We talked a lot about the duality of theatre and its relation to psychology. In theatre as well as drama therapy we use symbols as emotional safety. Metaphor is used to open up the experience. Metaphor incorporates “both and” vs. “either or”. Through this duality we find the balance in things, people and their personalities. Finding balance, keeping life balance is the goal in life.
Through “the couch and the stage” exercise we began to explore the differences between the two. I was surprised to discover that I gravitated more towards the couch when asked questions regarding: “Where do you feel safe”, “where are you the most yourself”, “where do you heal”. I think I picked the couch, because even though the theatre is my second home, the nature of the theatre implies a performance. When you are performing you are putting yourself out there to be judged, to be viewed. You are acting. I don’t think it is possible for me to be my truest self, under those circumstances.
I was really interested to find that the earliest forms of drama therapy were taken from Shamanism. I have always been drawn towards the occult and find it fascinating that the early shamans used a form of performance as a way to heal. In shamanism the spiritual world centers on the convergence with body and spirit. Natural and supernatural events heal physical and psychological illness. Both are spiritually based. They use herbal remedies and performing arts, music, dance, etc. to heal the unquiet mind.
I found the idea of these healing rituals fascinating and am thrilled to learn that drama therapy’s roots are based in something that I hold close to my heart.