Sociodrama is a method by which a group of individuals select and spontaneously enact a specific social situation common to their experience.
In doing this Sociodrama can provide an action forum for resolving conflicts among people with different views. It is also effective in clarifying values, developing social skills, solving problems, diagnosing an organisation, developing and rehearsing action plans or improving personal effectiveness and awareness.
Sociodrama groups may take several approaches to working with their shared experiences. They may work on problem-solving, developing deeper understanding, making decisions or learning new roles.
For example, a group of managers at a conference might wish to explore what the future will expect of them, then develop a strategic plan and trial responses to it. A group of unemployed persons may want to learn how to act at a job interview.
A group of school social workers might enact a scene in which a family denies a child’s behaviour in school. They would work together in the drama to solve the problem.
In a group of law enforcement personnel, a Sociodrama about a rape victim’s experience and feelings can lead to greater understanding in handling rape situations sensitively.
These examples demonstrate briefly that Sociodrama is applied with groups that share a common experience or problem and that have common goals in regard to that problem.
Unlike simple role playing, Sociodrama employs many special ‘Action Methods’ to deepen and broaden the enactment. The aside, doubling, soliloquy, role reversal and mirroring, all help the group members experience their roles in the life-drama more fully. Theatrical training or interest is unnecessary to Sociodrama. The modality is a group interaction process used to assist all types of populations in meeting specific group goals. The method draws upon a person’s ability to learn with their whole body and mind. It is a kinesthetic, emotional and cognitive educational methodology.
“Sociodrama has been defined as a deep action method dealing with intergroup relations and collective ideologies. The true subject of a sociodrama is the group. The concept underlying this approach is the recognition that man is a role player, that every individual is characterised by a certain range of roles which dominate his behaviour and that every culture is characterised by a certain set of roles which it imposes with a varying degree of success upon its members.”
Where and for whom?
Sociodramatic and Action Method techniques are actively used in a broad range of educational, health and business environments throughout the world. Sociodrama is used with great success with both low and high functioning populations. Its applications are limitless. Some of the representative practitioners who utilize sociodrama are:
- Personnel trainers and HRD practitioners
- Employers and managers
- Mental health practitioners
- Marriage and family counsellors
- The Military
- Law enforcement personnel
Sociodrama is commonly used with many kinds of public and private sector organisations, communities and learning groups as well as with more specialist or marginalised groups eg:
- Crisis intervention trainees
- Psychiatric inpatients/outpatients
- Prison populations
- Alcohol and drug patients
- People with disabilities
- Children and older people
- People with learning disabilities
For more information about courses in Sociodrama and Action Methods visit the MPV/SAM website or contact Ron Wiener on 0113 2667722 or by email at email@example.com