International Journal of Arts and Humanities

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Integrating Acting Techniques and Human Services Education

1James Ruby, PhD and 2Nanci Carol Ruby, MFA





Accepted 13th November, 2019


Human Service professionals are trained in many standards designed to assist a variety of populations.  At a large public state university, a class was created that incorporates acting exercises and psychodrama techniques into the work of human services professionals.  Actor training emphasizes honesty and mindfulness in the moment, as well as collaboration with others.  Human Services education echoes these themes, but for different ends.  The course investigated in this study attempted to wed those emphases. Learning outcomes for the course centered on professional practice techniques and increased self-awareness.  The purpose of the study was to determine if desired student outcomes were achieved. A thematic analysis of student responses shows that class participants experienced growth in both professional and personal domains.  Suggestions for further investigation are also recommended.


Keywords:  Psychodrama, acting, experiential education, human services