The Art of Mental Health Practice: The Role of Drama in Developing Empathy

Authors

  • John Goodwin BA, MA, ALCM, BSc (Hons), RPN,

    Postgraduate Student, Corresponding author
    • Catherine McAuley School of Nursing, Brookfield Health Science Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
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  • Rick Deady MSc, BSc (Hon), Dip (Child Dev), Cert Ed., Cert Health Ed., RNT, RPN, RGN

    College Lecturer
    1. Catherine McAuley School of Nursing, Brookfield Health Science Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
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  • Conflict of Interest Statement
  • The authors report no actual or potential conflicts of interest in presenting this article for publication.

Author contact:

john_p_goodwin@hotmail.com, with a copy to the Editor: gpearson@uchc.edu

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores concepts central to acting, and details how these concepts can be related to mental health nursing practice.

Design and Methods

The work of the acting theorists Constantin Stanislavski and Lee Strasberg is examined and recontextualized to illustrate how their work is relevant in modern mental health practice, and the development of empathy.

Findings

While these concepts are still utilized in drama, they have not been fully explored in their original context. Their use could combat stress and burnout, heighten awareness, and enhance the projection of emotions.

Practice Implications

These concepts can be linked with reflective practice in mental health, and a stronger emphasis on the values of this approach could allow the nurse to strengthen the level of empathy they demonstrate.

Ancillary