Examples of drama therapy clinical applications:
Auto accident: Children often have a difficult time expressing the trauma they experienced in an automobile accident. Often they are afraid to ride in cars, and exhibit behaviors such as gripping or bracing themselves during travel. Just the sight or sound of an ambulance may cause a painful or scary flashback of the accident. They might have physical injuries including headaches or confusion as well as emotional dysregulation.
Drama therapy can provide many tools for helping children recover from an auto accident, including expressing themselves verbally and emotionally through puppetry, role playing being a passenger in a safe and therapeutic environment, and using imaginative play to reprocess memories into a positive interactive and healing experience.
Environmental disasters: Many people suffering from a collective event, such as a natural disaster or pandemic, may find themselves overly fearful of the element that caused the trauma (rain, fire, germs, etc.). They may have flashbacks of what happened and how they survived, grief from losing a loved one or their possessions, and anger from governmental / institutional actions or neglect.
Drama therapy can help advance healing through role playing various "characters" who played a part in the experience, positive or negative. Through psychodrama and sociodrama, clients can see themselves in relation to others and reframe their perspective on the experience. Transformational performance allows them to write and perform their own story, either privately or publically, so they can step into a new-found confidence and positive light.
Physical and sexual abuse: The trauma of a past violent or manipulative experience remains for life. There are some wounds that never heal and have often evolved into a pattern of repeating and reliving the trauma in various ways throughout life.
Drama therapy can help break the cycles of violence or dysfunctional relationship patterns, as well as help to integrate and process the deep-seated feelings that reside in every cell of the body. Working with puppets, role play and other drama therapy modalities to confront one's abuser in simulation can have a profound impact on initiating the healing process. The creative arts have tremendous healing power and by delving into the deeper realms of consciousness in a safe environment with a trained and registered drama therapist, one can find true empowerment.