The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of drama therapy activities on the self-growth of adolescents with visual impairments and the process of their effects on it. The subjects include five adolescents with visual impairments including three with low vision and two with complete vision loss. Of three with low vision, two and one received Disability Grade 1 and 4, respectively. Three and two of the subjects were 18 in high school and 23, respectively. In terms of age, all of the subjects were in adolescence according to Framework Act on Juveniles. Since adolescents form their self-identity by experiencing various changes psychologically and physically during adolescence, it is highly likely that they will suffer more stress in many different aspects. Adolescents with visual impairments have, in particular, a higher level of anxiety and nervousness due to their limited vision than common adolescents, thus being withdrawn in their social activities and eventually facing negative emotional development. Kim Dong-yeon and Yim Ho-chan(1992) reported that students with visual impairments were defensive against their surrounding environments or interpersonal relationships, conformed to the society, lacked endurance for stress, used a lot of suppression and negative mechanisms as defense mechanisms especially, and were in shortage of insights into themselves compared with students with normal vision. Human beings discover and build themselves, establishing relationships with others, in which sense people with visual impairments need to express and exchange their ideas and feelings consistently in activities they do with others and thus develop their emotional side for respective positive self-growth. The program lasted from April to December, 2017, offering total 32 sessions including therapeutic performance. After 16 sessions, the participants had a break for a month due to their vacation. They participated in the other round of 16 sessions in the latter half of the year. The program consisted of total three stages: Stage 1 diagnosed the state of the participants and checked their issues; Stage 2 allowed them to perceive and face straight their deficiency and wounds; and Stage 3 connected specific improvement measures and roles to the issues identified in Stages 1 and 2 and helped the participants put on therapeutic performance on the stage. Throughout the program, the participants imagined a range of images with various senses except for vision and sublimated them with their body and language in the
activities. Vision-based image creation has such advantages as specificity and easy access, but it could limit human imagination and make an error of objectifying subjective responses. In this sense, the participants were able to change images in various ways and bring flexibility to their roles through their free imagination and movements based on different senses excluding vision. The present study is significant in that the investigator ran a therapy process as the main therapist and made an intervention, helping a group of adolescents with visual impairments experience emotional stability and psychological rehabilitation through drama therapy, make positive self-growth, and live as healthy members of the society.