Students, Yes Theatre trainees mark first stage of psychodrama training program

Social and behavioral sciences students celebrated the end of the first stage of the department’s psychodrama program that aims to empower students with the skills needed to coordinate and organize psychotherapy sessions on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Through the program, held jointly with Yes Theatre, Hebron, students learn techniques, methods, and exercises that help them create safe spaces where participants may act out their deepest concerns. 

Sama Dawani, chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Science, explained that the program, which started as a voluntary initiative and has proven popular with students, comprises four levels, each focusing on a certain aspect of psychodrama training. 

The first level, Dawani added, revolves around self-reflection. She noted that the subsequent levels will gradually increase student interaction with the broader community, culminating in exercises and training sessions in the field. 

“This level has proven extremely successful as a pilot program. The students have benefited immensely from the various sessions carried out with Yes Theatre,” Dawani noted, adding that there are plans for an intensive psychodrama school to be held in the summer. 

Firas Abu Sabbah, the programs manager at Yes Theatre, gave a brief overview of the theatre’s work, saying that it focuses on mental health and wellbeing and offers extensive, community-led programs for kids, youth, and adults. 

Petra Barghouthi, the psychotherapist who works with Birzeit University students and Yes Theatre trainees on psychodrama training, explained, “While the program doesn’t grant psychotherapy licenses, it provides students with valuable skills and training that they can employ in their future lines of work.”