Trainer’s Evaluation Report
- Trainers’ Evaluation
- Please explain how your workshop went
– Date: 12 January 2018 – 16 March 2018 (10 meetings x 2,5 hours)
– Place: Dr Józef Babinski Specialised Hospital in Krakow
– Participants (number and profile), patients treated in a day hospital (severe mental disorders). 8-20 persons attending the sessions (rotation inside the group), around 30 participants all together.
- According to your experience, which are the strong points of the method that helped you in the workshop?
– Creative activity new for most of the participants;
– Quick and surprisingly rewarding effect of the puppet making process;
– Space for individual creation and also for group work and close cooperation between participants;
– Fun, playfulness, relaxation, manual labor;
- According to your experience, what can be changed in the method in order to make it better (which are the weak points)? What changes do you suggest?
In the specific context of the psychiatric treatment, it seems desirable to involve someone from the medical staff to participate in all the workshops and to have their help in dealing with emotional processes and struggles triggered by theatrical activities.
- Additional comments
Two representatives of the medical staff were asked to share their opinions about the workshop activities. Presented below are their comments which show some elements of the impact on participants.
I was astonished to see how much the patients were engaged into performing. They were truly putting themselves into animation. When the puppet representing X was walking through the path covered with broken glass, it was his own path – his everyday life full of pain and struggling. It was visible that they were emotionally moved. And I myself was also moved.
These workshops enriched our therapy program for sure. Generally speaking the positive therapeutic effect on patients can be visible. I did not expect that patients would be so sensitive to puppet theatre. Psychotherapy is always the result of the interaction of a number of different factors, so it is difficult to say what exactly caused certain effects. But, for instance, I think that X would not be able to express himself so deeply in any other activities we propose here in the hospital. And Y – as he declared himself – decided not to stop the therapy thanks to the workshops. He stayed in the hospital to participate in these workshops, even though he planned to leave. Also, it is always valuable if the patients want to express something important for them and work on such problematic issue. The mutual confidence is needed for that and thanks to the workshops the trust level in the group has increased for sure. On the other hand, I think that a direct “translation” of the workshop experience into real life can be difficult, since these are two different realities. Psychotherapy can be compared to magic in a way. Not easy to asses and measure in some cases. But there are some obvious things. The workshops were anticipated by patients and according to what they said – very much appreciated and attractive.
- Participants’ evaluation- please summarize the participants’ responses and if you have added more questions, please add their answer as well
2.1. How did they feel during the workshop and why?
2.2. Which were the strong points of the workshop and why?
2.3. Which were the weak points of the workshop and why?
2.4. Do they think the workshop needs any changes?
2.5. Do they think this workshop was useful for them?
2.6. Would they use the things they learned on the workshop?
2.7. Which sessions did they like most?
2.8. Which were the sessions they didn’t like?
2.9. Additional comments
The last session of the workshop cycle was entirely devoted to summing-up the experience with participants and getting their feedback. The participants were encouraged to express freely how they felt about the entire process during reflection circle. One person who did not participated in the workshops but attended the final “show” was also present. Presented below are the opinions – testimonies by the group members written down by the leader.
My life is basically limited to this place – to the hospital. Anything beyond that means waiting to be back here. Working with the puppet means struggling. The beginning was just fun – making the figure. Quick, easy, nice. But performing proved to be one of the most difficult experiences in my life. Like passing the Baccalaureate. Yes, the final presentation was extremely difficult. I am glad I managed not to run away.
For me it was not difficult to perform, since I was active in theatre before. Although, I did not work with puppets. I find it very interesting. It was kind of self-projection experience.
Participation in the workshops was very difficult, painful at times, but worth the effort made. I would consider continuing my adventure with puppet theatre but not as the animator of my own puppet.
I regret that the workshops end. I got so many ideas for further theatrical work, for different ways of using the puppets.
So do I. I will miss these workshops. Even though they brought to the surface some difficult feelings. We had a chance to express ourselves and to tell our own life stories. I always had a dream to do something connected with theatre. But I was always too shy. Thanks to the workshops I was able to realize my dreams. I wish to continue in real life the role played by my puppet – a friendly, cheerful supporter of troubled, broken, helpless characters. Joining the puppetry workshop around the middle session, I had no idea about the story to present or the role to take and in the process this aspect cleared up for me.
I believed to be capable of managing the final presentation but it showed me how weak I was. I cried on stage. I was very much engaged in this work even though I did not present my own story. I managed to concentrate while picking up the thorns from the floor. The audience was really focused on our actions.
The faces of spectators were like stones, frozen. Perhaps they did not understand what we were presenting because we used no words. But everybody could interpret the action on his/her own.
COMMENT BY THE SPECTATOR: It was quite understandable to me. For example, when I saw the crocodile on stage, it was a clear representation of an illness. Then the puppets were extending their hands to one of the characters. This means that there are people to help us to step out from our difficult situation. At the beginning all the actors were standing in front of the audience with their faces covered with paper. When they started to smash the paper and uncover the faces, it meant clearly that they were removing masks. We all need to remove masks to create ourselves, to be able to proceed towards changes.
It was a surreal experience. To play myself. It felt like watching myself from the distance. Through participation in the workshops we got the picture of ourselves.
I ended my theatrical scene with a gesture of victory. This was not only a theatrical action – this gesture was authentic. It belongs not only to theatre but also to real life.
Yes, even though we play different characters on stage, we play ourselves. This is a true identification with the puppet.