Mobilizing Aesthetics in Psychodramatic Group Work - Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers, School of Humanities, University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Mobilizing Aesthetics in Psychodramatic Group Work

Suggested citation: Rivers, B. (2015). Mobilizing aesthetics in psychodramatic group work.  Drama Therapy Review, Volume 1, Number 2, pp. 161-171


In this article, the author suggests that aesthetic factors can help to enhance the here-and-now, experiential dimension of psychodramatic group work.  This in turn promises to leave a deeper, multi-sensorial imprint upon the protagonist and other players.  The author also proposes that shared aesthetic experiences can help to deepen therapeutic rapport between participants and the therapist. The article offers examples of aesthetic options and preparatory approaches that can be utilized for mobilizing the full artistic potential of psychodrama.  Vignettes from various dramas, together with participant reflections, are used to illustrate the author’s central thesis.



Aesthetics, drama therapy, experiential, group work, metaphor, Middle East, multisensory, psychodrama, role induction, sensory, sensorial,  spontaneity


There are some psychodramatic moments I will never forget.  They etch themselves in my memory, remaining somehow animate in my mind and body.  These are moments where my sense of connection to others feels fortified through aesthetic dynamics that are rich in imagery, sound and movement.  The artistry inherent in such scenes is not the exclusive outcome of creative directing, nor is it the inevitable expression of an inspired protagonist.  These memorable experiences result from a constellation of factors including collaborative group processes that harness the poetic, sensory dimension of the therapeutic endeavor.

In this article I will explore several questions relating to the aesthetics[1] of psychodrama. What, if any, advantages result from attending to the aesthetic domain?  What basic, aesthetic options are available to the group and its leader?  And how can we cultivate and mobilize aesthetic sensibilities in service of psychodramatic group work?

What I set out to explore is not something entirely new.   The practice of psychodrama and other forms of therapeutic drama is often distinguished from conventional talk therapy precisely because of its grounding in the sensorial and aesthetic domain (Emunah and Johnson 2009; Jennings 1997; Kellerman 1992; Landy 1994; Leveton 2001).  I simply aim therefore, to look again, to reflect, and hopefully inspire a renewed appreciation for the power of aesthetics within psychodrama.  I will present this investigation through a series of psychodramatic vignettes coupled with observations and interview data gathered from my practice and research in the Middle East.

Context: Psychodrama in the Middle East

The use of psychodrama by Arab mental health workers in the Middle East has been steadily growing over the past 15 years.  For example, from 2002-2011, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, in partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, pioneered a professional-level training project led by Ursula Hauser and Maja Hess.  The program produced a number of trained clinicians that went on to create Psychodrama Without Borders: Gaza.  In 2012, the Ramallah-based, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture commenced a 3-year psychodrama and group therapy training program in partnership with the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes. 

Egypt, too, has witnessed a growing interest in psychodrama and other expressive art therapies.  Over the past 5 years, the Egyptian Association for Group Therapies and Processes, and Cairo University, have offered a range of workshops and professional training programs led by prominent psychodrama practitioners from around the world.  Studio Emad Eddin and Orient Productions have also invested in local capacity building through the development of a 3-year training program that commenced in 2014.  In addition to these psychodrama training initiatives, it is worth noting that Zeina Daccache, a Lebanese drama therapist based in Beirut, has made a significant contribution through the introduction of the first alternative track training program for Arab practitioners who wish to become Registered Drama Therapists.

Students and graduates of these various programs are using psychodrama and drama therapy in a range of settings including schools, hospitals, refugee camps, community centres, psychiatric clinics and private practice.  

In 2011, I moved to the West Bank to commence work as a drama therapist and Playback Theatre practitioner with The Freedom Theatre, a Palestinian cultural organization based in Jenin Refugee Camp. During my two years of employment there, I led a number of workshops and training programs that introduced therapeutic drama methods to Palestinian mental health workers.  One of these programs took place over 18 months and provided graduates with certified hours through the Therapeutic Spiral Institute in Virginia where I am an accredited trainer and practitioner.  Another 9-month program was organized in partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society.  Both programs evolved through local consultations identifying a demand for specialized training in therapeutic group work modalities.  The pedagogical approach featured experiential immersion in psychodramatic processes, together with clinical reflection, peer-to-peer learning, didactic instruction and written assignments.  Participants gained experience in the roles of director, auxiliary ego and protagonist.  Given the socio-political context, sessions focused upon themes of steadfastness and the various impacts of imprisonment, torture, military violence, refugee status, and poverty.  Although I was the main instructor, guest facilitators included Kate Hudgins, Mauricio Gasseau, Ursula Hauser, Maja Hess, and Jessica Litwak.

Since 2012, I have also worked extensively in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.  The workshops and training programs I lead include participants from a range of backgrounds.  Mental health workers often attend with the intention of furthering their professional development.  Many, however, participate with a primary desire to address the personal and collective impact of social upheaval and political repression.  A significant number of women take part with the aim of tackling issues of gender discrimination.

The scenes and vignettes presented throughout this article took place during training programs and public workshops that I led in the various locations noted above.   Each vignette occurred within a larger, protagonist-centred psychodrama, typically spanning 2 hours in length.  Names and other identifying details have been changed to preserve confidentiality.


Sensory Induction:  Petra’s Drama

Petra is a 25-year-old social worker – a refugee from Syria, currently living in Amman, Jordan.  Recently, her brother Raed – a talented musician and composer – died suddenly from a rare heart condition whilst studying in Manchester, UK.  Petra’s family had hoped to attend Raed’s funeral; however, the British embassy had refused their visa application, claiming that the family were likely to seek illegal asylum in the UK.  Although Petra was angered by this decision and its underlying assumptions, she had felt some ambivalence about viewing the body and funeral casket of her brother.  For her, this would have been the final confirmation of an unbearable fact.  Several weeks after Raed’s death however, Petra came forward as a protagonist in our group, stating that, whilst suffering terribly, she was unable to grieve.  The time had come she said, to say goodbye to Raed so that she could properly mourn his absence.  

At the start of our session, Petra expressed her wish to meet once more with Raed.  She indicated that this meeting should occur in the family home in Damascus, at a time before the commencement of the Syrian Uprising.  Using bright fabrics, she began to reconstruct the interior of her bedroom.  I encouraged her to pay special attention to the inclusion of treasured objects.  Within this imaginal space, she took time holding a favorite pink cushion before placing it on her sofa.  Later, she drew our attention to a cherished photograph on the wall – a picture of her as a young girl, with Jasmine flowers threaded through her hair.  I asked if there were any other important elements to the room. “Yes” she said.  Walking over to an imagined wall that lay between her and the other group members, she reached up and slid open a large window.  I asked Petra what she could see, and she began to describe the scene outside.  The sky.  A schoolyard.  Other buildings.  Noticing however, that her language had slipped into past tense, I encouraged her to speak as if we were looking now upon this scene.  Petra faltered.  “I can’t,” she said.  “All I can hear are the sounds of war.”  It became clear that we would not succeed in building a preferred environment for her encounter with Raed until we at least acknowledged the context of violent conflict that dominated her memories of Syria.   With this intention, I invited Petra to choose one or more people from the group who could embody the sounds she spoke of.  After choosing two men, Petra guided them from within the “sound role”.  Her voice started softly but slowly grew into the chilling sound of sirens followed by the thud of heavy artillery.  Reversing back into her own role, she listened as the two men repeated the sounds – their voices rising to fill the space. 

Petra was instructed to conduct the auxiliaries according to her needs in that moment.  Throughout the scene however, I noted her physiological and emotional response, readying myself to intervene should the enactment become overwhelming and require a titration of aesthetic distance (Landy 1994). 

After some time though, and of her own accord, Petra motioned for the men to stop.  Her face, body and voice appeared free from the tension that had been there before.  I asked her what she was experiencing and she described a summer breeze and the sound of her brother playing piano, the melody drifting up from his room below.  Three women from the group came forward and sang:

Under the vine tree

We sat together and said

The vineyard of love has ripened

And hidden our homes[2].

One by one, each member of the group joined, our voices combining in harmony.  By then, Petra was fully transported into a time/place that existed before the war.  She called upon her brother (played by a member of the group) who subsequently appeared at her door.  Petra went to Raed and embraced him.  Together they sat on her sofa and spoke at length.  They discussed old times and all the things they had enjoyed together.  Then she asked about his death and listened carefully as he described in detail the events of his demise.  Petra wept and told Raed how much she wished she could have been there to comfort him in his final moments.  In role as Raed, Petra offered reassurance to herself - saying that geographic distance had never been a problem and that they would always be close.  Before ending the drama, Petra returned to her own role and took Raed in her arms for one final embrace. 

In the sharing that followed, many group members commented upon the sense of absorption they had experienced during Petra’s drama – due to the resonant content – but also, because of the rich, poetic frame within which her story had unfolded.  Petra’s subjective reality had been translated into a powerful aesthetic language that reached out and touched us all.

As this drama indicated, successful mobilization of the aesthetic dimension often results in a form of engagement that transcends purely cognitive modes of being (Jennings 1997). Our sensory faculties are awakened, and we are inducted into a more holistic encounter with the emotions, themes and events of the protagonist’s story.   The creative act itself bears central significance.  For example, the process of constructing an environment can become an important part of the unfolding ritual – a procedure that enables us to effectively transition from everyday life into the trance-like state that frequently arises within the dramatic space (Jennings 1997).

Aesthetic Environment: Reem’s drama

Reem is a 27-year old architect based in Cairo, Egypt.  The following scene occurred during a drama that sought to address her detrimental tendency towards self-sacrifice and uncompromising perfectionism – traits that she attributed to familial values and social norms that condition women to neglect their own needs in favour of roles that emphasize service and subservience to others. 

In Reem’s drama she called upon her inner, nurturing part.  Stepping into role, she dressed herself in a double-layered cloak of transparent pink and white fabric.  As she began to move, I asked her to describe her internal world.  “I am water,”  she said.  “A glittering, steady river that flows through the valley.”  She then proceeded to carefully construct this mental image using silvery blue cloth and other colours.  When the environment was completed, she laid down in the river and began to sing.  Her voice was soon joined by that of others.

In this scene, the environment itself – along with the process of its construction – became a significant feature of Reem’s therapuetic journey. In a post-session interview she shared the following reflection:

Engaging sounds, imagination, movement, etc. helped to create an atmosphere that arose from my own self …  Creating the river …  will have a lasting impact on me.   Whenever I find myself immersed in a certain negative feeling, I will be able to invite again the image, the sounds and the feeling of strength that I experienced in that scene. 

As Reem suggests, roles that are embedded within an associated environment are somehow amplified.  Environments can include the replication of real-world locations, imagined spaces, atmospheres, or some combination of these.  We can also consider the ecological dimension of a role.  By this, I mean the environment that is attached to, and enables, the predominant aspects of any given role.  In Reem’s drama, the nurturing part was located within a particular ecology that helped to support and contextualize its primary function.  This in turn generated a scene that carried memorable impact and resonance. The use of atmosphere and environment helps to locate group members in a common imaginal space.  It also serves to anchor experience as a visual image within the mind of the protagonist. 

Environments can be built using tangible objects such as furniture, coloured fabrics and other props; however, the imagination of the protagonist is central to the process.  In Petra’s drama for example, she described and pointed towards an imaginary photograph of herself as a young girl.  Later she took us to an imaginary window that allowed us to look out on Damascus together.  Indeed, it seems that the entire process of reconstructing her room in Damascus allowed her to connect more fully with important memories and experiences from her past. 

When guiding the construction of an environment, I encourage the protagonist to intuitively consider the architecture and dramatic staging of the space they are creating.  Where should objects and other aspects of the setting be in relation to one another?  As a director, I am also asking myself:  Where are the players in relation to the group?  Is the scene visible for most?  Can people hear what’s going on?  Sometimes I will move or rotate the scene to ensure greater visibility and/or acoustic quality.  I also instruct group members to take responsibility for their own experience by moving to a place where they can properly see and hear the unfolding action.

Sensory Roles: Lulua’s Drama:

Lulua is an unmarried, 28-year-old theatre practitioner, living between two worlds.  One: An independent and Bohemian life in Beirut.  The other: A repressive family environment in Southern Lebanon.  Lulua described an overwhelming sense of suffocation whenever she went to stay with her parents.  Her father’s alcoholism and her mother’s resigned status had left her feeling hopeless, trapped and depressed during her visits.  She had tried many ways of reaching out to her parents but nothing had worked. 

In the initial phase of Lulua’s session, I invited her to connect to “prescriptive roles” that would support a new relationship to her home environment. Prescriptive roles contain skills, resources and capacities that support the protagonist in their therapeutic goals. (Hudgins 2002; Toscani and Hudgins 1993)  Lulua thus chose to call upon and embody her sense of inner freedom.  Before stepping into this role, she chose a set of red, yellow and pink fabrics that corresponded with her sense of “Inner Freedom”.  After she had dressed herself in these colors, I invited her to select one of four elements (earth, air, fire or water) that exemplified her state of being from within the role.  “I am the wind,” she said, with eyes closed.  I then encouraged her to find the internal movement dynamic of this element – subsequently mirroring her as she began to gently sway.  Once her whole body was engaged, I asked for more details: “What type of wind are you?”  I asked.  “I am a soft breeze that comes from the forest,” she said.  “Tell us more,” I enquired.  “What time is it, and where do you travel?”  “It’s late afternoon on a summer day.  I am travelling through the mountains, my favorite place...”  She opened her eyes and met the gaze of the auxiliary who was playing Lulua.  They began moving in unison, slowly and somewhat carefully at first, but then as the roles deepened, their movement took on a lighter, more unbounded quality.  Before long, the two of them were running, yelling and tumbling across the stage, filled with abundant energy and joy. 

This role of inner freedom became an important ally throughout the remainder of the drama – especially during Lulua’s later encounter with her parents.  At the conclusion of the session, Lulua stated that she would remember most clearly the colours that represented her experience of freedom.  The vivid image of this role, she said, would be something to store and connect with at a later date, when needed.  Indeed, several days later, Lulua sent me an email stating ‘In my drama … I visually witnessed and physically felt the situation I wished to have.  I have kept that feeling with me till today.  It has become a concrete reference point.’

As Lulua’s drama suggests, the protagonist is more likely to recall ideas and insights from a session, if they are embedded within the sensory field.  In other words, aesthetic elements can help to generate an experiential imprint that holds lasting value. 

Throughout this article I refer to the utilization of natural elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) as aids to role induction.  A role is usually defined by a particular constellation of functions, ego states, physical sensations, thoughts, feelings and behaviours that arise in response to interpersonal relationships, social situations or intrapsychic phenomena (Hudgins 2002; Kellerman 1992). 

When guiding someone into role, I find that authenticity and spontaneity can be amplified if we start from a place of physicality.  By identifying and articulating the somatic and energetic dynamics of a role, the player is more likely to bypass narrow representations and clichéd modes of expression. 

In situations therefore, where spontaneity appears inhibited, I may use elements to support the player to define and embody the somatic properties of a role.  I find this is particularly helpful with intrapsychic roles, since these can be initially more abstract than external objects. 

When choosing to approach role induction through a somatic entry point, I often invite the protagonist-in-role to identify the element that corresponds with their inner state.  I then guide the role to inhabit the movement dynamic of this element as it manifests within their body - first from an internal place, then outwards towards the body’s extremities.  As the role begins to move, I instruct a pre-selected player, who will later occupy the same role, to mirror and inhabit its movement quality and the energetic world it presents.  I myself will often join.  When spontaneity increases (evidenced as unprompted action appropriate to the scene), I may ask the role to verbally articulate specific aspects of their experience: “What type of water are you?”; “Tell us about the environment you’re part of”; “Describe your feelings and desires,” etc.   When the player reaches a high degree of spontaneity, I then invite the role to relate to other roles, and of course, the therapeutic task at hand.

Although the spoken dialogue of a scene might fade and disappear with time, the bodily memory of a particular dynamic is likely to persist.  As indicated throughout this article, the experiential imprint holds great value for the player – who at some future point – may wish to connect with specific states that arose during their therapeutic journey.

Metaphor: Amal’s Drama

Amal was a young teacher based in Jenin, Occupied Palestine.  In her drama we explored the sense of profound emptiness she had felt since being sexually abused as a child.  For Amal, it felt as if the perpetrator (an uncle), had snatched away her life essence, robbing her forever of joy and vitality. 

After surrounding herself with a cluster of intrapsychic protectors (embodied as the element of fire), Amal decided to confront the perpetrator.  In the scene that followed, Amal fought for control over her life force – concretized earlier by a long piece of blue satin.  Taking hold of one end of this cloth, she tugged steadily, and finally victoriously, against her uncle who gripped the other end.  Later, in the post-drama sharing, Amal described the intense power of this scene.  The physicalization of real struggle and her subsequent victory remained as an especially compelling image.

Through metaphor we bypass reductionist definitions of our predicament.  Instead, we translate our internal and relational worlds into a language of imagery, allegory and symbolism.  This reformulation of content opens up space for the emergence of new insights and perspectives within the therapeutic space (Burns 2001; Lapsekili and Yelboğa 2014; Malhotra 2013).

Metaphor serves to broaden our parameters of enquiry.  It also helps to capture, synthesize and transmit large amounts of potentially complex data within a single polysemic image.  In this manner, metaphor can vividly illuminate the multiple dynamics of a relationship or situation.  It enables consciousness of the unconscious.  It brings visibility to the invisible.  The metaphor is thus a potent carrier of our hopes, fears, insights, and desires, for it succeeds in revealing and communicating these truths in a way that remains lyrical and containing. Concretization of visual metaphors within the dramatic space can help to augment their therapeutic potential.

Like most of the metaphors described throughout this article, the one presented in Amal’s drama exists not simply as a symbolic representation of intrapsychic forces or interpersonal dynamics.  Rather, the embodied metaphor becomes a living truth in its own right.  Immersion in this dramatic reality enables the protagonist (and other group members) to address their needs and predicaments through the physical and aesthetic structure provided by the metaphor (Emunah 1994; Landy 1994; Jennings 1987; 1997; )

In my experience, the aesthetic metaphor is never contrived.  It arises and evolves as an organic response to the demands of a particular situation.  To identify an effective metaphor, the clinician must simply attend to the images that spontaneously surface in the protagonist’s ordinary course of speech.  Indeed, everyday language is usually laden with metaphor.  However, to fully mobilize aesthetic potential, the clinician must facilitate a process that enables the protagonist and auxiliaries to effectively embody, explore and develop the latent visual, physical and auditory possibilities of each metaphor.  When the metaphor is creatively inhabited, it often takes on a life of its own, leading the group and protagonist towards their desired therapeutic goals.

Voice, song and sound:  Ibtehal’s Drama

Ibtehal, a 50-year-old woman with terminal cancer, was struggling with the fact of her approaching death.  As the drama progressed, she began to clarify her desire to live more fully in the time she had remainin.  Towards the end of the session, she called upon the whole group to take drums and circle her.  Suddenly the room was filled with the sound of forty people drumming, clapping and ululating in unison.  Together we celebrated the life that each one of us inhabited in that moment. 

The use of sound (including that made by objects, instruments and the human voice) introduces an important factor to the aesthetic experience of a scene.  While color and image engage vision, sound of course, activates auditory capacities and bodily sensations that arise from contact with audio resonance. 

Music, and the joining of voices in song or sound formation, helps to unite the group in an act of common creation.  Song can also transport an individual or group to a particular time, place, or state of consciousness that serves the established goals of a session. 

Petra had this to say about the song that appeared during her drama which I presented earlier:

When we sang, it awakened the feelings I had always felt with my family – our private musical moments that helped me to feel so secure.  The song we sang was one of my brother’s favorites – I sang it for him on the phone before they closed his grave … The sounds and the songs in my drama were important because I associate them so strongly with [Raed].  Most of my memories with him are about sounds and music. 

The use of known lyrics and melodies can also reinforce shared social identities.  In particular, I have noticed the importance of popular songs while working with communities impacted by political violence and structural oppression.  In occupied Palestine for example, it is common for a group to spontaneously integrate well-known songs of steadfastness and resistance into dramas that deal with themes of dispossession, humiliation and degradation at the hands of Israeli forces.  


If we accept the proposition that taste is culturally specific and socially conditioned, one could argue that the protagonist’s own sense of aesthetics should remain central to the therapeutic endeavor.  This point becomes especially relevant if we consider Bourdieu’s assertion that judgments of taste infer an act of social positioning (Bourdieu 1984).  In the protagonist-centered psychodrama therefore, the therapist might attempt to avoid imposition by withholding interventions that arise from their own aesthetic sensibilities.  Emunah suggests that therapists should navigate this terrain by engaging their ‘own intuition, creativity, and contemplation’, while remaining ‘in close contact with the client’, and by making use of ‘the client's particular imagery and language.’  (2009:51)

Indeed, the creative impulses of the therapist and other group members can play a pivotal role in protagonist-centered psychodramas.  For example, in situations where the imagination of the protagonist appears blocked, other group members can propose images, scenes or metaphors that further the therapeutic goals of the session.  In this way, the protagonist is invited into proximity and dialogue with the aesthetic representations of others - an experience that promises openness to fresh perspectives and new forms of interaction.   By embracing their own sense of aesthetics then, the therapist and other group members contribute towards an environment that promotes imagination and multimodal expression. Furthermore, creative involvement in the dramatic world of the protagonist can enable the development of group cohesiveness and a positive therapeutic alliance where exchange and intersubjectivity is emphasized.

The field of psychodrama places great importance upon the development of spontaneity as a way to connect practitioners and clients to their authentic selves, to one another, and to the innate capacity for self-realization, healing and creativity that is thought to exist within each person (Dayton 2005; Hudgins and Toscani 2013; Kellerman 1992; Moreno 1953).

Traditional psychodrama, therefore focuses on a ‘warm-up’ phase, in which the group is encouraged to awaken their physical and vocal capacities, and to engage in games, exercises and other processes that develop imagination, spontaneity, creativity and expressiveness at an individual and group level (Blatner 2000; Leveton 2001; Dayton 2005).

I would like to suggest that the initial stage of a psychodramatic process can also be used to establish and integrate bodily memories and aesthetic possibilities that may be drawn upon (often unconsciously) at later phases of the work.  I have noticed for example that mirroring, chorus, or voice and movement exercises during the early part of a process will often result in their spontaneous emergence during subsequent, protagonist-centred dramas. 

With this view in mind, we can expand a group’s dramatic and aesthetic options by borrowing from the training techniques of physical theatre (e.g. Lecoq 1997), expressive voice work (e.g. Pikes 2004), movement analysis (e.g. Laban 1975), and/or improvisational composition (e.g. Bogart and Landau 2004; Zaporah 1995).  Through these approaches, we can work with group members to investigate rhythm, tempo, spatial distance, vocal range, shape, gesture, kinaesthetic response, etc.  We can also explore the embodiment of various elements, animals, substances and textures.   Once familiarity with these dramatic possibilities has been established, the protagonist/group can employ them later, and without concern for technical detail.  Likewise, investment in the development of ‘aesthetic rituals’ provides a resource that can be subsequently called upon to connect, invigorate or contain the group as needed.

Perhaps this may sound as if I am advocating for the promotion of pre-ordained forms of expression – surely the antithesis of our allegiance to spontaneity.   To be clear though:  I believe that established form - including familiar motifs of sound, song, text, image, colour and movement - can be developed and stored as part of an aesthetic arsenal that may be selectively accessed as an appropriate response to the here-and-now needs of a group or protagonist.

The pursuit of sensory fulfillment is a universal feature of our human condition.  In this article I have suggested that aesthetic appreciation can be harnessed for therapeutic benefit. In particular, I have suggested that aesthetic factors can augment multisensory engagement with therapeutic goals and psychodramatic process including role induction and the development of imaginal spaces and embodied metaphors.  This in turn promises to leave a deeper, more enduring imprint upon the protagonist and other players. 

Furthermore, the collaborative construction of aesthetic experience can help to energize, connect and contain a group while also supporting a process of expanded meaning making. By validating and encouraging a range of aesthetic options, the therapist also helps to foster a group culture that values diverse forms of expression. 

Without doubt, beauty in its various forms contains remedial and restorative properties.  At the same time, the pursuit of aesthetics in psychodramatic group work should not eclipse our attention to other therapeutic factors.  Rather, the aesthetic domain should be recognized as a potent force that can amplify specific objectives within a group process.


Ben Rivers specializes in the use of therapeutic and participatory theatre for community mobilization, cultural activism and collective trauma response.  He has taught and practiced in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, working extensively with communities impacted by structural oppression and political violence.  He is a founding member of The Freedom Theatre’s Freedom Bus initiative (Jenin, Occupied Palestine) and a Co-founder of the Arab School of Playback Theatre (Cairo, Egypt).  He holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies, USA and is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of New England, Australia.  He is a Registered Drama Therapist with the North American Drama Therapy Association.  He is also an Accredited Playback Theatre Trainer through the Centre for Playback Theatre, New York.  He is currently based in Cairo where he works as an educator, psychotherapist and theatre practitioner.

Contact: Studio Emad Eddin, 18 Emad Eddin Street, P.O. Box 2595,

Ataba, 11511, Cairo, Egypt.



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[1] I refer to ‘aesthetics’ as the relationship between sensorial perceptions and notions of taste and beauty.

[2] The title of this song is ‘Together Under the Wine Tree’.  It was written by the Rahbani Brothers and sung by Fairouz.