Drama therapy in the context of psychiatric care

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Drama therapy involves the systematic use of drama and theatre processes to alleviate distress and to promote health and well-being. In the context of psychiatric care, drama therapists tend to work in four main areas: brief acute inpatient care, long-term inpatient care, outpatient care and staff development. In acute psychiatry, drama therapy may complement allopathic treatments, providing improvements in self-esteem and self-efficacy, distraction and relief from concerns and negative thoughts, insight, and social connection. In outpatient care, drama therapy increases social interaction, facilitates emotional regulation, and offers a means of rehearsing interpersonal skills. With regard to staff development, drama therapeutic techniques may be used to help staff identify and represent feelings concerning their patients, rehearse responses to problems present in the organizational structure, examine the relationship between social factors and the presentation of psychological distress, and increase their own sense of spontaneity and creativity. While the available evidence is promising, further study of the effects of drama therapy in the context of psychiatry will increase access to this creative approach to psychiatric care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArts Therapies in Psychiatric Rehabilitation
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030762087
ISBN (Print)9783030762070
StatePublished - Jul 28 2021


  • Developmental transformations
  • Drama therapy
  • Improvisation
  • Mental health
  • Performance
  • Play
  • Psychiatry
  • Role method
  • Theatre therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Psychology


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