Psychodrama addiction therapy helps people use drama in a peer support setting to work through certain scenarios in order to know how to navigate them in real life. Most people are unaware of what psychodrama therapy is, let alone the fact that is can be used during addiction treatment.

When someone suffers from an addiction, they usually want to get help. However, they may not know where to turn. Additionally, they may not know how many options for treatment exist. Programs like detox provide the initial help needed to safely overcome drug withdrawal. But addiction treatment following detox is where individuals figure out how to get through cravings, triggers and the mental health issues associated with addiction and recovery.

What is Psychodrama Addiction Therapy?

man and woman participating in psychodrama addiction therapy in Los Angeles

Psychodrama addiction therapy is a form of psychotherapy that relies on re-enactment, role-playing, and problem-solving. Generally, psychodrama addiction therapy occurs in a group setting. However, it’s not a form of group therapy. Rather, it is a form of individual psychotherapy that occurs in a group setting.

During psychodrama addiction therapy in Los Angeles, an individual describes a scenario that caused them distress or was difficult for them to manage. Then, the client takes on the role of the protagonist for this scenario. Other members of the group act out other parties present in the situation. With this in mind, they try to work through the client’s thoughts and feelings as they experience this situation again.

Although roleplay is the most common psychodrama technique, there are other modalities, including:

  • Mirroring: The client acts out their experience. Then, another member of the group re-enacts what they saw so the client can watch.
  • Doubling: During the scenario, a client has a “double” who voices any thoughts or feelings that the client is unable to express. The client is also allowed to disown or correct any of the double’s statements.
  • Soliloquy: The client shares his or her thoughts to the group to build self-awareness and knowledge.
  • Role Reversal: Another person plays the client’s “protagonist” role while the client plays a secondary character. This encourages empathy and allows the client to see themselves through their own eyes.

Often, a session will use some or all of these techniques to help the client fully understand the scenario and their feelings. For especially difficult scenarios, psychodrama therapy can help a person evaluate and understand these situations. As part of a comprehensive therapy plan, psychodrama addiction treatment can provide support for recovery.

Treating Addiction With Psychodrama Therapy

Psychodrama therapy can prove useful for those struggling with addiction. Using psychodrama addiction treatment helps people learn about themselves. Because of this, they can more easily process their emotions. This, in turn, helps them improve their social skills.

Group therapy can benefit people by improving their ability to communicate well with others. Psychodrama therapy helps them handle past and future situations better. It does this by teaching people how to deal with triggers and stresses through practice sessions. Lessons learned during these sessions can extend long into the future.

How Psychodrama Therapy Helps Treat Mental Health Disorders

It can be hard for an individual new to recovery to process thoughts and emotions about situations. The fog of drugs and alcohol makes it hard to identify and evaluate their feelings. Psychodrama therapy gives clients a second chance to fully understand their feelings. From there, they can assess their reactions to any given situation.

Additionally, this type of therapy helps to increase self-awareness and empathy. Sometimes a person reacts negatively to a situation without knowing why. Psychodrama addiction therapy gives them the chance to try the situation again. As well, they can witness what their reaction looked like from the outside. Having to experience the situation in someone else’s shoes gives the client a better idea of how their actions affect others.

Treating Trauma

Psychodrama therapy can be incorporated into group therapy with individuals who have experienced a similar form of trauma. For example, this can be a group of patients that witnessed a school shooting or have experienced a natural disaster.

When individuals suffering from past trauma feel a threat to their safety, their bodies undergo chemical changes. If they aren’t able to remove themselves from the situation, they experience a state of fight, flight, or freeze. This is how the body protects itself from harm. This results in a feeling of disassociation and numbness.

The individual may experience difficulty processing thoughts and feelings. As a result, they feel acute anxiety when no real threat is present. This occurs when the person experiences a traumatic trigger.

Psychodrama therapy works primarily through actions rather than verbal communication. During role-playing in psychodrama therapy, the person re-experiences the thoughts, emotions, and memories of the event without allowing their bodies to shut down. The acting component of psychodrama therapy helps people tap into their sensorimotor level. In turn, they can release bottled-up emotions. Psychodrama therapy is especially beneficial when used in combination with individual treatment.

What are the Benefits of Psychodrama Addiction Therapy for Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders happen when both an addiction and mental health disorder occur together. For example, an individual may be struggling with depression and alcohol addiction at the same time. Through dual diagnosis treatment, both disorders can be treated. When psychodrama addiction treatment is included, great progress can happen.

Therapy can be especially beneficial in people with co-occurring disorders. This includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In conjunction with psychodrama therapy and other treatment services, CBT can help a great deal. The benefits of CBT include:

  • Learning skills on how to effectively work through negative thinking patterns
  • Helping address and replace negative or self-deprecating thoughts and behaviors
  • Creating a toolkit of effective coping skills

Begin Psychodrama Therapy for Addiction & Mental Health in Los Angeles

Learning to manage mental health conditions is a critical part of addiction recovery. Options like psychodrama addiction therapy allow people to gain control of their substance use disorders. As a consequence, they can learn to understand and stay in solid recovery. We provide several treatment options that help people conquer their addictions. Along with that, we help heal mental health conditions. Contact LA Detox today and find out how we can help you come back to life. We are happy to answer all your questions and help you get started.