Musings: Psychology and Drama Therapy…

Having been dissed by Linda and Byron (thasssssright! Linda, pack your bags, the guilt trip just began), I decided to check out where I could get a bite near Union Square. So I ended up chilling at a pretty cozy bar/dinner place next to a girl, who, it seemed, was desparately attempting to hide in her NY baseball cap from a respectable, yet thoroughly drunk man the color of tomato. With his speech leaving much to be desired in both shape and content was making passes at the poor girl like a 747 at a turtle and just as effective… and try as I might, I could not come up with a way to save her. An apology for my complete lack of skillz, however, was a pleasant segway into an interesting conversation about psychology – turned out she’s doing her grad at NYU in psychology + drama therapy. Most interesting points I remember from the discussion:

– drama therapy distances the subject from the event allowing them to feel protected while bringing the events or aspects there-of through roles

For example: for an abuse victum, the subject can associate the other players with other characters from the memory.

– if I understood correctly, in drama therapy the premise is that every person has multiple roles. When something goes wrong with a person, one or more of those roles become more significant/insignificant than others (dominating ideas), and drama threapy aims to correct that

So that means that if we take an abuse situation, then the patient might have the following issues:
– overwhelming victum role
– negative associations between aggression and different acts
– overwhelmed positive associations

So to heal then would mean to break down “bad” associations or to overwhelm them with good ones, which is the primary premise of EMDR (AFAIK, of course). So then what is probably done:
1. role playing allows the individual to reassert a dominating role (balance inferior roles with superior roles thus attempting to regain other roles that have been dominated by the “I am a victum” role). Note that here, bringing up past experiences is not necessary. However bringing them up may begin to break down associations if they are linked to properly…
2. role-playing with a friend: if the friend acts as the aggressor, then, if properly executed, the patiend will associate the aggressor with the friend, but the positive associations with the friend would override the negative associations for the aggressor

This all feels like voodoo science. I wonder if there is any fMRI or some such evidence to prove or disprove this line of reasoning.

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