Setting up a 'treasure hunt' based on psychodramatic techniques

University of Piraeus, Greece.

Setting up a “treasure hunt” based on psychodramatic techniques for university students.

Dr. Smaroula Pandelis, psychologist, psychodramatist, visiting lecturer at Piraeus University

Psychodrama and sociodrama techniques were applied as part of teaching methods in the course “Leadership and Emotional Intelligence” in the postgraduate program of MBA in Tourism, at the university of Piraeus in Greece.

A group of seven students was randomly chosen out of a total of forty two, in order to organize and conduct an educative experience for the rest of the class during which the concepts of leadership, team building, communication, empathy, tolerance, tourism and play would be the protagonists. Psychodramatic techniques were applied by the course leader which facilitated the students to come up with the idea of a treasure hunt in the city of Athens titled “The lost treasure of a poor tourist in Athens”.

The game started in the classroom on a Friday evening. Students were split in groups of six and received an envelope with a crypto message which lead them to an internet connection where they found special information on a particular type of problem a person might experience and relate with difficulties in traveling. Next morning the treasure hunt would start from a different point on the map for each group. Members of each group would alternatively reverse roles with the special tourist and experience the situation as blind tourists, deaf tourists, tourists with kinetic difficulties, tourists with kidney deficiency, tourists with AIDS, and tourists traveling with their dog.
The chance to reverse roles with people facing certain difficulties helped the students to draw very interesting conclusions on various aspects regarding services, human behaviour, tolerance, self respect, egocentricism and prejudice.