Utilising drama therapeutic techniques to externalise and explore shame attached to body dissatisfaction with a group of women

Kremer, Lindy Monique
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A signification number of women in South Africa experience body dissatisfaction. Much of the experience surrounding body dissatisfaction has been linked to shame. There is a large body of research pertaining to shame and body dissatisfaction respectively; however, there appears to be a paucity of literature regarding the relationship between body dissatisfaction and shame. Limited research has been conducted within Drama Therapy around the treatment of shame attached to body dissatisfaction in women. This research aimed to investigate the use of specific drama therapeutic techniques in the exploration of shame and body dissatisfaction with a group of women. These techniques included Role Method, Poetry, Two-Chair Exercise, Narrative and Body Mapping. Four women, between the ages of 18 and 40 participated in the intervention, for the purpose of this research. The data collected has been explored through critical analysis within a phenomenological and Drama Therapeutic framework. This research has provided an insight into the use of Drama Therapy toward exploring and healing elements of shame and body dissatisfaction, experienced by women. The techniques utilised offered the participants access to an externalised exploration of shame. Robert Landy’s Role Method produced numerous versions of shame for each participant, uncovering the complex and varying nature of shame. The introduction of the counterrole to shame offered insight into role repertoire, and access to inner resources. The aesthetic distance inherent to the medium offered a therapeutic container for the participants to explore their experiences of shame attached to body dissatisfaction, without eliciting further shame in the process.
A thesis submitted to the Wits School of Arts, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts by coursework and research report in the field of Drama Therapy, in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Johannesburg 2017
Kremer, Lindy Monique (2018) Utilising drama therapeutic techniques to externalize and explore shame attached to body dissatisfaction in a group of women, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/26015