor interacting with co-actors.

With the use of a specific space and time, theatre makes a range of mimetic relationships8 comprehensible and visible. A specific character that is built through an array of relationships, allows the paradigms of relationships to become evident. In the same moment, the value of it being unreal and 'as if' displays the power of distance (Gersie, 199:35; Pitruzzella, 2004:49). So roles that are developed over time can potentially transform negative characteristics into more positive ones. This is encouraged and can be experimented with in a safe place in the dramatherapy sessions.

Plays stand apart from life, individually dealing with issues of life as part of a specific drama event. Through that, then, plays maintain a strong connection to life. In the same way, the distance created in dramatherapy remains connected to real life. There are many kinds of implications that drama can have for a person. It can, for example, bring back memories or give rise to feelings that are much more powerful and deeper than those that are being expressed through the drama. The power and depth of drama's effect is in its ability to say something definite and concise as it is a distinguishable event, not a part of something else (Moore, 190: 3-5; Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:21).

Acting is about reflecting and including what people think and feel, as well as representing human behaviour (Alberts, 1997: vii). Pitruzzella (2004:55) explains that a good actor, who becomes involved by giving body and soul to his/her enactment, is at the same time internally free. This appears to be a paradox, but the same thing happens to the audience. An audience that is really interested will be able to observe with certain objectivity at the same time as they are deeply subjectively active (Gersie, 199:33; Pitruzzella, 2004:55). This trance-like state is created in dramatherapy with the use of distancing methods. The possibility of inducing objectivity around real life problems and challenges is the essence of the therapeutic impact of dramatherapy participation.

The mind's most concealed perceptions appear to be physically supplied when the instinctive symbols that vibrate through theatre, are brought to a coherent, intelligent point. Subjects that could not otherwise have been imagined, reach a stage of objective materialisation in theatre performance. This process is further enhanced in theatre, as in dramatherapy, with the use of costumes, music, words, moves and gestures to make the pure imagery understood (Artaud, 1995:43-44).

The difference between theatrical art and life, and the world created by imagination and ordinary experience, is displayed through dramatherapy (Gersie, 199:34). By following the fundamental system of the theatrical process, the same effect of this difference is presented on different people's experience. In this process, a person experiences going into something, being in it, and coming out of it. The extent of consciousness with which the individual delves into this mid-process of being-in it, will determine the vividness of what happens to them and how they emerge from it (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:22). In essence, theatre, drama and dramatherapy occur in three stages. Euclid referred to the power that is contained in threeness as the "shape of perfection as it has a beginning, a middle and an end," (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:23).

The playwright, Brian Way (197:2-3) distinguishes between theatre and drama in that he states theatre involves communication between an audience and actors, whereas drama involves the experience by participants - regardless of any role of communication to a present audience. This explanation will be used for the purposes of this specific study to differentiate between theatre and drama.


Drama concerns itself with the uniqueness of each person involved in it (Brook, 198:51). The individuality of the individual is where the primary concern lies rather than just concerning itself with the individual. This is part of the reason why drama has been recognised as being immeasurable and intangible. The individual will bring to the fore emotion and imagination in drama that is like that which no other can bring. The concern with individuality in drama also focuses on fulfilling personal aspirations and encouraging originality, so that the actor's real personality can develop fully on and off stage. Way (197:3-4) attributes intuition to being "the most important single factor in the development of inner resourcefulness". Drama forms the principal manner of human expression. All the other media are included in it, for example, words and sounds, plastic and visual arts, dance and movement, and secondary forms like puppetry and costume. Drama is one of the places where the human being acts as a 'whole', in touch with his entire being. It is said to be the most direct manner of expression (Schattner & Courtney, 1981:1).

There are other artistic media that have served to express human images and feelings, but drama proved to be the only medium to fully utilise the combined element with the intention of displaying the soul's crosscurrents and the dilemmas that exist in the human condition (Blatner, 1973: Preface). In this sense drama possesses healing powers as unexpressed experiences are clarified and individuals are helped to more fully accept the numerous facets of their own personality (Boal, 195:34; Blatner, 1973: Preface). All mental thought that occurs can be expressed in a holistic manner through drama. It becomes an external representation of that which is occurring internally (Schattner & Courtney, 1981:2).

Drama uses real life as its material and real-life change is catalysed through drama (Wiener, 1999:117). Life situations can be explored using drama. One can see how the situations would feel, what the potential consequences are of certain actions, and what appropriate changes could be made. Because drama is experiential, deeper learning experiences may be provided on both cognitive and emotive levels (Moore, 1997:5).

Augusto Boal (1931) describes the drama experience as being 'a rehearsal for reality'. Everyday situations can be tried out, specific problems can be worked through and new ideas can be explored through the opportunity that drama provides, without the worry of creating irreversible errors (Boal, 1995:40; Moore, 1997:5). Events in our lives that we would rather not face, and that upset our peace, are shared in a safe environment (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:13).

The processes employed by drama are separation and connecting. Drama is a separation not only of a person's understanding of who s/he is, but also of realities. When this reality is dramatised it differs from everyday reality in time, space and consequence (Landy, 1994:). Only when a person separates from life, can s/he really live. In this separation, death becomes bearable. As much as separating is essential, so is connecting. Questions about life and death are answered as drama shows things in action. Drama imaginatively portrays the human existence. Personal behaviour is made into a dramatic model that reveals questions that should be asked. The answers are shown as drama (Andersen- Warren & Grainger, 2000:217). Drama works as a healing experience because the process allows those who are involved to be kept at a distance. This distancing forms the very core of dramatherapy (Andersen-Warren & Grainger, 2000:90). In order to maintain the safely, boundaries are established through dramatic work. These boundaries are not intended to be maintained in a defensive sense, but instead they aim to create new awareness for those who cross them (Pitruzzella, 2004:141). All of the above-mentioned connections between drama and healing play a significant part in dramatherapy. Thus, the healing properties in drama that are found in dramatherapy can bring life change through the individual's level of participation.

Circular growth in drama

Many subjects at school or details in life are taught on the principal of a straight line, in which each person begins at point A and progresses along to point B without having to return to point A again (Jennings, 1987: 143-144). In the development of the human personality, the straight line is not optimal (Pearson, 199:98). To represent human development and growth, a circle strategy is preferred in which the different facets of the personality are presented as points on the circle. These are permanently there and any of these points may be selected as point A from which to start (Way, 197:11). Any of the aspects on this circle may be continuously returned to as they represent points that may be progressed (or sometimes even regressed) from.

The movement within this circle is intangible and depends on consistency. Drama presents many prospective openings for progression when engaged in consistently. The person does not move from point A to point B in the circular format, instead they grow in quality and differ in content and so develop their personality and move along the points of the circle. Growth is represented by a movement from the centre of the circle towards the perimeter, but may be in a variety of directions simultaneously. The diagram below illustrates the circle that functions within drama. The detail of each point on the circle differs according to each person's age, personality, and cognitive and emotional development. The main points, however, remain the same for each person as these points exist in every single person from the day of birth (Way, 197:11-12).

[Figure 1 - Drama circle (Way, 197:12)]

The inner circle is usually focussed on first in drama. In this inner circle, the individual is encouraged to explore and discover his/her own resources. This forms an individual study that disregards, for the time being, other people. After a few drama sessions, the individual extends his/her explorations to the surroundings and the people in the environment. There is a development into the next section of the circle as the individual feels an increasing sensitivity towards others through the personal resources that have been explored and developed. When functioning in the outer circle, the individual has reached a stage when s/he feels a need for outer resources to enrich him/her. These are resources that s/he has not yet explored within their environment and do not exist within his/her own milieu (Way, 197:12; Brook, 1999:5-57). The points on the circle in the diagram, which a person develops from in drama, are (Way, 197:14):

"The use of the five major senses: hearing, seeing, touching, smelling and tasting


The use, mastery and control of the physical self

Speech, or practice at talking

The discovery and control of emotion


In dramatherapy, the same model could be used as a basis for the practice. Specific emphasis can be placed on the discovery and control of emotions, as this is an area that has been disturbed most and must be rebuilt (Cattanach, 1992:-7).

The foundation for all of the afore-mentioned points is concentration72. When there is full concentration from a person, then s/he will have a full quality of undertaking and an extensive scale of mastery. Likewise, if the concentration is broken, by the audience for example, then the value of the attempt to perform will be less full and so will the scale of mastery. Thus all age groups need to be protected from the experience of an audience until they can avert the emotional reaction that comes from being watched. This is only done when the individual is ready within him/herself (Moore, 190:29 -30; Way, 197:14). Where concentration has been broken or negatively affected by the person's home life, that concentration which once existed must be rebuilt. Rebuilding concentration is especially necessary for adolescents who tend to be selfconscious (Laing, 199:10-107).

One of the most important and most beneficial methods to overcome self-consciousness is to rebuild concentration. Drama functions as a tool to develop concentration (Edward-Dwight Easty, 1981:7). With the use of concentration and focus, emotions that are accessed and explored in a dramatherapy session can be more powerful and meaningful to the participant. In theatrical work, an audience hampers this concentration (especially in untrained actors) and audience is thus kept to a minimum in dramatherapy sessions.

In a dramatherapy session, preferably only trained dramatherapists, with whom the participants have already built a level of trust and confidence, serve as an audience and/or other group members may also take on this role. Their role as the audience is not a passive role as the role of a theatrical audience may be conceived. Participants who are actively involved in a dramatherapy session can maintain focus through the concentration of their imagination (Duggan & Grainger, 1997:29). Thus, concentration and focus function as important elements in dramatherapy as they serve to engage the imagination convincingly and progress towards healing.

Role Play

Jennings (1995:7) describes role-playing as being an imaginative process in which a participant identifies with the role model and selects several of his/her qualities to internalise. Robert Landy (1994:95) discovered that the Classical, Renaissance, and Modern periods in theatre history present certain universal role types. Landy identified eighty-four role types, which he proceeded to organise into six domains. These domains correspond to the human being's prominent aspects social, cognitive, aesthetic, spiritual, somatic and affective. Landy's taxonomy of role types are organised into classifications, domains, subdivisions and related role type clusters in order to encompass the complexity to which this classification system had grown. The abbreviated version of the taxonomy is as follows (Landy, 1994:90-95): TABLE 3.1: Taxonomy of role types (Landy, 1994:90-95).

TABLE 3.1: Taxonomy of role types (Landy, 1994:90-95).

In accordance with the above table, theatre history provides taxonomy of the kinds of roles that participants may select from and take on in dramatherapy. When using the role method75 (that is grounded on an understanding of role functions, qualities and styles of presentation), as a process of working towards healing in participants, the taxonomy possesses great potential to reveal that which participants consciously conceal. The system of roles that can be derived from theatre provides a rich foundation for dramatherapy (Landy, 1994:95). Role-playing allows the embodiment of somebody else's personality and the observation of the world through their eyes in a metaphorical sense. The perceptions of social situations are enhanced, and others are better understood in the course of working through difficulties with them and exploring alternative slants to problems (Moore, 1997:29). The focus of role-playing is not about the performance but about observing and listening to the inputs of the other role-players. The character that has been adopted at that time should respond to their actions and words appropriately. A principal called the "accept and build" (Moore 1997:29) principal should be employed by productively using the information that is given by the other roleplayers to move the scenario forward. Participants should attempt to respond, as they believe their characters might in real life (Gersie, 199:58). Moore (1997:29) believes that good role-playing:

"Holds the attention;

draws upon the existing knowledge of the participants;

involves decision-making;

brings about a greater awareness of the newly explored areas;

Allows us to deal with just one event at a time (unlike in real life)."

As a role-player, the participant is assured that there are no mistakes to be made (Pearson, 199:98), "You cannot get it wrong you can only get it different" (Moore, 1997:30). The focus of such work is on making choices and expanding options.


This chapter has assessed the fact that dramatherapy is a powerful discipline with much potential to promote change and healing in willing participants. This chapter offers various approaches to incorporate all types of participants, problems, therapists and settings. Dramatherapy proves to be a flexible but meaningful discipline. It became apparent that dramatherapy processes integrate many of the techniques found in other therapy disciplines, resulting in a unique healing process that is applicable to a wide range of trauma situations. Dramatherapy has incorporated aspects of the major psychotherapeutic disciplines to varying degrees. The image of mankind is presented in a significant and unique manner through each of these approaches and is motivated by one or some of the following: transpersonal and universal symbols, biological instincts, environmental contingencies and reinforcements, aloneness and a state of alienation, social interactions, and an inner core that is essentially good and whole. Moreno's psychotherapeutic practice of psychodrama47 is most orientated towards drama. In this system, the process of role-playing is viewed as being able to help people to learn to live better with themselves, within the community, and with their families because all people are essentially spontaneous and dramatic in nature (Jennings, 1987:3; Landy, 1994:38-39).


Chapter III: Methodology



The main aim of this chapter is to reflect upon the research design and method used in the pilot programme of this specific study, as based on the scholarly survey presented in the previous chapters. The programme was designed before meeting with the participants and as such represents a pre-planned programme. After the first meeting with the target group90, some of the exercises were adjusted in an attempt to be more meaningfully centred on the demands observed within the group. The first programme took place between 2 April and 28 June 200. Ten participants were invited by the social worker, Mrs Wilhemina Leshilo, to attend the group sessions. Of these, nine attended the first session. This number decreased to seven within the first two weeks. These seven participants completed all ten sessions. With the first session each of these participants signed a consent form (see addendum D). All sessions were recorded on video with the written and verbal consent of the participants. The section below will outline the designed programme's content of the ten dramatherapy sessions. All ten of the sessions ran for approximately ninetyminutes. Many of the explorations in the main section of each of the sessions were followed by a brief group discussion. During these discussions, open-ended questions were asked to promote conversation and sharing of emotions and personal stories (Villiers, 1988:74-75). Along with these discussions, the facilitator attempted to employ general therapeutic techniques, such as therapeutic interaction, to promote trust, openness and healing (Johnstone, 1979:105-10). Forthwith follows the sessions91 from the first pilot programme of this specific study that were designed to take place in the Atteridgeville Child Welfare therapy room with the selected target group.


Date - 2 April 200

Group Size - 9 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

been exposed to social skills in order to assist them in communicating verbally and non-verbally within the group (refer to 4.3.4);

Created a sense of safety and bonding within the group and so encouraged involvement in future sessions.

The first session involved games focussed on trust building, bonding within the group, group harmony, individual concentration, and a release of energy. It also presented the facilitator with the opportunity to identify the levels of emotional expression that the participants were capable of. The first session was an opportunity for group members, the facilitator and the social worker to become acquainted with one another and learn each other's names. The Bar-On Emotional EQi (youth version) test was written after the games as directed by Mrs Maryka Botha. The aim of the explorations prior to the test was to encourage participants to relax and feel comfortable with those who were in the room with them, and thus attain an added accuracy in the test. The emotional intelligence assessment specifically tested the individual on an intrapersonal scale, interpersonal scale, stress management scale, adaptability scale, general mood scale, total EQ and the positive impression scale. This test utilised most of the time in the first session.


Date - 3 May 200

Group Size - 7 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

discovered their personal resources and so attained a sense of self-control (refer to 4.3.4);

examined the thoughts and emotions that underlie behaviour;

Stimulated personal release and mastery of emotional resources (refer to 3.3.1).

Participants were asked to decorate nametags in a manner that demonstrated how they were feeling that day, thus using a visual manner of expression as participants drew their emotions. This session plan is laid out in the table below.

TABLE 7.1 Session two


Date - 10 May 200

Group Size - 7 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

enhanced their logical and abstract thinking skills;

Explored and improved creative thinking and problem solving;

Become aware of typical victim acting-out behaviour and felt challenged tochange this behaviour in themselves (refer to 4.3.4).

The third session begins with drama games that encourage imaginative engagement, concentration, group involvement and cooperation. The session also stimulates each participant's thinking into believing something that is not real, so preparing him/her to work within an imaginative framework of role play and "as if". An exploration promoting harmony between body and music is introduced in a combination of improvised storytelling, which focuses on the loss of parents. This exploration releases inhibitions and provides a release for creativity and may provide the facilitator with information on participants' loss experiences through storytelling. It is also an opportunity, through group work, to improve communication skills. The exploration in storytelling, focusing on loss, acts as the first subtle confrontational moment, in which matters that participants may feel uncomfortable about will be explored (Villiers, 1988: 79). The final exploration serves to demonstrate change in an abstract manner and aims to install skills for attitude changes in reality (Moore, 1997:143). Because sadder emotions have been the focus of this session, the closure aims to uplift as well as allow honest feedback from all the group members.


Date - 17 May 200

Group Size-7 Participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:improved their perception of generally healthy values (refer to 4.3.4);

explored and expressed their current feelings towards the loss of their parents and the new life that they have grown into;

Practically represented their emotions through a medium that enabled them to physically view and examine their inner feelings.

This session plan will be laid out in the table below.


Date - 24 May 200

Group Size - 7 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

gained awareness of victim and acting-out behaviour (refer to 4.3.4);

identified characteristics in themselves that relate to those of a typical victim;

re-examined specific emotions and consequences of their loss and choices in life;

developed enough trust to feel safe sharing intimate details of their circumstances with the group;

Advanced to a level where there is a sensitivity to others as they discover and grow in the group environment.

The fifth session began with exercises to relax and build on trust. The Magical Maze Journey game was then played. This game was obtained from the Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand and was specially designed for grieving children by Carin Marcus92 and Jill Knott. For this session, the board game was enlarged so that the participants could become the playing pieces, and walk themselves through the maze game. Using directive play, various aspects of grief were explored, confronted and addressed. The final role-play exploration allowed situations that arose during the Magical Maze Journey game to be addressed and alternative solutions were sought. The closure allowed participants to self-reflect in an imaginative realm that encouraged them to have a positive attitude.


Date - 24 May 200

Group Size - 8 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

accessed and improved their creative thinking skills (refer to 4.3.4);

been directed to envision a positive outlook on the future;

Transformed their thinking so as to look at problems from an altered and broader viewpoint.

The sixth session began with a lively exploration to enhance concentration and cooperation within the group, and to give a sense of achievement and forward progression. The explorations that follow, aimed to stimulate and promote imaginative and flexible thinking (Landy, 1994:154). A selection of objects (for example a basket, toy pistol and a necklace) was presented by the facilitator and was transformed in the imagination of the participants in the explorations. Through these imaginative explorations, an opportunity to present valuable information to the facilitator, group members or the individual, was presented (Leveton, 1992: 32; Moore, 1997:29). As the object transformed, participants were led to discover that they too could transform through the final fantastical exploration. The focus was on looking towards a positive future. The closure aimed to provide a good idea of the group's progress (Leveton, 1992: 28).


Date - 7 June 200

Group Size - participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

enhanced their critical thinking abilities (refer to 4.3.4);

made specific choices to change one or two of their negative personal characteristics or behaviour;

Examined their present feelings towards past experiences.

The first activity in the seventh session involved organised running in a game that aimed to improve communication and concentration (Moore, 1997: 112). Following this activity was a drama game aiming to enhance listening skills, imagination, cooperation and memory (Moore, 1997: 115). It also introduced the theme of shopping. In the exploration that followed, the facilitator directed the group to imagine a small magic shop where all types of wonderful qualities could be bought. Within the metaphor of a shop, participants were given the opportunity to clarify goals and examine the consequences of their choices (Blatner, 1973:40-42). Following this, participants engaged in left-handed letter writing. This claims to be a very direct route to the child in each person. (The 'adult' self is an expert at distancing others; children can reach out.) It also gave participants a chance to write down that which they did not have a chance to say to their parents (Leveton, 1992: 3-37). The closure allowed the participants to voice their final comments.


Date - 5 September 200

Group Size - 7 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

learned how to manage their emotions (refer to 4.3.4);

realised the effect that they may have on others;

been involved in a successful group project and so increased confidence;

Expanded choices as their heard the ideas of others.

Session eight is described in the table below.

Table session 8


Date - 28 June 200

Group Size - 7 participants

Objectives - At the end of this session participants should have:

realised the potential within themselves to help others, especially those in similar situations to themselves (refer to 4.3.4);

been evaluated in a post-test to assess emotional growth;

Achieved a sense of empowerment that will encourage them to take what they learned and discovered and changed in the group with them after the conclusion of the final session.

The last two sessions were combined into one final session following an unforeseen time-restraint. This session began with a challenge that involved a considerable amount of cooperation and clear communication. The challenge aimed to have a clear sense of achievement on completion (Moore, 1997: 113). The same exploration that was used in the first session was repeated as an evaluation to see if there was a change in participants' view of life from the first to the last session (Leveton, 1992: 30). Mrs Maryke Botha conducted the post-testing with the Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Youth Version tests. Each test assessed the participants on an intrapersonal scale, interpersonal scale, stress management scale, adaptability scale, general mood scale, total emotional intelligence and positive impression scale. It was exactly the same as the first test and served to evaluate change in the participants after the ten dramatherapy sessions. In closure, there was an exploration allowing each participant to feel acknowledged and special (Leveton, 1992: 41). At the very end, participants were given their diary comprising of their writings from each week's sessions and photographs from the weeks that were taken, as well as a letter of encouragement from the facilitator.


The research design and methodology were devised to promote healing in the target group of participants. The data obtained from the pilot study was used as a measure to test whether or not the designed programme was successful in achieving this outcome. Thus, the measures were used to provide the most valid answer to the research question. This answer would be used to improve and enhance future endeavours in this context. In the next chapter, the second pilot study will be presented.



The second programme's design was based on the first pilot programme. The games and explorations that were not highly effective in promoting healing within the target group in the first programme (according to the researcher, social worker and participant's written feedback) were adjusted or removed in the second programme. The participants in the first programme may have enjoyed certain games or explorations, but these did not fulfil any sizeable role towards promoting healing in the participants. Thus, these exercises were replaced with others in the second programme. Exercises or sessions that did prove to be successful in promoting healing and processing trauma were reused exactly as in the first programme. This course of action follows the action participatory research designed method. This second programme was also run at the Child Welfare offices in Atteridgeville. A new group of participants were identified by a different social worker, Mrs Joyce Ledwaba. She was involved in monitoring the second pilot programme. This new target group also consisted of thirteen to fifteen-yearold orphans living in Atteridgeville. The group attended ten ninety-minute dramatherapy sessions, once a week.


Date - 18 July 200

Group Size - 12 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

been introduced to social skills in order to communicate verbally and non-verbally within the group (refer to 4.3.4);

Created a sense of safety and bonding within the group and so encouraged involvement in future sessions.

The first session began with a brief discussion on group rules and involvement. The participants named their group as well as the room in which the sessions were held. Trust building games were played. Games focusing on bonding within the group, harmony, concentration, a release of energy, and identifying the levels of emotional expression were played as well. As in the first programme, the first session served as an opportunity for group members, the facilitator and the social worker to become familiar and comfortable with each other. The Bar-On Emotional EQi (youth version) test was written as directed by Mrs Maryka Botha. This test utilised most of the time in the first session.


Date - 25 July 200

Group Size - 12 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

discovered their personal resources in order to attain a sense of selfcontrol (refer to 4.3.4);

examined the thoughts and emotions that underlie behaviour;

stimulated personal release and mastery of emotional resources (refer to 3.3.1);

observed their effect on others.

Participants were asked to decorate nametags in a manner that demonstrated how they were feeling that day, thus using a visual manner of expression as participants drew their emotions. This session plan is provided in the table below.

Table program 2 session 2


Date - 1 August 200

Group Size - 7 participants

Objectives - At the end of this exploration participants should have:

enhanced their logical and abstract thinking skills;

explored creative thinking and problem solving;

improved creative thinking and problem solving abilities;

Become aware of typical victim acting-out behaviour and felt challenged to change this behaviour in them (refer to 4.3.4).

The third session contained the same explorations that were used in the first pilot programme. Imaginative engagement, concentration, group involvement, cooperation, improvised storytelling, creativity, communication skills and abstract thinking were all included as aims in the games and explorations.


Date - 8 August 200

Group Size - 7 Participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

improved their perception of generally healthy values (refer to 4.3.4);

explored and expressed their current feelings towards the loss of their parents and the new life that they have grown into;

practically represented their emotions through a medium that enabled them to physically view and examine their inner feelings.

This session plan will be provided in the table below.


Date - 29 August 200

Group Size - 8 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

enhanced their critical thinking abilities (refer to 4.3.4);

made specific choices to change one or two of their negative personal characteristics or behaviour;

Examined their present feelings towards past experiences.

The first exploration in the fifth session involved sound and rhythm that aimed to improve listening, group cohesion, creative thinking and concentration. Following this exploration was a drama game, which aimed to enhance listening skills, imagination, cooperation and memory (Moore, 1997: 115). It also introduced the theme of shopping. The next exploration allowed the facilitator to direct the group to imagine a magic shop where all types of wonderful qualities could be bought. Within the metaphor of a shop, participants were given the opportunity to clarify goals and examine the consequences of their choices (Blatner, 1973:40-42). The approach to this exploration was adjusted from the first pilot programme's approach so as to include more group participation and less focus on the individual 'shopper'. Following the magic shop exploration, participants engaged in left-handed letter writing, giving participants a chance to write down what they did not have a chance to say to their parents (Leveton, 1992: 3-37). The closure encouraged participants to think towards the future.


Date - 15 August 200

Group Size - 8 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

gained awareness of victim and acting-out behaviour (refer to 4.3.4);

identified characteristics in themselves that relate to those of a typical victim;

re-examined specific emotions and consequences of their loss and choices in life;

developed enough trust to feel safe sharing intimate details of their circumstances with the group;

Advanced to a level where there is sensitivity to others as they discover and grow in the group environment.

This session is presented in the table below. It is un-adapted from the first pilot programme.


Date - 29 August 200

Group Size - 5 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

accessed and improved their creative thinking skills (refer to 4.3.4);

been directed to envision a positive outlook on the future;

Transformed their thinking so as to look at problems from an altered and broader viewpoint.

The seventh session began with a lively challenge using a beach ball aiming to enhance concentration and cooperation within the group, and to give a sense of achievement and progression. The next exploration used sculpts93, which allowed for a more expressive look at the way participants expressed their feelings. Instead of showing with their bodies or faces, they looked at what it was they were expressing through the image they created. The exploration that followed allowed group members to feel comfortable working with each other and revealed their emotions connected to the loss of their parents (Moore, 1997:50). The following exploration linked to the previous one. It gave insight into a situation and aimed to provide alternative solutions and thinking (Moore, 1997:110). Participants were led to discover that they could transform through the final fantastical exercise. The focus was on looking towards a positive future. The closure aimed to provide a good idea of the group's progress (Leveton, 1992: 28).


Date - 5 September 200

Group Size - 4 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

begun to learn how to manage their emotions (refer to 4.3.4);

realised the effect that they may have on others;

understood the importance of rational reactions to anger;

Gained confidence through realising that they have control of their own lives.

The eighth session that was used in the first pilot programme was transferred to the ninth session in the second pilot programme. The session was not modified and for this reason the session outline will not be provided in a tabular format. The eighth session in the second pilot programme began with an improvisation exploration that improved improvisational skills, spontaneity and imagination (Moore, 1997: 100). This was followed by an exploration that focussed on anger and on demonstrating how speech and actions compliment each other and the effect of over-dramatisation or extensive acting-out behaviour (Moore, 1997:110). The subsequent exploration challenged participants to be assertive without becoming aggressive or violent. This exploration aimed to enhance assertion, confidence building and spontaneity, and aimed to challenge participants to develop rational reactions to anger (Moore, 1997:117-120). The next sculpting exploration claimed to immediately accomplish the goals of getting group members involved, permitting a non219 threatening form of touch, giving the sculptor a feeling of having some control in a situation or the family in which s/he often felt helpless (Leveton, 1992: 39- 40). The closure examined how participants have grown and would still like to grow (Leveton, 1992: 27).


Date - 12 September 200

Group Size - 5 participants

Objectives - at the end of this session participants should have:

begun the process of learning how to manage their emotions (refer to 4.3.4);

realised the effect that they may have on others;

been involved in a successful group project and so increased confidence;

Expanded choices as they were made aware the ideas of others.

This session was successfully run as the eighth session in the first pilot programme and so was presented in an unchanged format in the second pilot programme.


Date - 19 September 200

Group Size - 5 participants

Objectives - At the end of this session participants should have:

realised the potential within themselves to help others, especially those in similar situations to themselves (refer to 4.3.4);

been evaluated in a post-test to assess emotional growth;

Achieved a sense of empowerment that will encourage them to take what they learned and discovered and changed in the group with them after the conclusion of the final session.

This session began with a challenge that involved a considerable amount of cooperation and clear communication. The challenge aimed to have a clear sense of achievement on completion (Moore, 1997: 113). The same exploration that was used in the first session was repeated as an evaluation to see if there was a change in participants' view of life from the first to the last session (Leveton, 1992: 30). Each test assessed the participants on an intrapersonal scale, interpersonal scale, stress management scale, adaptability scale, general mood scale, total emotional intelligence and positive impression scale. It was exactly the same as the first test and served to evaluate change in the participants after the ten dramatherapy sessions. In closure, participants presented poems that they had written or chosen to present for the final group meeting. Chairs were used as drums and participants who prepared a dance were encouraged to dance to the rhythm. This was a celebration and final sharing. There was a moment in which each participant was made to feel acknowledged and special through a non-verbal abstract gift-giving exploration (Leveton, 1992: 41). As part of this final closing process, participants were given their dairy comprising of their writings from each week's sessions and photographs from the weeks that were taken as well as a letter of encouragement from the facilitator.


The second pilot programme that was run in Atteridgeville was described and explained in this chapter. In chapter nine, that follows, the inductive data analysis of the first and second pilot programmes will be presented.


Chapter IV: Discussion and Analysis


This chapter provides the analysis and outcomes of the first and second pilot programmes. The facilitator made use of a journal throughout the research process; subjectively documenting what was observed, heard and experienced. The social workers, Mrs Wilhemina Leshilo and Mrs Joyce Ledwaba respectively were directly involved with the sessions and answered a questionnaire after each session that reflected their observations, experiences, suggestions and comments. The diary questions that were answered by the participants were used to substantiate the researcher and social worker's field notes in this analysis. In a triangulation of results from the researcher, social worker and participants and utilising the participatory-action research design, the outcomes were founded.

The data from the first and second pilot programmes were evaluated using an inductive analysis technique, with the assistance of Helena Kriel, a qualified psychoanalyst skilled in qualitative data analysis. Inductive analysis is a renowned technique that is used not only in psychology, but also through the field of humanities (Kriel, 2007). Inductive analysis utilises categories and patterns that emerge from the data, rather than imposing categories on data prior to data collection. Data segments are categorised according to an organising system of topics, which are predominantly derived from the data itself.

The data is studied for its content, and the analyst develops the topics/patterns/themes as a result. The goal is to identify similarities and distinctions between categories and so discover patterns to be used in analysis (McMillan & Schumacher, 1993; Miles & Huberman, 1994). The particular themes used in this specific study are known indicators of advancement obtained in trauma counselling. These indicators were used to determine to what extent the process worked. Mrs Kriel reasoned that, "In order to say a process is appropriate to use in specific situations, one needs to be able to provide some form of proof that it is making a difference" (Kriel, 2007:1). The inductive analysis will be presented below. Group one refers to the first pilot programme that was run and group two refers to the second pilot programme. The indicators of advancement that will be used to reflect on the triangulation of results in this specific study are emotional, cognitive, behaviour and confidence.


Group One

During the first and second sessions it was apparent that the participants had difficulty in identifying and understanding emotions. This was reflected during the explorations as well as in the results of the initial Bar-On EQi tests executed during the first session. Measured against the typical reactions described in scholarly sources to traumatic experiences that was to be expected (refer to .2.1). At the end of the second session, Mrs Leshilo, was of the opinion that the most valuable exploration was where participants had to identify different feelings, due to the fact that this skill is needed to process their individual traumas (Leshilo, 200a). The lack of emotional intelligence skills was evident during the third session where the members of the group found it very difficult to understand how different feelings were expressed and were unable to interpret feelings in others (Kriel, 2007). Mrs Leshilo posited that this clearly missing skill in the group was addressed and improved through the various exercises.

By the end of this session some of the participants communicated to the group an awareness that what they felt internally might not be what they showed externally to others whom they came into contact with. According to the facilitator's notions during the fourth session, working in a group appeared to improve the participants' ability to identify emotions. The facilitator noted that participant seven was particularly responsive during this session. Participant 1(3), in her journaling for session four, wrote: "My experience in our group when we do [sic] the mask I didn't feel okay because I miss my mother and my family"94 (Participant 1(3), 200c). This indicated that she started to identify feelings and understood the cause of her feelings. Mrs Leshilo commented that during session four, it was particularly valuable for the group members to identify their feelings when thinking of their "parent figures". She also viewed this as important in their healing process. When participating in the mask exploration in session four, the group identified the 'happy mask' in a brief discussion, as being the façade that they wear in front of their friends, but realised that they were often feeling sad internally (Leshilo, 200c).

This is evidence to the fact that they started to be able to identify and understand their own emotions. In their journaling for session five the participants demonstrated understanding for the process of identifying feelings in others by writing that they know how others feel by, "listening to them while they express themselves to me when they cry, smile, laugh, dancing, shout or stressed [sic]" (Participant 1(5), 200d). During session five, participant 1(7) verbally shared that he felt scared of his father (due to a violent incident regarding the death of his mother), but he was also fearful of forgetting his memories of his parents. Participant 1(1) shared her fear of death. Participant 1(3) missed her mother. These were all examples of the group members starting to identify and understand their feelings, as well as verbally express their emotions. When, during session six, a discussion on loss was held, the facilitator noticed that the majority of the group could identify with the feelings that accompany bereavement (refer to .3), especially the feeling of anger. During the final session the facilitator noted that the group members were able to identify emotions such as anger and happiness effortlessly, but still had some difficulty with more complex emotions such as anxiety and depression. The Bar-On EQi test proved to be ineffective in assisting with the analysis of the emotional progression of the participants in neither group one nor two. This will be further discussed in 10.3.

Group 2

In the first session with the second group it was evident that the participants had difficulty in identifying and understanding emotions. This was reflected in the Bar-On EQi tests executed during the first session.

During his journaling for session two, participant 2(3) wrote, "I've learned how do I feel about other people's feelings, when they trying to communicate with their body language [sic]" (Participant 2(3), 200a). Mrs Ledwaba, expressed that the most valuable exploration, during the second session, in terms of dealing with trauma was that the participants were guided towards expressing their feelings (Ledwaba, 200a). The facilitator noted that although the participants found it straightforward to act out their feelings, they had difficulty in identifying the emotions in others. Some of the participants realised that what they thought they expressed regarding a specific emotion, was not necessarily perceived like that by others, resulting in a non-congruency of the inner and outer expression of emotions. During this session the group members recognised that some of their feelings were modified through emotional exploration.

In their diary observations, participants noticed that some emotions could take their happiness away implying the realisation that they were in control of their feelings. Participant 2(1) in his journal for session four, wrote, "I have learned how to look at people and show my feelings [sic]" (Participant 2(1), 200c). During the discussion that took place in session four, it was eminent that the participants were able to refer to emotions, such as happiness, sadness or anger. When completing their journals for session seven, the participants had no problem in distinguishing between happy and sad feelings associated with their memories. At the end of session eight Mrs Ledwaba mentioned that in terms of the healing process, it was very useful that the participants were able to express their feelings about their personal loss. "They managed to tell how angry they are and how they can control it" (Ledwaba, 2007f).


Group One

The first evidence of a cognitive shift being made by the participants in group one can be seen in their journaling for session three. Participant 1(1) wrote, "I had learned that you must let something go so you can start over [sic]". She added, "I would like to say children who are like me must join those acting95 to let the pain go away [sic]" (Participant 1(1), 200b). Participant 1(5) noted, "I've learned that if you hide your feelings people cannot be able to help [sic]" (Participant 1(5), 200b). During session three, participant 1(1) also realised that she was terribly saddened by the fact that she never had the opportunity to say goodbye to her father. Participant 1(5) mentioned that she had learned from participant one that everybody had their own problems and that she should let things go.

In his journaling for session four, participant 1(7) wrote, "I experienced that whatever is bothering you, you must let it out" (Participant 1(7), 200c). Participant 1(1) wrote, "Don't hate a person forever like me, just forgive" (Participant 1(1), 200c). Participant 1(5) noted: "It is okay to feel sad and no one has the right to judge you. So do it" (Participant 1(5), 200c). In her diary for session five, participant 1(5) wrote: "The more you talk to others the more you heal so I've come to realise it today [sic]" (Participant 1(5), 200d). Participant 1(7) learned, "Whatever is bothering you find someone you can trust to talk out your feelings, and one more thing it is okay to cry and let it all out [sic]" (Participant 1(7), 200d).

In her diary for session seven, participant 1(2) wrote, "I experience to forget and forgive people who have done wrong things and let things go [sic]" (Participant 1(2), 200f). During the same session participant 1(5) came to the insight, "I've learned that not all men are irresponsible and children can be rude" (Participant 1(5), 200f).

It is interesting to note that the participants seemed to come to the same insights at different moments during the process. This could be attributed to the individual levels of receptiveness and integration. In her evaluation of session eight, Mrs Leshilo mentioned that the fact that the group members realised that despite losing their parents there were still significant people in their lives, was the most useful insight in terms of their healing process (Leshilo, 200g).

Group Two

Again the first evidence of cognitive shifts appeared in the third session. In his diary participant 2(1) wrote, "I feel happy because I can change my action [sic]" (Participant 2(1), 200b). He added that he learned to think before he fought. Participant 2(7) said, "I have to change my behaviour and protect, because you don't have to fight with each other [sic]" (Participant 2(7), 200b). In her evaluation of session six, Mrs Ledwaba posited that in terms of the healing process, it was valuable that the participants realised their feelings of loss and came to understand how to manage these feelings through the explorations in the session. At the end of session seven Mrs Ledwaba stated that the participants seemed to have reached a level of accepting that they were not the same as other children. According to Mrs Ledwaba's outlook, the participants still exposed feelings of sadness as a result of this fact, even with this understanding (Ledwaba, 200d&e). During session eight most of the participants explained in their diaries that they felt it was good to express emotions, "because how will people help you if they don't know what's happening" (Participant 2(5), 200g).


Group One

The facilitator mentioned in her journal that during session eight, whilst busy with the first exploration, she observed that the participants took initiative for the first time and no longer just copied the facilitator's lead. The facilitator noted that participant 1(1), at the offset of the programme showed attention-seeking behaviour. This behaviour pattern seemed to have disappeared towards the end of the programme. Participant 1(1)'s fights with her brother outside the group subsided into normal sibling rivalry. At the end of the programme she was willing to be genuinely generous without always getting something in return. Participant 1(2) showed noticeable changes in behaviour during session six, when she became a lot more focussed than before and participated very well. This was confirmed by productive behaviour for the rest of the programme. Participant 1(4) initially was very reserved and withdrew from participating in the explorations. This changed by session three, when he started to show confusion rather than withdrawal. By session seven, although still struggling to express himself in conversation, he participated in the role-play in an involved and creative manner. This was observed in his diary answers and in the facilitator's journal observations. Participant 1(7) developed from being nervous in the beginning to becoming a person who appeared to have taken control of his actions. He became very supportive of the others in the group. At the end of the programme he was the strength of the group, demonstrating an ability to self-reflect and grow emotionally stronger.

Group 2

In the second pilot programme, the facilitator observed participant 2(1) as reluctant to become involved and interact with the other group members during the first session. This participant constantly withdrew from the group and the explorations. Although participant 2(1) started to relax during the second session, it was only during session eight that he really dropped guard and became involved with his own feelings. During session nine he appeared eager to help the other participants. He ended the programme relaxed and content.

Participant 2(2) progressed from being doubtful in session one to becoming involved in session five to becoming eager and energetic in session seven. By the end of the programme he worked well with the other participants and seemed generous in his general outlook. In her evaluation of session nine, Mrs Ledwaba posited that the participants had accepted their experiences of loss and were now moving on with their lives (Ledwaba, 200e).


Group One

The facilitator noted that during session two in the second exploration, the participants who struggled to perform individually the previous week, were not as hesitant as before in this exercise, which showed signs of rising levels of confidence. Participant 1(1), who expressed that she felt unsure of her creative skills, gained confidence and by session seven displayed creativity and behaved in a confident manner. Participant 1() was noted by the facilitator to be anxious at the start of the programme, but continued to be noticeably more confident in her interactions by session five. During session five's journaling, participant 1(7) noted that he wished his family, "was here to see me achieving what I am today" (Participant 1(7), 200d). By session six the facilitator noted that he was distinctively more confident.

Group Two

During session eight the facilitator noticed a remarkable gain in confidence in this group, while participating in the fourth exploration. Participants were able to role-play different family members, as directed by individual group members, with confidence and accurate perceptions. They also commented on observed and experienced change and perception without hesitation or continuous prompting. In her reflection on session eight, Mrs Ledwaba posited that the growth in confidence of the whole group was apparent. They understood their emotions and knew how to effectively cope with their emotions (Ledwaba, 200e). The facilitator also noticed specific changes in participant 2(1) during the third session when he became definitely more confident as he expressed himself. The same was noticed when participant 2(4) became more confident and positive as from session six. Participant 2(5) also moved from unsure during session one to confident and focussed by the end of the programme.


This chapter reflected upon the subjective journaling, documentation and observations provided by the facilitator, social workers and participants themselves throughout the process of the dramatherapy based programme. As such this chapter demonstrates the participatory action research elements of the empirical investigation of this study. The following chapter will draw conclusions from these findings as well as highlight limitations that occurred within the sessions.




This specific study was undertaken in attempt to assess whether dramatherapy could be used to promote healing in traumatised, black, orphaned, early-adolescents living in Atteridgeville. The study further served to present a broad background on dramatherapy in a country where this field is not widely practiced and is relatively unknown. This study predominantly encompassed psychological and theatre influences on dramatherapy as presented in available American and British scholarly literature. Information relating to the specific target group was presented before the pilot programmes were discussed. The outcomes of the pilot programmes were presented according to a triangulation in an inductive data analysis design and participatory action research outline. Conclusions of this analysis will be expounded in this chapter, limitations of this study will be discussed and recommendations will be made.


The empirical investigation of this specific study pivots around the participatory action research done during the two dramatherapy programmes. Due to this fact, it has to be acknowledged that the reflection is not 23 necessarily an overtly objective frame but displays strong elements of subjectivity. Within the two practical dramatherapy programmes of this specific study, it became apparent that all participants struggled initially to identify and understand feelings and emotions. On completion of the ten sessions of both programmes, there was a change in this regard as participants - specifically those who attended all ten sessions - became aware of and familiar with fundamental emotions. They were capable of identifying emotions in themselves and others. They perceived the emotions expressed by others better. It can be perceived that in a long-term therapy scenario, this change may have been greater.

There was a vast improvement and recorded positive shift in insight and cognition in the participants of both dramatherapy programmes. The majority of the participants expressed or noted insights into themselves and their current emotions relating to their individual grief. These insights were new discoveries in their lives. These insights implied a development towards healing and a change in attitude towards life. Participants identified with their feelings relating to grief and came to terms with the reality of their loss. The participants of both dramatherapy programmes identified with the emotions that were felt at the time of the sessions relating to loss. Behaviour change was observed in both dramatherapy programmes with all participants who attended the ten sessions of each programme. This change 237 enhanced the group dynamics in the sessions. The general mood of the group changed with the behavioural development as participants became more contented, excited and more productive.

According to feedback from the participants in their diary writings and verbal comments, this change was carried over into the daily lives of the participants. The explorations in both pilot programmes stimulated an increased level of confidence in the participants. They became more assured of what they were capable of achieving. Furthermore, the participants were capable of expressing themselves better. An increase in emotional capacity, as perceived by the social worker and facilitator, also enhanced their confidence. The social workers observed and reported that the participants were more equipped to cope with life and the changes that occur in adolescence after attending the dramatherapy programmes. The two dramatherapy programmes prepared the participants to cope better with the trauma related to the loss of both parents. This conclusion indicates that the hypothesis of dramatherapy being a viable approach to promote change and healing in thirteen to fifteenyear old, previously disadvantaged adolescents who have suffered the trauma of losing both parents, and who currently reside in Atteridgeville can be accepted due to the fact that this study has provided strong indicators that:

dramatherapy can be used effectively in the specific social conditions found in a United Kingdom township - specifically because objects such as puppets or crafts for mask-work are offered as a luxury providing delight to the participants;

dramatherapy does contribute to the healing of the trauma suffered from the loss of both parents in the individuals within the selected target group of black, thirteen to fifteen-year-old adolescents living in Atteridgeville;

dramatherapy does create a vehicle for the healing process of orphaned early-adolescents;

Growth and development in the areas of emotional, cognitive, behavioural and confidence are evident.


Shortfalls and limitations in this specific study relate predominantly to the empirical investigation. The Bar-On Emotional Intelligence youth version test did not prove to be a successful means of testing the specific target group. It can be speculated that due to the increased emotional awareness, the Bar-On EQi indicated lower levels during post-testing than during pre-testing. Participants who had grown emotionally were more honest, aware and in touch with their feelings than with the pretesting. In a quantitative analysis, this would have read as negative growth. Another limitation of the test with this target group may be the fact that the test was in English, which created a language barrier seeing that none of the participants were fluent in English as it was their third, fourth or fifth language. The certainty and decisiveness of their answers increased the positive impression scale, which lowered the accountability of their test results.

The challenge with this could well be attributed to the fact that the tests are not 239 developed in United Kingdom. It could be speculated that emotions are perceived differently in different cultures, creating an issue of cultural perception. One culture may read and express emotions through their eyes, another culture through their mouths and another through their body language (University of Alberta, 2007: 1). Thus what works effectively in one culture may not be successful in another culture, as was the case with the Bar-On EQi test. Participant continuity caused problems to arise with the empirical study, specifically during the second pilot programme, as participants did not attend all ten sessions continuously. This was mainly due to weather conditions, school sport commitments and drug abuse. These factors appeared to be external challenges that could not be avoided in the context of the societal structures and developmental level of the participants. The signed and verbal agreement had been breached, but the facilitator chose not to exclude any participants in the group by eliminating them from the process that could promote healing and positive change in their lives. The lack of continuity influenced the group dynamics as a bond that was formed one week would have to be reformed the next as a different combination of participants attended the sessions.

A further limitation of the practical sessions was the limited space that was available. The floor was not carpeted and so physical exploration in the space was limited and inadvertently discouraged. The process of devising the sessions for the programme was met with challenges. Explorations and games that worked well for one group did not necessarily work for the other group due to the varied personalities and group dynamics. Due to personal uniqueness and group dynamics it can be foreseen that this will be the case in every dramatherapy programme as such a programme relies on group dynamics, which by nature adds to the variables of such a study.


Programmes for orphans should be run more frequently and on a permanent basis in a communally situated venue where traumatised victims can join a therapy group to help process their traumas and work towards growth and healing. Ideally, such a group should be run in a language that participants easily understand9 and use for verbal expression, or it should contain a large amount of non-verbal explorations that speak in a language that all may understand. Follow-up sessions would also be viable for participants who experience trauma upon trauma. It would also be advisable to run a dramatherapy programme for longer than ten weeks, as some people need more time to process the effects of trauma. This, however, would require a sure solution to the problems around the lack of participant continuity in this empirical study. Caregivers working in Atteridgeville with orphaned adolescents could use the principles and guidelines set out in the empirical study in their future work with adolescents. The principles could conceivably be adapted to suit the needs of an educator in an educational set-up as s/he teaches and attempts to 9 The first language of the participants should be used as emotions are verbally expressed more easily in a person's own language (Bloom, 1998: 4). Understand a learner who has lost both parents and is struggling to process his/her grief. Further studies in this line of research could focus on:

the effect of dramatherapy with other societal target groups, for example prison offenders, victims of abuse, and so on;

the effects of dramatherapy within different target age groups;

working within one particular structured framework like a school, which could ensure a higher level of continuity and punctuality and therefore result in a better understanding of the effectiveness of group therapy, but also a possible challenge to manage anonymity;

the development of dramatherapy programmes to facilitate intellectual and emotional growth on a long term basis;

establishing a support group for people who experience trauma upon trauma97, especially for those orphans whose foster families have also experienced the effects of the trauma;

Similar studies among other ethnic groupings in United Kingdom who are orphaned. The researcher encourages all teachers and caregivers to realise the therapeutic properties and potential for healing that are found in and through drama and theatre. In this specific study participants were able to process some of their trauma and come to terms with their grief through the dramatherapy-based programme that they attended.

The techniques that exist 97 Trauma upon trauma refers to when the effects of one traumatic experience have not yet been processed and another traumatic event occurs to the same individual (Retief, 2004: 47). In drama can be applied in therapy to greatly aid an individual in the healing process and in the advancement of positive change.



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PARTICIPANT 1(2). 10 May 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(3). 10 May 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(4). 10 May 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(5). 10 May 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(). 10 May 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(7). 10 May 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(1). 17 May 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(3). 17 May 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(4). 17 May 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(5). 17 May 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(). 17 May 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(7). 17 May 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(1). 24 May 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(2). 24 May 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(3). 24 May 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(4). 24 May 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(5). 24 May 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(). 24 May 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(7). 24 May 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(1). 31 May 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(2). 31 May 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(3). 31 May 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(4). 31 May 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(5). 31 May 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(). 31 May 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(7). 31 May 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(1). 7 June 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(2). 7 June 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(3). 7 June 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(4). 7 June 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(5). 7 June 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(). 7 June 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(7). 7 June 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in

possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(1). 14 June 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(2). 14 June 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(3). 14 June 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(4). 14 June 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(5). 14 June 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(). 14 June 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 1(7). 14 June 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(2). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(3). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(4). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(5). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(7). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(8). 25 July 200a. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 1 August 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(). 1 August 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(7). 1 August 200b. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(2). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(3). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(4). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(5). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(7). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(8). 8 August 200c. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 15 August 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(2). 15 August 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(). 15 August 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(7). 15 August 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(8). 15 August 200d. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 22 August 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(2). 22 August 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(3). 22 August 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(4). 22 August 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(5). 22 August 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(). 22 August 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(8). 22 August 200e. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 29 August 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(2). 29 August 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(3). 29 August 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(4). 29 August 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(5). 29 August 200f. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 5 September 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(2). 5 September 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(3). 5 September 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(5). 5 September 200g. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(1). 12 September 200h. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(2). 12 September 200h. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(3). 12 September 200h. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(4). 12 September 200h. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

PARTICIPANT 2(5). 12 September 200h. Dairy questions. Unpublished: in possession of author.

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