Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Psychodrama - The Action Method in Kindergarten
When I went to the Trial Lawyers College in 1994, I had never heard of psychodrama. In the First several days, I learned a lot. John Nolte, a preeminent psychodramatist, showed us how re-enacting events and role-reversals can rock your world. Psychodrama was developed by Dr. J. L. Moreno, an Austrian physician for psychological therapy. He emigrated to the United States in the early Twentieth Century and set up psychodrama centers. Moreno described psychodrama as "truth in action." Trial lawyers use psychodrama to prepare for trial, to find out their clients' truths.
I was captivated by the transformative effects of psychodrama and actively pursued training. I learned about myself and others. I learned to value and develop empathy and compassion. I learned to listen to others and to understand my clients, the witnesses in cases and others. I gained experience in psychodramatic techniques and went so far to become a certified practitioner, through study and practice and I believe I have benefited wildly from the experience.
I have considered the benefits of psychodrama for me personally and as a lawyer, but I did not think about other possible applications until today. My husband and I both volunteer in a kindergarten. The teacher is caring, intelligent and imaginative. Today, she told me she read her little students a story. First, she told them to shut their eyes while they listened. When she asked them to relay the story, they did not do well. She then had them listen to a story with their eyes open. They couldn't relay it well again. Next, she had them act out the story. They all had vivid recollections of the story and wrote amazing renditions. Most of these kids are 6 years old. Wow, psychodrama in kindergarten!