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Role-playing is a fundamental human behavior that is naturally enacted in play, storytelling, and rituals. Role-playing helps people feel connected to each other. Examples of role-playing include children engaged in pretend play, adolescents completing graduation ceremonies, or individuals participating in religious ceremonies. Role-playing activities help people feel more connected to their communities. Role-playing can also help individuals solve difficult problems, develop complex skills, or explore new identities in a safe context. Children who “play house” or “play school,” for example, might try on the role of parent or teacher. Role-playing as a therapeutic intervention occurs when a counselor guides a client to act out an unfamiliar role either as himself or herself or from the perspective of another. Therapeutic gains include reducing anxiety, instilling hope, ...

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