What is it to live in the “Here and Now?” In this day and age is it becoming too difficult to be present? The expectations, the pressures and the distractions that are a part of our everyday lives certainly challenge our ability to block out the noise and be in tune with our mind, body and soul. If that is the case what happens when traumas of our past are preventing us from being the person we would really like to be?
In Psychodrama, the Here and Now is everything. We can only become aware, change, grow or evolve when we explore our past or the future as though it is happening now.
What do I mean by that? “We can’t change something that has already happened, and we can’t possibly determine what will happen in the future,” I hear you say.
Yes on the one hand you are absolutely correct. We cannot change an outcome and we cannot know our future, BUT what we can do in Psychodrama is explore as though it is happening here, in the moment, and give our brain the opportunity to process the event in a new way. Take a past trauma for example, which in is referred to as an “Act Hunger”, and is essentially unfinished business. By bringing awareness of our unfinished business to the here and now, it allows potential change to take place, a new perspective to be discovered, a new role to develop, and the unhealthy role that we have drawn upon before, to slowly become smaller and hopefully in time with continued practice, even disappear. It empowers us to be able see the impact for what it is, unpack the obstacles, blocks, or emotional and physical pain and begin the healing process. The other important factor is that if our brain experiences the unfinished business in the here and now, then there will be an emotional and physiological connection too. We are in our body, not our heads. This sensory connection is incredibly important and when we can enact, concretise and role reverse our brain will also adapt.
Isn’t this exciting news? You can through your own doing, and the help of an experienced psychodrama director, change the way you respond to your unfinished business, by experiencing it in a new way. Perhaps a smell is enough of a trigger from a traumatic experience to cause an immediate and involuntary physical and emotional response sending you right back to that moment. Through the gentle uncovering and unpacking of your unfinished business through various psychodramatic techniques, you can begin to shift the impact it has on you because you see it. It is a living thing, not simply a thought.
New pathways are created in our brain as a result, based on our actions. The brain responds to action and therefore, in a psychodrama, new emotional and physiological responses are also occurring. We are responding in the moment, spontaneously following the cues that our body is giving us. Therefore, analysis and interpretation is unproductive, it is more constructive to enact the unfinished business and treat it as its own entity, rather than judge and label it. We need to not only know something to be true, but experience it to be true. Only then can we truly shift it. There is no such thing as right or wrong, it is more important to confirm the enactment in ourself as our own reality. By doing this we can become aware of it, name it and allow these discoveries us to help us make the necessary changes so that they no longer have the same negative and unproductive impact on us. It is the truest and most beautiful form of spontaneity and creativity; the act of creating ourselves.
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