Psychodrama Preparation for Internship
Nguyen, Peter Viet
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Psychodrama is a psychotherapeutic technique that aims to guide patients in expressing their life experiences through dramatic enactments. It is a clinical technique that can also enhance clinical skill learning. According to Avrahami (2003), psychodrama focuses on a “protagonist,” or drama character, to explore life issues, conflicts, unfinished business, and maladaptive behaviors in front of a group of learners or patients. Psychodrama has been shown to be successful because it is action-oriented (Dayton & Nicholas, 2009) and offers discussions of each session between the therapist and the protagonist (played by a client) (Avrahami, 2003; Drakulic, 2010). Jenkyns (2008) suggests that psycho-drama can be used as a supervisory tool, as it is a “projective work” approach that encourages pro-fessionals to act or observe the enactment of life situations relevant to clients (p. 99). Hinkle (2008) calls this a “parallel learning” process in that a counseling professional learns through the enactment group and appreciates learning from the client’s perspective (p. 401). This article illustrates the experiential use of psychodrama techniques to provide internship orientation and its educational impact on an MSW intern. We analyzed the intern’s notes and the supervisor’s responses for evidence that using psychodrama could provide interns the means to conduct self-reflective learning to prepare them for placement.