A Sociodrama is a facilitated group experience that helps a group discuss a topic that is of interest to the group. The Sociodrama helps us understand perspectives and experiences within that topic, provides catharsis and validation, trains on roles, and improves communication.
A sociodramatic process can be used by a business or a community to solve a host of problems, from poor communication in a family or among co-workers, to resentment and competing coalitions within a workplace, to aggression and injustice in a community. It brings us together in a respectful way to discuss complex issues and find solutions.
Sociometry is the quantitative study and measurement of relationships within a group of people. Information gathered through a survey asks about connections with others in the group. The resulting dynamics are charted and analyzed for greater insight for managers and to inform training interventions.
A sociodrama is a group-action method in which participants act out an agreed-upon social situation in order to express and clarify their thoughts and feelings, solve problems, deepen their understanding of the situation and become better communicators. Unlike traditional didactic trainings which only engage the intellect, sociodramatic trainings provide a full-body learning experience that engages the body, mind and emotions.
The “director” of the group leads the members through engaging “warm-up” activities to help group members transition from being outside the group to being in the group.
These activities create an opportunity for gradual sharing and learning about each other, from basic fact-based such as, “How long did it take you to drive here?” to preference-based questions such as, “Do you prefer to work individually or as a team?” to opinion-based questions, such as, “In a time of workplace transition, how important is it to talk about what is going on?”
The sociodrama moves from simpler, low risk questions, to more complex and opinion-based questions.
At this point, the director will start listening for stories from the participants about the topic being discussed. The group will then move to the enactment phase.
The enactment is a fictional role play of a situation that could actually happen in real life. It contains elements of the combined experiences of the people in the room, and it is always a situation that everyone can relate to in some way.
For example, the group may decide to explore the dynamics between middle management, upper management and direct care workers in the time of a budget crunch. In this example the participants are “enrolled” to play the different roles and the director asks them to interact after the group fleshes out the characters and the situation and problems these characters are facing.
The director then facilitates the enactment to help the enactors explore the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of the characters.