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Paper - Drama



Karima Anbar, Lina H Kreidie, Sara Sakhi

The Power of Theatre Expression and Communication: a psychological therapeutical intervention in a refugee camp: an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) study into the narratives of women refugees’ experience with dramatherapy

Forced displacement presents a major global crisis that must be tackled at all levels: political, socio-economic and psychological. This paper describes the psychological impact of forced displacement on women and explains the significance of dramatherapy intervention (DTI) in treating and empowering trauma-impacted refugee women.

Frequently used to treat immigrant and refugee adolescents and children in many host communities, DTI is seldom applied to women refugees who suffer from psychological disorders compounded by fleeing their home country and by difficulties faced in host communities. This makes our study the first on women refugees leaving a war zone and residing in dire conditions in refugee camps. To best analyze the impact of DTI, this study: (1) utilizes a qualitative approach to explain the effects of dramatherapy intervention on Syrian and Palestinian-Syrian refugee women in Lebanon; (2) applies a modified five-phase DTI programme to fit the experiment setting and conducts post-DTI interviews; (3) uses an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) method to identify emergent themes and to analyze the effectiveness of DTI. The study concludes that dramatherapy can both help refugee women deal with war-related/post-migration emotional trauma and can implement positive changes and help its participants form social bonds among each other.


Ms. Karima Anbar is a French diplomat, who has extensive expertise working in human rights, women rights, political analysis and civil societies in Arab countries. After completing her Master's in Political Sciences at the Institute of Political Sciences in Lyon, she spent the first eight years of her career working for the French Foreign Ministry in Arab countries such as Jordan, Palestine, UAE and Kuwait. Ms. Karima also worked closely with high profile individuals, international organizations and institutions. Last but not least, she is renowned for her remarkably strong advocacy for women rights and human rights. In 2017, she was appointed CEO of Intisar Foundation, a UK registered charity operating in the Arab World to provide psychological support to women affected by war through the use of dramatherapy.

Recent Publications and Presentations

Sakhi, S., Kreidie, L., Wardani, F., AlSabah, I. & Anbar, K. (2020). The Power of Theater Expression and Communication: a psychological therapeutic intervention in a refugee camp: an IPA study into the narratives of women refugees’ experience with drama therapy. Psychology Research, 10(1), 10-23. doi: 10.17265/2159-5542/2020.01.002

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