Figge (1982) Dramatherapy and Social Anxiety: Results of the Use of Drama In Behaviour Therapy

literature type:

journal article


Peter A.W. Figge. Dramatherapy. 1982; Vol. 6, No. 1: pp 3-17.


41 socially anxious students who sought psychotherapeutic help at the Counselling and Psychotherapy Center of Hamburg University were treated with dramatherapy In groups. Averaging a twelve-year problem duration of social anxiety, the dramatherapeutic subjects do not differ from the average non-therapy seeking student when compared in general social and family background or in intellectual capability. There are indications for a special helper-helpee relationship between parent and child as prerequisite for the development of social anxiety.

After four single therapy sessions, the treatment consisted of 16—three hour group sessions once a week, one of these being a three-day “intensive session” in the seclusion of a country meeting place. A therapy group consisted of eight clients (four female, four male) and one female, one male psychotherapist.

In comparing changes of an experimental group (n = 21) after dramatherapy with those of a control group (n = 20) who had been waiting for psychotherapy, drama games and exercises in combination with the work on a specially designed interaction hierarchy proved responsible for significant improvements of the experimental group on cognitive, emotional and behavioural levels. These effects having steadily developed during the process of the group therapy appear to be stable up to seven months after group therapy when follow up interviews were conducted. The therapy procedure Is illustrated, exemplary results are discussed.


arts categories:

theater arts

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