Drama therapy in late life: Taking life-story work one step further

Dovrat Harel, Shoshi Keisari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integrating life-story work with drama therapy creates new opportunities for the psychological development of older adults. In this conceptual article we suggest five qualities of dramatic reality by which this integration can promote psychological development in old age: its ability (1) to evoke a story, (2) to bring together the personal and the collective, (3) to help in processing unfinished business, (4) to create an integrative view of the self and (5) to open the way to imagining the future. We illustrate each of the five qualities using vignettes from our previous research in the field and show how exploring the life stories of older adults through dramatic reality provides opportunities for active self-exploration in the ‘here and now’ of the group process in a way that goes beyond verbal life-story work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalDrama Therapy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Intellect Ltd Article. English language.


  • dementia
  • drama therapy
  • dramatic reality
  • life stage development
  • life-story work
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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