Improving the quality of training drama therapy students through the metaphors of experiencing fear

Martin Dominik Polínek (Czech Republic), Igor Vachkov (Russia)

The present study is aimed at introducing effective psychological instruments the authors have been using in a therapeutic interaction with people (children, adolescents, and youth) with different problems for a long time in the educational process. The main focus of the study is the metaphors and motivation of fear and anxiety the use of which in the process of providing psychological assistance to students can improve the quality of the educational process and educational influences on them since these tools allow students and teachers to safely (due to the metaphorical distance) address sensitive topics that often present the source of anxiety and fear in students while neglecting these topics often hinders the creation of a safe learning environment. Metaphors are actively used in a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches although very little attention is paid to their implementation in the educational environment. The goal of the present study is to disclose the opportunities of using metaphors of experiencing fear in working with university students. The proposed hypothesis states that the implementation of metaphors of experiencing fear in work with university students will contribute to the improvement of their self-assessment of subjective well-being. The study presents the analysis of the results of focus group studies conducted during experiments with the students of the “Drama Therapy” specialty at the Palacký University of Olomouc in the Czech Republic. With the use of the grounded theory method, it is demonstrated that work with metaphors of experiencing fear leads to becoming aware of self-support mechanisms, processing suppressed emotions, relaxation, inner liberation, and the activation of personal resources. These results open up prospects for the active use of metaphorization of various (including negative) experiences in providing psychological assistance to students.