The Virtual Gratitude Visit (VGV): Using Psychodrama and Role-Playing as a Positive Intervention

  • Daniel J. TomasuloEmail author


Gratitude has been established as one of the leading interventions that can lead to sustainable happiness. This paper describes the virtual gratitude visit (VGV) selected for the inaugural Avant-Garde Clinical Intervention award at the 2017 International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) conference in Montreal, Canada. The technique activates many therapeutic elements contained in the literature on gratitude, role-playing, and storytelling and is described for use by clinicians and coaches in both individual and group settings. The VGV uses role-playing with an empty chair, and a role-reversal to enact a gratitude visit. This extends the applicability of an expression of gratitude to include people who are unavailable; those who have passed on; “parts” of ourselves we have gratitude toward (such as a time when we had more resilience, grit, or joy in our lives); or expressed gratitude toward a higher power or entity. Additionally, the usefulness of the VGV as a non-reading and non-writing positive intervention could have tremendous value for the typically under-represented individuals of more than 775 million adults in the world who are illiterate.


Gratitude Role-playing Psychodrama Empty chair Positive clinical intervention 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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