At Ewha, there is a club named "Psychodrama" that performs diverse kinds of plays. Once a year, in December, members perform different plays depending on their emotional states and experiences. According to Kim Eun-hye (Psychology, 3), the president of the club, naive people who do not have much motivation to live can regain courage by either performing or watching a psychodrama.
The word "Psycho" means mind or soul. Psychodrama is a method of counseling through performances with the purpose of healing, educating, preventing mental and emotional problems, and developing individuality. The main focus of psychodrama is allowing someone to express their emotions and feelings through acting or through feeling catharsis.
The acting scenes are imitations of the real situations so as to create a similar atmosphere in order to allow the patient to experience the situation again. Through re-experience of the situation, one suffering from stress or problems in real life can find better solutions or determine the causes to their current problems. Usually, the performances are about inner feelings or thoughts that one cannot overtly express in everyday life. These performances are highly effective since all people experience certain limitations in their acts throughout their lives.
Psychodrama is recommended especially for people who do not speak out and show their inner self to other people. Negative emotions that are not expressed through words pile up in one's mind and can cause hypochondria or severe headaches. Therefore, relieving stress through verbal language is important to maintaining a healthy and energetic life. "We, members, meet the other half of ourselves by solving conflicts within our inner selves and viewing other sides of numerous conflicts we experience," said Kim. Through these dramas, the performers and viewers can further understand the world as well as themselves and their surroundings.
Psychodrama could be more effective than other methods in curing mental disorders. Since music therapy is sound and art therapy is visual, these therapies make the patient be passive in the process of treatment since they are only taking in information and instructions. Psychotherapy is a performing art, which provokes patients to be active as they express their emotions. Also, psychodrama not only cures the performers but also the viewers as a result of catharsis effect.
Psychodrama can be highly personal because most dramas are based upon personal experiences and emotions. Nevertheless, Psychodrama club members receive help from professionals and watch many dramas performed by other actors to further improve skills to portray their feelings and emotions.
According to Kim, psychodrama also offers both the performer and the viewer time to rest and regenerate. "I wish that everybody would participate in psychodrama, understand and recreate themselves, and express their emotions," said Kim.
Students who wish to recieve psychotherapy can receive help from Kim Young-han, the representative of Starchair Socio-psychodrama Institute located in Dongdaemun-gu (http://www.psychodrama.or.kr).