Reflections on Drama Therapy in Corporate Trainings by Amanda Gifford Edit article Published on August 18, 2016

This was written in reflection on the use of Drama Therapy in Corporate Settings for a Masters in Drama Therapy student at WITS. “I have always incorporated drama therapy into my work at corporates but never called drama therapy i just use it within the workshop to facilitate experiential learning processes. So if i am running Personal Mastery or EQ or Communication or Conflict resolution or Stress Management for example then the games are great to help people to warm up to each other and get into their bodies, and keep things interactive.

I also tell clients all the time (especially at the Voice Clinic) that 80% communication is body language and so we must move our language to our bodies in order to enhance and deepen our communication so your communication is full bodied and coherent Рwhen people are confident in their bodies they can communicate much more effectively Рdrama therapy assists in this.  We must do experiential processes because this grows our comfort with our body ( which is the seat of the subconscious mind Рits the place that we carry our past but can also repogramme it and put in new experiences Рlike a garden) and once we are comfortable in our body Рour communication effectiveness is enhanced.

I use a lot of Augusto Boal’s work in an Executive Coaching context helping clients to explore where they are at now, where they want to be and how to get there. This is my first session with most individual and group corporate situations and I adapt it to suite many different settings and themes…
This is one of the axis points around which I design most of my interventions. Once a person has explore these 3 things, then i design the next level of intervention around their transitional phase and what emerged as a step to get them to where they want to go.
This creates great buy in. I work around their needs… individual needs and desires and then I link it into their work. John Demartini talks alot of linking and aligning values. He does alot of coporate work internationally. The Quantum Collapse Method. He was in the movie The Secret.

What I have found is that once you get teams sharing where they are at, both personally and professionally, with eachother, this begins to create great rapport and understanding, it creates empathy and really enhances team work because everyone has a good understanding of what is really going on for the other person. It bonds people.

When people share and are vulnerable with eachother, they build good relationships and this makes a huge difference at work. It is a bit of a skill though to make sure that you don’t go too deep and too personal if the group is not comfortable with it.

I have used this method everywhere. With banks, insurance companies, business schools and its very effective.

When I have more in depth ( say 12 sessions) with a client and they agree to doing deeper work on themselves then I can bring in more drama therapy interventions. Its just they way you put it to people. Depending on how open people are you can call it interactive mind mapping or practicing communication skills.

I find there really is no resistance if its set up right and it matches whats needed and expected by the corporate and that results are delivered.
I bring in my own understanding into all workshops that I facilitate and use Drama Therapy to keep it embodied and real.
Drama Therapy ideas practices and principles are vast and can be easily applied in corporate settings. its all about packaging and then you use the drama therapy inside of the workshop to help people integrate or practice something.
People love the work that I do.
I have used Drama Therapy and Family Constellations in Innovation settings too.

I use¬†games like mudra theatre from Authentic Relating In Power Speaking Courses which is a participant sitting in front of a group in silence just looking at the others… to practice eye contact with audience. It had a huge impact. I also use Self Revelatory theatre processes to help people explore their authentic voice. I tell people at the Voice Clinic that their inner voice emotions and wellbeing needs to be lined up with their outer voice. Once the inside is happier and focused then the outside comes more naturally. There is only so much that you can do on the outside if the inside of you is stressed and emotional. So I always link the inside work to the outside work and help people to explore their authentic voice through learning to tell their story and become more real.
This is always welcomed. I think people in corporates are craving it.

I ran a sales training course where I helped them to focus on themselves and then they became happier sales people. I always think that these people in corporates spend so much time focused on others and very little on themselves that once they can take care of themselves in a workshop- they can really free up a lot of energy to be there for other people in their work.
Its effective.!!!

When you give people space to focus on themselves and what they need, it can solve a lot of problems. It takes away their defenses. And I often say focus on what you can do something about and try and be light hearted and professional about the rest.

I use role reversal alot to help people develop empathy and insight. This helps with conflict and communication.

I don’t get people to ‘act things out’ like a psychodrama type setting it can alienate people – i use more of a kind of tapping in to what you feel in that role ( more Business Constellations type style)…it’s easier… more detached
I use Systemic Thinking from Family Systems Constellations thinking a lot in my work. This is a whole hour long conversation. Do you know about this idea of the morphogenetic field – Rupert Sheldrake?
My influences are around teaching people to explore their window of perception and how to externalise that, look at it, make changes and then re internalise.
These are thoughts off the top of my head.
Hope it makes sense.
Drama Therapy is really about embodiment and experiential learning.” Amanda Gifford.