HealthPep Talk

Exploring the drama way of therapy

Believe, feel, act and evolve through Drama Therapy. Photo by: mauriciokell
Believe, feel, act and evolve through Drama Therapy. Photo by: mauriciokell

Text by Kinjal Pandya

What is life but a drama? If we were to take a break from being us and simply witness our life, we’d find a symphony playing between emotions, relationships, nature and the mystical Universe. We’d note that just like a drama, our life has got dreams, romance, magic, mystery, tragedy, suffering at periodic intervals. So again, what is life but a drama!

Well, excuse us for a slightly lyrical introduction. But this is what drama brings to you – freedom of expression. And it is this superpower of drama that we want to unveil for you this time.

On a daily basis, we are too busy living our lives. While we are engrossed in doing what we do; our numerous senses feel, emotions ignite and thoughts meander. This juggle goes on relentlessly until we face a helpless situation and life seems to be on pause.

Breaking barriers through drama

Loss of a loved one, disturbing relationships, natural calamity, a failed exam or a break-up – all these incidents bring our life to a standstill every once in a while. It is these phases of life that transform us. However, they also affect us deeply and sometimes even leave a scar in our subconscious. They can form unending patterns in our behaviour which if we don’t address disturb our present and the future. To break these patterns and unhand self from them literally; Drama can prove to be a very effective form of Therapy.

“Drama provides people with a safe place to express themselves. You can play different roles that help you to understand different perspectives and communicate more effectively”, says Varsha Makhija, a Mumbai-based Clinical Psychologist.

Drama therapy works beyond mental illness

The beauty of Drama therapy is that it is not limited only to individuals who have gone through trauma or mental illness, it can be helpful to almost everyone. Owing to this, we personally reached out to someone who has participated and experienced drama beyond the stage.

“Improv (Improvisational Theatre) helped me let go of my inhibitions. It helped me trust the flow of situations and see that somehow everything will fall in place. I learnt to be spontaneous and present. It was the most out of the box thing I ever did and it showed me “myself” in a different light.” – Surabhi Kalsi, a Mumbai-based holistic health coach, author and a blogger.

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Would kids respond to drama therapy?

Drama has found its therapeutic relevance even with kids and adolescents. According to Montreal Therapy, children naturally learn and process their hopes and fears through play and fantasy. Drama Therapy is a great option because it uses this familiar language. It provides a safe and even fun way for children to explore their feelings and create meaning from difficult situations in a creative and non-threatening fashion.

So whoever you are, whatever you’re doing just put on your acting hats. Believe, feel, act and evolve.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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