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Vol 21, No 2, Article 02: PDF

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Introduction to Psychodrama
MARCIA KARP

Preamble
A little girl asked her Mum, “What's life?” Mum replied, “Life is what happens to you while you're waiting to grow up.” Psychodrama has been defined as a way of practicing living without being punished for making mistakes; that is to say, practicing growing up while you are doing it. The action that takes place in a group is a way of looking at one's life as it moves. It is a way of looking at what happened and what didn't happen in a given situation. All scenes take place in the present, even though a person may want to enact something from the past, or something in the future. The group enacts a portion of life, as if on a video seen through the eyes of the protagonist or subject of the session. The personal representation of truth by the protagonist can be eye-opening for someone else watching; who may see them reflected in the struggle to express what is real. J.L. Moreno, who founded psychodrama in Vienna in the early 1900, described it as 'a scientific exploration of truth through dramatic method’. Moreno (1953) had observed that thus far there was science without religion and religion without science: he felt the way forward was a combination: “A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of mankind.”

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