A Discussion on Science and Research in Psychodrama

Phil: Hello Charmaine. I very much appreciate your paper (McVea, 2007) in the AANZPA journal. I am curious as to what impact it had. What was your motivation in presenting it and what has arisen out of it?

Charmaine: The study that I discussed in the 2007 journal investigated the short and longer term impact of a psychodrama enactment for the protagonist using Robert Elliot's (2002) single-case efficacy design.

My motivation for writing the article was to demonstrate that research can be done with integrity and can produce encouraging results that illuminate our practice and give us a vehicle to communicate the benefits of our method to others. By integrity, I mean that we can investigate psychodrama without compromising its form or philosophy. Elliott's approach is practice-based and, I believe, a good fit with psychodrama. I have a vision of creating a series of efficacy studies based on the work of AANZPA practitioners, which would combine to form a substantial research project. From my experience to date, I am confident that this research would demonstrate that psychodrama interventions can have positive therapeutic impacts that are maintained over time. Hopefully, it would also lead us into new discoveries about the therapeutically helpful aspects of psychodrama.

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