Healing through concrete experiences of the abstract
If you’ve ever experienced psychodrama, particularly as it is practiced at The Wellness Institute, you realize how powerful it can be. If it’s new to you, this article will help you learn more about this potent process, and how you can experience it for yourself.
Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama is a group activity, wherein the client experiences an inner process externally. The other participants in the group play the roles of the people involved in the clients traumatic experiences, be they current or in childhood. In the course of conducting the session, the facilitator cues the various “characters” to repeat the exact words to intensify the client’s memory and trigger responses that can assist the client in deep healing.
What makes Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama especially effective?
There are different ways to practice psychodrama. Most practitioners work with a client who is in a conscious state of mind. While the process is effective and hastens the healing of the clients, with group members playing the roles of family members, bosses, and other authority figures, it can often feel stilted or staged. Remaining in a fully conscious state of mind, the client is more likely to attempt to contain the experience to that which can be easily tolerated.
In Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama, clients are invited to enter a light trance state, such as they would experience in a hypnotherapy session. This allows them to open up to deeper wounds, and, as Diane Zimberoff states, to bypass the client’s defenses. This allows clients to do the really difficult work that’s necessary for full and complete healing.
You can get more of a flavor of what an actual session might be like by reading this previous post. For our purposes here, let’s stick to the basics and discover why Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama is such an incredible tool for uncovering the mysteries of a client’s psyche.
Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama
What is a Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama session like?
Teacher and co-founder of The Wellness Institute David Hartman tells students, “If hypnotherapy is like driving a sports car, psychodrama is akin to operating an 18-wheeler.” It is a powerful technique, but it also requires experience, training, and confidence in one’s “inner knowing.”
The process is really an expanded version of a hypnotherapy session. The therapist conducts a brief interview with the client, induces a light trance state and encourages the client to let a time or place come to mind that is related to the presenting issue.
As the client describes the scene, the players launch into action, executing the roles of the people who were with the client in the scene. The roles might include a parent, a judge, teacher or other authority figures, classmates, siblings, or even a part of the body, such as a pain in the hand or an ache in the stomach.
As the client hears these roles being played, emotions rise up and the client is able to process them by expressing them in the way they might have wanted to at that time, had their brains not been locked due to shock.
The facilitator and the group might use props to bring dramatic feelings such as “being pulled in two directions” or “being totally abandoned.” This can be accomplished online as well as in person. All it takes is creativity on the part of the facilitator and the group, and a lot of teamwork.
After expressing and releasing the emotions, the client identifies the old, faulty conclusions that were made at the point of the trauma, and the behaviors that developed as the result of that experience and the beliefs that developed under those circumstances.
The process is usually repeated, so the client can go back to another scene or two. This permits the client to clearly see lifelong patterns that have been at the root of the client’s problems. Toward the end of the session, the facilitator takes the client back to the old conclusions and behaviors and gives the client the chance to re-frame them.
Once this exploratory process is complete, there is a healing process where the client is invited to engage in dialogue with the inner child, titrate any remaining negative feelings, and establish affirmations, symbols, and colors that anchor the positive experience.
The group then gathers around, offers a soothing song to help augment the affirmations, and then each player allows the client to “de-role” them. It’s important for the client to intentionally remind him/herself that a colleague is not that difficult person from the past, but a loving, caring member of their therapy group.
How can you experience Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama?
If you’re totally new to The Wellness Institute, you can experience this technique by attending a Personal Transformation Intensive program. Teachers across the world offer this experience to those who are just entering the world of Heart-Centered therapies.
If you’ve already taken the Six-Day Training and Certification program, you can learn more about psychodrama in The Advanced Internship. As psychodrama is an advanced technique, you won’t be expected to facilitate that “18-wheeler” at this comparatively early stage of your training.
To learn how to facilitate Heart-Centered Energetic Psychodrama, you can move on after the Internship to PTI Leadership training. This program prepares you to run your own PTI programs. Holding PTI programs of your own will assist you in expanding your practice and helping current clients heal on a deep level.
When you participate in the PTI Leadership training program, you will learn how to facilitate psychodramas, and you’ll be challenged to develop the stamina, knowledge and confidence it takes to lead these transformational group experiences. You will use psychodramas as a way of helping your PTI group participants enhance their healing.
Ready to jump into that big truck and start driving? Get started with the Six-Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification program, enroll in the Internship, or, if you’ve already completed these two courses, take that step up to the PTI Leadership Training program right away. The next class is filling up fast!