Role Training

Role training applies the principles of role theory using particular psychodrama techniques to develop specific aspects of a person’s functioning such that their goals for their professional or personal life, are achieved more adequately.

Role training involves a person delineating a specific aspect of functioning they wish to improve or develop themselves in. Beginning with a specific situation or situations where the person wishes to develop fresh approaches, Role training involves the dramatic setting up of an enactment of this situation. The individual and the role training group then consider together what roles they saw displayed and consider how productive these were. They would then prepare specific interventions or a role training programme and carry this out through the careful use of psychodramatic techniques. This is often followed by providing a role test, and re-establishing the connections of the individual with the group.

Because human beings act in such a wide range of different ways, there are an infinite variety of areas that may be focussed on in any role training session. Since the focus in a role training session is normally on only one role or one aspect of a role:

  • one session might focus on the resolution of part of a role conflict,
  • another session might focus on the expansion of a person’s view of life,
  • another session might develop the action component of a person’s functioning and
  • another session again might focus on the development of feeling or emotional expression.

If we look at any person in their daily functioning we can conclude at any moment that their functioning is either:

  • adequate,
  • over-developed in some area,
  • under-developed in some way,
  • conflicted,
  • or that aspects of human functioning are entirely absent.

Therefore, some sessions are entirely focussed on the further development of adequate functioning. Other sessions will aim to reduce functioning which is over-developed or further develop functioning which is under-developed. Thus, in role training, the primary focus is not on the reorganisation of the total personality of the individual although naturally the modifying of one aspect of a person’s functioning effects the functioning of the whole.


Role Trainers

A Role Trainer applies principles of role theory and specific techniques to bring about the development of a specific aspect of human functioning such that goals for work or one’s personal life are achieved more fully. The Role Trainer has a capacity to delineate a specific aspect of functioning that a person wishes to improve and a specific situation in which this functioning occurs. A Role Trainer produces a crisp enactment, makes a role assessment, plans further interventions, introduces a role test, and re-establishes connections with a group within which the role training may have taken place. A Role Trainer is skilled in mobilising the spontaneity of a group to assist an individual to develop adequate functioning.