The Contribution of Psychoanalysis to Dramatherapy

The Dramatherapeutic method has been affected by various approaches deriving from Psychoanalytic Treatment that makes use of both creativity and playing.

The theory of prominent doctor and psychotherapist Donald W. Winnicott refers to “transitional objects” and is directly relevant to the work of a dramatherapist who encourages creative play and the beneficial effects of creative expression in the development of an individual.

Furthermore, prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung (1875-1961) describes psychotherapy as a process that concerns primarily the development of the creative ability of a client and less with the person’s treatment as a patient. In the Dramatherapeutic method, the ability to achieve mental health is indeed provided through the creativity of the patient as this is enhanced, expressed and explored within the treatment framework.

During the session, special attention is paid by the therapist not only to the artistic object produced (for example a painting) but also -and perhaps primarily- on the importance of the meaning of the creative process for the patient.

The clinical work of Anna Doxastaki has been inspired by the Attachment Theory as  originally formulated by psychiatrist John Bowlby and developed by subsequent therapists. The word “Attachment”, in this context, can be described as the relation of affection and dedication, a strong bond in a relationship which is also governed by effective communication and loyalty. All reported principles are prerequisites for the psychological, emotional and mental development of the person so that during adulthood he is able to create relationships of mutual trust, care, understanding and communication. In cases where the person had not had the chance to start his life from a secure emotional base (‘secure base’ as described by J. Bowlby), it is possible for the client to experience this in the process of psychoanalytic dramatherapy.