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Why is Psychodrama Used in Addiction Treatment?

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What is Psychodrama Therapy?

Why is Psychodrama Used in Addiction Treatment?

At New Directions for Women, we believe in addressing all aspects of the recovering woman. This includes unhealed wounds caused by childhood trauma.

We will be discussing psychodrama therapy in a four-part blog series. Psychodrama therapy is just one of the many services we offer to women who come to us for substance use disorder treatment.

In addition to this introductory article, we will also introduce different psychodrama techniques, discuss the therapeutic value of psychodrama exercises, and explain how you could benefit from psychodrama group therapy in later blogs.

First, let’s define psychodrama in simple terms.  

Psychodrama is considered an experiential form of therapy that allows for the healing of past events by reenacting them in a group therapy setting with the help of a therapist and peers through role rehearsal and dynamic expression.

We will discuss the specifics of psychodrama in greater detail in the weeks to come during this blog series. For now, let’s focus on why this therapy is used in addiction treatment.

Psychodrama Therapy Helps Women Heal Childhood Wounds

Undergoing a Psychodrama session allows women in our care to quickly and spontaneously access emotions and insights they previously were unable to tap into for an emotional release.

Our Clinical Supervisor Gina Tabrizy, MS, LMFT has over thirty years of experience as a healer, and her demeanor and style are often called “magical”, “inspirational” and “incredibly healing”. Her expertise in trauma and addiction enables her to facilitate deep healing of the past using Psychodrama during weekly groups, and she has been leading them at NDFW for over fifteen years!

At New Directions for Women, we work hard to stay on the cutting edge of substance use disorder treatment, which is why we include psychodrama therapy in our recovery efforts.

The majority of the women who come to use for help with an addiction to drugs or alcohol enter treatment with deep childhood wounds.

These may include:

  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Physical, mental, verbal, emotional, or spiritual abuse
  • Domestic violence among parents or caregivers
  • Abandonment from one or both parents
  • Neglect

When a child experiences a traumatizing event as a child, this can create a wound that goes unhealed. This injury can continue to radiate unbearable pain years after the event, which can lead to self-medication. This can lead to a substance use disorder.

Let’s talk more about this.

PTSD is Common for Women Who Seek Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Psychodrama therapy is an effective way to treat women who are struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a substance use disorder, which is considered a dual-diagnosis.

When women experience trauma in their early years of life, and this trauma is unresolved, she can suffer from undiagnosed PTSD for after the event. Symptoms of this disorder can be completely debilitating. They include depression, anxiety, chronic nightmares, difficulty in relationships, employment issues, mand other awful experiences.

Women often turns to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of PTSD, which often leads to addiction. Psychodrama techniques allows for a rewrite of a previous script that plays over and over in the mind. It targets underlying issues that led to the addiction in the first place.

This is why psychodrama is one of the clinical services used in substance use disorder treatment at New Directions for Women. Through the use of group interaction and role play, this interactive method of therapy helps our patients investigate their inner and outer worlds and experiences. Psychodrama is action-oriented and helps women practice new behaviors in all areas of their lives.

The Recovery Process is About More Than Just Staying Sober

Most women go into the recovery process thinking sobriety will be a simple matter of abstinence from mind-altering substances. This is simply not the case. The truth is, staying clean is far more complex.

Psychodrama is used in addiction treatment because staying sober is about so much more than not putting drugs and alcohol in your body. Recovery is work. It’s about healing old wounds, confronting unresolved traumas, and identifying what triggered the addiction in the first place. This is where psychodrama therapy comes in.

Be sure to check out next week’s blog: The Therapeutic Value of Psychodrama Exercises.

New Directions for Women is Accepting New Clients During the COVID-19 Crisis

As our country continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, safety remains our number one concern at New Directions for Women. There is no question that addiction treatment is essential.

A substance use disorder is a life-threatening disease that requires immediate medical attention. As such, we are up and running and fully operational during these uncertain times. We take extensive safety precautions to ensure that everyone at our residential facility is protected from the spread of COVID-19.

Our virtual outpatient program is highly effective and allows women to participate in recovery from the comfort of home.

Reaching out can be difficult, but there is no shame in admitting you need help. New Directions for Women is run by women for women. We believe in a compassionate approach toward substance use disorder treatment.

When you’re ready to get sober and find a new way to live, we’re here. Recovery is a beautiful process of healing and transformation. What are you waiting for?

Need some motivation to get sober? Here are 13 super fun things you can do in recovery.

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