Drama Games to Mindfully Work with Stress, Part III:  The Singing Therapist

Posted: November 2, 2014 in Games
Tags: , , ,

This last game in the unit on mindfulness and stress (see Part I and Part II) is a fun way to cap off the topic while also giving students a chance to consolidate some of what they have learned.  This is more of a traditional improv game, where a few participants have the chance to perform in front of the rest of the group.

Instructions:

  • Set up two chairs in front of the group.
  • Two volunteers come up. One will be the therapist, and the other will be the client.
  • The therapist can sit down in the one chair while the client can walk “off-stage,” so that he/she can walk into the therapist’s “office” at the start of the scene.
  • The client will come in concerned about all the stress in her/his life, while (for the sake of this game) the therapist will give them some advice about dealing with it.
  • The one catch is that everything shared by both the client and the therapist must be sung (in whatever ways the performers feel like doing. Rapping works too).
  • Let this round go for a minute or two (gauging how the participants are doing and how it’s being received by the “audience”).
  • Then you can have more rounds with different volunteers, as you see fit.

Instruction Notes:

  • I like to play one (or both) of the roles in the first round (or two), to model ways of performing for other participants. I also make a point of bringing a lot of energy and zaniness to my performances, to try to break through any potential awkwardness as participants warm up to their roles.  Depending on your own comfort level, you need not do this.
  • If you took notes (e.g. on a whiteboard or easel) of ways of dealing with stress that came up in previous activities, you can have these out for participants to draw from in their therapist roles. You can also brainstorm these before the activity.

Application Notes:

  • Have the group recap advice given by the “therapists.” Then use that advice as the basis of a closing discussion on different ways of dealing with stress.
  • Whether or not you use this activity to close out a unit on working with stress, at the end of any such unit it might be helpful for participants to write down ONE technique that they intend to put into practice. That way they have a clear and concrete foothold in the material, since having too many techniques floating around in one’s head can be overwhelming.
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