I think drama therapy is most effective in a group setting.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (including variants like Delta and Omicron), I am not currently offering in-person groups.
Please check back here for future updates.
Why Would I Want to Attend a Group?
Why Groups are Hard
A lot of individuals who struggle with their mental health also tend to struggle with building and maintaining relationships.
Maybe someone important to you in the past wasn’t there for you when you needed them. You were alone and in danger, and no one came when you needed help. Or worse, you were betrayed or harmed by someone you trusted!
This can make it challenging to trust other people, and understandably so!
These kinds of experiences create a lot of anxiety around the thought of participating in a group. But it is also what makes groups so powerful.
How Groups Can Help
Being able to be seen, heard, and valued in a group is the most effective way to heal trauma from past experiences of harm in relationship with others.
The structure and agreements of a therapeutic group process, and the presence of a facilitator, reduce the risk that conflict will lead to harm.
In a therapeutic group, you get to have a different embodied experience of being in relationship with others than what happened in your past.
This helps teach your nervous system that you can have positive experiences with others, and can reduce anxiety around participating in group events in the future.
Participating in a group allows you to gain self-awareness of how you show up with/for others.
Therapeutic spaces offer a mirror into our experience. Though interactions with other group members, we can see ourselves in a different light.
This can create anxiety and uncertainty. It also magnifies the healing potential of therapeutic work.
A group can also be an important source of peer support. Often, we feel isolated in our struggles. Knowing other people are experiencing similar things can help you feel less alone. This reduces guilt and shame. Which makes it easier to cope.
What Can I Expect if I Join a Group?
Each group will be structured differently, based on the needs and goals of the participants.
Participating in a group allows us to learn more about each other. We will learn about what we have in common, as well as our differences. Then, we will decide together what to explore further.
Creating art is inherently therapeutic. And making meaning out of that art can help us gain insight and self-awareness.
A group might focusing on playing drama games or improvise scenes. Groups can also be a good way to explore challenging interactions in our own lives through role play. We might also make visual art, listen to music, or do creative writing.
But every group will be a little bit different. It depends who shows up!
What if I don’t want to participate in a group activity?
You never have to do anything you feel uncomfortable with. All activities are optional.
Drama therapy values the role of the Witness. This means we think you can still benefit from watching others participate in the group!
Our brains have something called mirror neurons. They help us feel empathy when watching others express an emotion or complete a task. This is why you may have an emotional response to watching a TV show or film, a play, or seeing someone get hurt in real life.
So even being present in a group setting can have positive benefits! And, the more you watch, it may reduce your anxiety around participation.
Your wants and needs matter. You can ask for the group to shift if it isn’t working for you. A group might not be able to accommodate every request, but working together to find a solution that works best for everyone is part of the process.
“Dana provides rare insights at the intersection of performance, therapy, and identity, to which they bring compassion, wisdom, and a collaborative approach. Discussions with them are elucidating and well-founded, certain bring greater discoveries to an individual, team, or community.”G.J. Hodson, Caregiving Researcher
Yes! I Want to Learn More!
If you’re curious and potentially interested in participating in a group…
If you want to learn more about drama therapy groups or the benefits of group work…
Organizations and Community Organizers
Drama therapy can be helpful for teambuilding and conflict resolution.
Theatre of the Oppressed techniques can also be a vehicle to explore systemic oppression.
I also offer educational workshops on a variety of topics.