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Impact of psychodramatic role reversal on differentiation in group psychotherapy: An intersubjective approach

26 July 1999


Intersubjective psychoanalytic theory provides the foundation for this conceptualization of psychodramatic role reversal. The impact of the role reversal technique on differentiation in outpatient group psychotherapy is discussed theoretically. Several phenomena that facilitate differentiation are presented, grouped into four intersubjective phases of psychodrama tic role reversal: (a) generating the subjective experience--internal focus of attention, decreased defensiveness, increased affective engagement; (b) working in the potential space--use of symbols, auxiliary egos, projective identification, enactment, playing; (c) discovering the other's subjectivity--cognitive awareness, empathic responsiveness, intersubjective creativity; (d) integration--reality reorientation, cognitive and affective integration, consensual validation. Intersubjective theory suggests that the psychodramatic role reversal technique is theoretically suited for integration into group psychotherapy, and it may be effective for enhancing affective · self-regulation and interpersonal flexibility.


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