For example, usually the action is at the center of the encounter. The patient presents the problem or a situation into a scene, and as psychodrama develops, an alternative action and/or a solution is reached. I regularly use the “human sculpture” technique when in face-to-face. Unfortunately, in Zoom, I felt as if my hands were tied.
In “zoom days”, physical contact and movement, became a literal expression. We had to act “as if” a scene is happening. It became a story telling and sharing more than showing and acting. While no “actors” act their part, each group member could request someone to take a roll in his or her story. In Zoom, Psychodrama becomes one-dimensional. It is reduced into a dialogue with less characters, using only the ‘role-reversal’ and ‘doubling’ techniques. It feels like the basic rules have been changed, and that spontaneity has been blocked. Psychodrama in Zoom loses one of its main tenets – proximity – and psychodrama in distance does not feel the same.
In Corona days, it was often difficult to motivate the group to e-motion, to real action. As if we froze behind the screens, missing the human and emotional, intra-personal and inter-personal encounter. However, and this is an important reservation, despite the difficulties, we succeeded to work. Of course, some adaptations had to be made, for example, in the time settings. Usually a psychodramatic encounter in a group lasts two and a half hours and an hour in an individual encounter. In Zoom sessions, the duration of the sessions was shortened by half.
Another significant difference is how the dynamic language is applied in the group. The Zoom did not allow spontaneous discourse. I noticed a minority of conversations between the group members. I found myself encouraging the participants to relate to each other and give and receive feedback, much more than usual. The variety of psychodramatic techniques, had to be reduced. Using images and associations is prevalent in the clinic. While using Zoom, I use more writing, painting, and verbal expression.