Journal Article

Psychodrama as a Social Work Modality

Debra A. Konopik and Monit Cheung

in Social Work

Published on behalf of National Association of Social Workers

Volume 58, issue 1, pages 9-20
Published in print January 2013 | ISSN: 0037-8046
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1545-6846 | DOI:
Psychodrama as a Social Work Modality

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Psychodrama is the process of enacting or reenacting relevant aspects or roles from current and past events to instill hope in clients who are facing life issues. This article examines the outcomes of a five-stage psychodrama treatment through a social worker's direct participation in a partial hospitalization program. Observation notes and supervisors' inputs were used to analyze the therapeutic outcomes of 13 patients who assumed the role of protagonist. Rather than through use of a symptom checklist, the treatment outcomes were measured on the basis of the ability of each patient to connect feelings to expressed concerns and anticipated changes. Through content analysis of communication patterns, these concerns were linked to eight therapeutic themes: change in emotions, family of origin issues, impact of group work, relationships with others, impact of the past, self-awareness, self-worth, and shift of personal views. This study highlights the importance of the combined effort of both the therapist and the patient, making psychodrama a bridge to further treatment. Psychodrama is both a clinical method and an educational opportunity for social workers.

Keywords: participatory observations; protagonist; psychodrama; social work integration

Journal Article.  6941 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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