The Find Your Voice method has long been employing the integrated studies of acting and playwriting, as a way of transforming lives. One of the benefits of leading people through the telling and sharing of their stories in dialogue form, is that — as Buddhist psychologist Jack Kornfield says,
‘We are loyal to our stories…they become our identities’.
Creating dramatic characters who must reckon with one another — in response to feedback, and in accordance with the principles of good playmaking, (no all- good or all-bad characters, both must have valid wants, and communication is essential), invites them to consider different ways of approaching and resolving conflicts, in the guise of other identities.
And, through the study of acting, participants also experience ‘acting on’ a strong want, and ‘behaving as’ someone else, while their own bodies absorb (and remember!) this empowering experience. As Beck and Ellis, the founders of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy say, “when behavior changes, all else follows”. Through these twin studies, and as our participant’s newly balanced voices are heard, they begin to value themselves, and their lived experience, in more respectful ways. When the audience at the final sharings say, “I was moved by what you wrote”, or “that was my story, too”, they come to further honor the power of their own authenticity…their core selves.
When we write, we learn things that are hidden from our ordinary awareness because writing — especially when safely guided — is itself an act of reflection. Everything we need to know about ourselves, can be learned from ourselves, and in relation to listening others we can share these universal truths to everyone’s benefit.