We normally think of acting as simply ‘pretending to be someone else’ but it is now increasingly recognised as a very effective therapeutic technique for combatting destructive patterns of behaviour – and particularly those associated with violence against women.
By providing a safe emotional ‘distance’ from events, drama therapy can give victims the confidence to share their personal story and experiences with others. Gaining an objective view of their own situation, and a greater understanding of their ability to change it, can then help women overcome the feelings of powerlessness associated with being a victim of abuse. As such, it is also a powerful call to action.
The Soroptimist Union of Turkey has partnered with the ‘Modern Drama Association’, an organisation founded in 1990 which is already working to promote acting in schools, on a large-scale drama therapy project called the ‘Evaluation Workshop’ (‘Degisim Atolyesi’).
At these events, participants received training in strategies to combat and control violence. The topics covered include interfamily communication, recognising and managing conflict situations and building self-esteem. They also learn how to apply to public institutions and NGOs for assistance.
Over 8000 women in nine Turkish cities have benefitted from these 30-hour ‘Evaluation workshops’, with a number of awareness-raising events and press conferences also organised as part of the project.see more about this project