Psychodrama as a group therapy and intervention technique is based on role-plays as a way of rehearsing life. It has 100 years of history, and it has been widely used in different life domains and purposes since then. On the other hand, sometimes it has been criticized for lacking the methodological rigor of modern psychological science. Qualitatively and quantitatively, including a case study, we aim to show the effectiveness of psychodrama using a motivational science framework theoretically and empirically. We discuss why psychodrama is effective from an applied social psychological perspective—that is, to demonstrate that psychodrama fits well with self-determination theory (SDT), one of the renowned theories of human motivation, wellbeing, and development. Therefore, this article theoretically integrates those two streams of discussions in one vein of explanation: Psychodrama is effective because in many ways it is supportive of basic psychological needs via play and volitional action, which is necessary for autonomous functioning as depicted by SDT. We test and elaborate on this argument with a case study of a psychodrama group, with the three points of measurements taken before and after the group process as well as 2 years later in follow-up. We found expected and unexpected results regarding autonomous functioning and its associated variables as self-compassion and authenticity throughout time. We discuss the findings for further advancement of theory and practice of both psychodrama and SDT as well as its implications for partially supported hypotheses to guide further evidence-based research attempts in psychodrama.

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