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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Acting crazy : psychotherapy, dramatherapy, and drama? Autoethnographic play Grace, Tidal


Psychotherapy, acting, and drama therapy have traditionally existed as separate knowledge silos in the research cannon, although many interrelations exist between them. This research examines those interrelations through the researcher’s perspectives of being involved in all three as an actor/director, acting teacher/coach/facilitator, and an aspiring psychotherapist, using an autoethnographic stage play to tease out the general themes. The general themes that surfaced centered on the importance of desire, and its relationship to the will and self; how desire constructs meaning through language; psychology’s ambivalence with sexuality; the relevance of communitas and environment to learning; the pitfalls of therapy and drama; awareness; the self as an ultimate defence and survival mechanism; veneers and actualization as power grabs by the self; real caring versus professional caring; reality versus fantasy; rationality versus emotionalism; science/knowledge/mind versus art/faith/body; drama as therapy, and therapy as drama. The conclusion of this research examines a host of topics too: how these domains’ nomenclature is problematic; how the researcher’s self interacts in these three embedded environments; the potential interpersonal, social, and cultural impacts on participating in these programmes; the significance, strengths, and limitations of this research; the potential applications of its findings; and, future directions that are possible for further research.

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