Description: Trust is a complicated and delicate subject. So it helps to identify/acknowledge where you are in the trusting process before any change can be made. This psychodrama exercise does just that.
Materials: A large empty room, and four chairs.
Directions: Warm up: In psychodrama its very important to do warm ups to get the spontaneity flowing. One warm up you can do is called “movement and a sound”. Have the group stand in a circle, one person starts with making up a movement (eg. wiggling arms) and accompanies the movement with a sound (eg. barking like a dog) as son as the person is done the rest of the group repeats that movement and sound in unison. Then quickly move on to the next person and have the group repeat their movement and sound and so on. * Some people will stand there over-thinking the exercise so try to encourage the group to be spontaneous and just go with it. This warm up should only take 5-10 minutes.
Sociogram: Make sure the room is clear. Ask the group to line up from one corner of the room to the other. The two corners represent “I feel I can trust”————————“No way!” Have the group members pick a spot on this continuum that represents how they feel about trust. As they are lined up, one by one have them explain why they chose that spot.
Directive: Set up four chairs facing each other in the shape of a + sign. Leave enough space in between each chair so that people can move in and out freely. Introduce each chair to the group…
Chair 1: “Someone hurt me & I still have feelings about it”
Chair 2: “I hurt someone & I still have feelings about it”
Chair 3: “I really don’t know how I feel about trust”
Chair 4: “I’m ready to move on & make new relationships”
Have the group members choose the chair they feel most drawn to and go to it. If more than one person chooses the same chair they can all stand around it. Have them explain why they chose that chair in comparison to the other chairs. Some people will be torn between two chairs and that’s fine.
Finally, have the group come back to a circle and ask them, “If there was a book about your trust, what would the title be?”
Things to consider: Just reinforce group rules…respect, no judging etc. Psychodrama helps us to access our vulnerability in a deep and public way so its important to keep the space safe.