Psychodrama as an adjunct to marital counseling

Psychodrama has been used in a variety of therapeutic situations -- group therapy, formal psychodrama groups, conjoint marital and family therapy, and adapted for use in individual therapy. Psychodrarna, the formal method devised by J. L. Moreno, uses role playing for the enactment of problem situations. Confusion has resulted between psychodrama (which always has role play in the middle stage) and role playing (which is often used in therapy, such as the gestalt chair technique, and in itself is not psychodrarna). This study focuses on the use of psychodrama in marital or couple's counseling. A questionnaire was devised to assess how marital councilors are actually using psychodrama in their practices. The questionnaire also asesses the use of role playing. The hypothesis is that most marital counselors do not have a formal training background in psychodrama but will have more familiarity with role playing and thus will use it more in their practices. The questionnaire was mailed to 200 marriage counselors selected from the Northwestern Section telephone directory yellow pages. Fifty-four questionnaires were returned. The results of the questionnaire showed that marital counselors use role playing more frequently than psychodrama, and have more training in role playing than psychodrama, but these results were not significant according to t-tests. Results of the questionnaire were questionable as the N was small (N 54), and many subjects gave incomplete or incomputable answers. Implied from the results are that many many counselors use role playing but are not familiar with psychodrama. More complete research needs to be done in this area, and perhaps more training programs could include psychodrama training to enable more counselors to use this method.