Can Drama Therapy Help with Driving Fears?

by on April 1, 2016

drama therapyLet’s say your driving anxiety has you so paralyzed with fear that you stop the car, get out – and just start running down the road and screaming. Or maybe you’re so fed up with your driving fears that you get out of the car, kick the tires and try to flip the whole thing over.

While these are not actions most of us would take in real life, they may have been those we have wanted to take to express our emotions. And you can freely take those or any other actions you wish – in a supportive environment with no risk of detrimental consequences – if you engage in drama therapy.

What It Is

Drama therapy can be described as using theater techniques to help with personal growth and overall health, useful for treating people with a wide scope of cognitive, developmental or mental health disorders. Like music therapy and dance therapy, drama therapy incorporates creativity to take people through their problems to find a solution.

Drama therapists typically have a background in psychology as well as performance arts, and they may use any element of performance art in their therapeutic sessions.

How It Works

Activities can include any type or combination of activities, such as:

  • Myths and stories
  • Improvisation
  • Puppetry
  • Play
  • Masks
  • Role play
  • Rituals

The overall goal is to unite the body and mind, with methods that indirectly walk participants through their issues and provide a new perspective on themselves, other people and their problems.

Stories can be based on real-life experiences or total fiction. Plays or puppetry performance may incorporate an overall theme that lets participants explore an issue, with the option of producing scripts and presenting the performance to an audience.

Role play activities can be very helpful for creating situations in which people may feel afraid, unsure or uncomfortable. Role playing allows them to try out a number of different personas in various scenarios, a strategy that can help them become more comfortable with the scenarios in real life.

Rather than critique or comment on the actual performance, group discussions would instead focus on what memories, feelings and associations were stirred up through the drama.

Overall Benefits

Working through issues can be a powerful process, and drama therapy can produce a number of benefits. These can include:

  • Achieving change, by learning new skills, eliminating old habits or coming to terms with a difficult past experience or history
  • Providing catharsis
  • Exploring emotions as well as solutions to emotional and mental health issues
  • Giving a voice and means of expressing it to those who have a difficult time sharing their feelings and needs
  • Improving confidence, self-esteem and self-worth
  • Helping people conquer conflict and anxieties

Drama Therapy for Driving Fears

In addition to acting out scenarios where you get to run down the road or kick at your car in a rage, drama therapy could be useful for exploring deeper or related emotions as well as past events that continue to contribute to your driving anxiety.

Even if don’t necessarily tackle driving fears head-on as a main topic, digging into any number of other fears and feelings can be useful for achieving overall change and chipping away at long-held phobias, anxiety and fears.

Photo Credit: aboutbalance via Compfight cc

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