How To Create Psychotherapeutic Scenarios


Whether using psychodrama techniques or guided fantasy or sociodrama itself, in themselves they generate a scenario where the consultant is the main actor. However, I think that sometimes you not only have to be an actor, but also a set designer, stage director, writer, etc. And all this together creates what could be called a Psychotherapeutic Scenario. In this PsychologyFor article we are going to discover how to create psychotherapeutic scenarios as well as we will also offer a definition of this psychological technique that can help treat some conditions or disorders.

What are psychotherapeutic scenarios – With an example

When I worked in an institution for people with addiction (cocaine, marijuana, cement, alcohol, etc.), one of my functions was to provide psychotherapy. One day a 15-year-old boy who I will call Luis came to the office for consultation. Luís used resistol, he lived with his mother and his older brother, who also used frequently, many times they did it together.

In one of the sessions Luís commented: I feel like I’m in a labyrinth. He told me that at the end of the session, so I worked with that figure and considered giving it greater emphasis in the following session. So I had an idea. Taking advantage of the fact that most of the institute’s staff had vacations, it occurred to me create a labyrinth in the meeting room and so I did it, with chairs, tables, brooms, mops and everything that could be used to carry out the exercise. Right in the center of the labyrinth I placed the two chairs that I frequently used to sit so that that would be the space to do the therapeutic work.

Luís arrived for the consultation and as we walked to the meeting room, I explained the exercise to him, which consisted of entering the meeting room and through the maze, he had to get to his chair. Luís entered, looked at everything for a moment, and began to take the tour. I walked to my place and sat waiting for him until after a while he reached his chair. There, I read him a story by Jorge Bucay that fit like a glove for this exercise.

All of this helped Luís realize that he had created that scenario himself (his own labyrinth) and in turn discovered that he was able to achieve another scenario and redirect towards it. The other scenario consisted of stopping inhaling resistol, continuing his studies and trying to return to his girlfriend. To reinforce this scenario that Luís created, I explained to him that the easiest way was in steps as if it were a story board (It is the script of either a movie or a commercial made frame by frame with drawings of the scene that is going to be performed. This allows the director to be very clear about what he is going to do that day) So Luis and I built a Story Board from your stage.

Finally, this allowed him step by step to go creating new alternatives to carry out his own life plan, since instead of seeing all his problems as a whole, he was able to break them down and create new scenarios that would allow him to grow as an individual.

Story board

The Story Board is a script expressed not only with words, but with images and, to put it another way, scene by scene of the whole that makes up the script. It is, therefore, the whole divided for its understanding and execution, and then the sum of the whole.

  • First, a complete search is done in search of the main figure, so that this gives us the material to begin writing the scenario script.
  • Once you have the figure, you begin to work with the unblocked areas of the cycle of experience. This, in order to give strength and cohesion to the person, and begin to give them tools that allow them to create the scenario.
  • Then you are invited to build an alternative scenario to your problem, one that allows you to see things differently.
  • In this phase, the psychotherapist provides the person with everything within their reach (within the office), to begin creating the scenario. Here it is very important that the psychotherapist encourages all the person’s creativity.
  • At the same time, the person is asked to write the script of what is going to happen in that scenario. (Everything has to be very clear about the characters, the actions that each one will perform, etc.).
  • Having both the written information and the scenario, the person is asked to draw scene by scene, put the text that goes next to each scene, and put it in front of them.
  • Once you have the above, you are asked to begin directing the scene (The psychotherapist acts the conflictive part, and the entire constructive part of the scene is given to the person, so that they can act it out. (This will allow the polarities to be worked on and the person, to build their own scenario from another angle than the one they have always experienced).

Once that scene is over, he leaves the office in order to finish that first part, and while he is outside, nothing is said, you only observe what the person does, and is taken into account at the time of closing. This is repeated until the entire script has been completed. (Sometimes this exercise is completed in one session, other times it is carried out in several sessions.

If this is the case, the person is let go as that scene ended, in such a way that the process of change takes place with the tools of the consultant himself, Perls would say: “The process of organismic self-regulation.”) Having done what above, a union of each of the scenes is made. This is done by asking the person to make a short summary of what they learned in each scene. Then it is suggested that everything he learned can be turned into a life project. In that case you are asked to build it, everything very clear, with short and long-term goals.

What we achieve with this is that the person Don’t just stick with what you’ve already learned, but do that same process over and over again. This will allow the synapses made in the brain to be more solid and strong. And furthermore, that the scenario that he built incorporates and introjects it in order to take it not only to the mental level but also to a life project.

Image: Tomlinson-Design

Sandbox

  • First, a complete search is done in search of the main figure so that this gives us the material to begin writing the scenario script.
  • Once you have the figure, you begin to work with the unblocked areas of the cycle of experience. This, in order to give strength and cohesion to the person and begin to give them tools that allow them to create the scenario.
  • Then you are invited to build an alternative scenario to your problem, one that allows you to see things differently.
  • In this phase, the psychotherapist provides the person with everything within their reach (within the Office), to begin creating the scenario. Here it is very important that the psychotherapist encourages all the person’s creativity.
  • At the same time, the person is asked to write the script of what is going to happen in that scenario. (Everything has to be very clear, characters, the actions that each one is going to perform, etc.)
  • Afterwards, you are invited to build the stage in a sandbox (this has to be more or less one meter long and one meter wide) and you are given everything you need (material to make models).
  • Once he finished it, he is asked to give a voice to each character he put on the stage. The psychotherapist introduces from time to time the negative part, which is what does not allow the Gestalt to be closed (this is putting characters in, and he sees the consultant’s reaction without making any comments about it)
  • The therapist draws a picture of the scenario, encloses it in a circle and divides it into eight parts, in order to place it within the circle of experience (used in gestalt psychotherapy). Having done this, together with the consultant, he promotes that he moves the parts in conflict towards the areas outside of conflict.

Having done the above, a closure is made so that the consultant discovers his own awareness. Afterwards, you are invited to put all this information into a life project. If the consultant accepts, he or she is asked to put it in the model and build it there. You are then asked to describe how you are going to carry it out.

With this we ensure that the person not only stays with what they have already learned, but that they do it over and over again. This will allow the synapses made in the brain to be more solid and strong, achieving with this that it not only remains in a mental map, but the scenario that it built incorporates and introjects it, in order to take it not only to the mental plane but also to a life project.

Of course These two techniques are not the only ones, The construction of scenarios is a process that is implicit in each of us, which allows there to be different ways of constructing them, the purpose being that based not only on how we imagine that scenario, but by carrying it out, we will be able to provide the client with the opportunity to not only assume responsibility for your life, but also the responsibility and risk of being able to change it.

This article is merely informative, at PsychologyFor we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to create psychotherapeutic scenarios we recommend that you enter our Clinical Psychology category.

Bibliography
  • Jean-Marie Robine. Gestalt therapy. Ed. Gaia. Spain. 1999
  • Hector Salama Penhos. Gestalt Psychotherapy: Processes and Methodology.Ed Alfaomega. Mexico. 2003
  • Eva Levetom. How to direct a Psychodrama.Ed. Pax. Spain. 2000
  • Gianfranco Verrua. The Mind in Action: Introduction to Classical Psychodrama.Ed. Ithaca. Mexico.2000
  • Rib Davis. Writing Screenplays: Character Development. Ed. Paidos. Mexico. 1999

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