Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lights,Camera..Action.. It’s time for Theatre as Treatment Modality in Delhi

On 16th February, Mr. Dishant (whom we have added to the canon of our Theatre as Treatment Modality along with Mr. Madan) took a stupendous theatrical session in Shafa Home, Delhi facility centre. We have long been propagating the use of Drama/Theatre as treatment modality for all our residents. For thousands of years drama has been used in healing rituals. At Shafa Home,  we have rediscovered the therapeutic value of drama and developed the related methods of drama as therapy. In counselling the basis of the work is in talking in a safe, supportive relationship. In drama as therapy this also is true: added to this is the use of creative action when it is useful to help the person progress.

Through drama, the depth and breadth of inner experience can be actively explored and interpersonal relationship skills can be enhanced. Participants can expand their repertoire of dramatic roles to find that their own life roles have been strengthened. Drama as treatment modality deliberately employs theatrical and dramatic techniques to attain therapeutic results. This unique approach provides a platform for the residents of Shafa to actively share their experiences through storytelling while enabling them to express their feelings, problem solve, and achieve a sense of well-being. Participants often find that their own interpersonal relationship tools are improved as a result of portraying several different characters and discovering various inner experiences. In functional settings that provide prevention and treatment, our residents can see Mr. Madan and Mr. Dishant’s drama therapy effect change in their behaviour, emotional state, personal growth, and skill adaptation. 
For many people the word drama is connected with theatre. There is a difference. Drama is a personal experience (the word comes from the Greek drao: “I do” or “struggle”) and theatre is communicating the experience to others (the word comes from the Greek theatron: “a place for seeing/showing”). Sometimes we cannot act on our impulses: it may not be wise to do so and we may then feel stuck. In the theatre of our lives we can feel lost, forget our lines, lose a role, and feel frozen, unable to move or change: we may need a prompt, a rehearsal for the next scene or to go back to a previous scene and sort it out. Acting can then enable us to move, to change. We are all acting and active every day. In our theatre as treatment modality sessions, each person can participate at his/her own level. There is no standard of performance, no critic. Mr. Dishant and Mr. Madan, also involve other activities such as music, drawing, using objects to represent things, movement and images. These methods are ways of helping our residents express what they need and find the strength to cope and change.

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