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J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Jul;19(7):607-12. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0623. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Drama therapy and eating disorders: a historical perspective and an overview of a Bolognese project for adolescents.

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  • 1Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Sant'Orsola Malpighi Hospital, Bologna University, Bologna, Italy.



The authors present a description of a theater workshop ("Metamorphosis Project"), developed at the Bologna Eating Disorders Center.


The workshops are aimed at young, hospitalized patients, and are largely based on the principles of drama therapy. In this article, this therapeutic modality is introduced by a discussion of the theoretical basis for the use of theater in psychiatry from the points of view of several preeminent psychiatrists, including Freud, Winnicott, Klein, and Moreno.


Three (3) clinical reports are presented. The satisfaction rate among the first groups of participants was 93%.


It is suggested that theater can be useful in decreasing defense mechanisms, allowing a patient-focused approach, mitigating specific symptoms, and improving the quality of life during the hospital stay.

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