What is PSYCHODRAMA?
Enhacing individual and group creativity …
Sharing our inner world with others …
Opening pathways to self-directed change …
Exploring past, present or future relationships…
"Role-playing comes before the emergence of the self --"
- Dr. J. L. Moreno, creator of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy
Psychodrama uses our innate capacity for role-playing to investigate our lives in a mutually supportive environment, to reexperience and change the past, to affirm our strengths, to try out future alternatives and to change what we choose.
It requires no experience or training in formal theater.
Psychodrama draws on the spontaneous and creative process of the group to help each other discover satisfying solutions to individual and collective situations. It gives us insights into the underlying dynamics of a group, to see the ways people are connected to one another, and to choose our companions or colleagues with increased mutual satisfaction. It offers opportunities to take more responsibility for and control over our lives, individually and collectively.
Psychodrama is a means of exploring our lives together with other people in spontaneous role-playing action. It is therapeutic in the widest sense, providing us with opportunities to investigate and integrate body, mind and spirit, and to connect more deeply with others than we often do in our normal day-to-day life. A fundamental goal of psychodrama is to help us activate and expand our individual and collective spontaneity and creativity.
What is spontaneity in psychodrama?
In psychodrama, being spontaneous is not about acting impulsively or blindly, without thought or consideration for others. Instead, spontaneity is defined in practical terms as being able to create "a new response to an old situation" or "an adequate response to a new situation," where adequate is measured by actions that satisfy both our own needs and those of the persons with whom we interact. Using various active role-playing methods, we have opportunities to practice a variety of responses to a person or situation. We can also experience the impact of our responses on others by stepping into their shoes and feeling the effects of the way we express ourselves or ask for what we need. Through the creative contributions of others who are participating in the role-playing, we receive a wider perspective on our own life.
Herb Propper, Ph.D., T.E.P. is a Trainer Educator Practitioner of Psychodrama, Sociometry and
Group Psychotherapy, certified by the American Board of Examiners. He has 30 years of
experience in the field. He is Director of Celebrations of the Soul Center for Psychodrama,
Sociodrama and Sociometry in Vermont, USA, in private practice as therapist, trainer and
Herb is a lifetime member and fellow of the American Societry of Group Psychotherapy and
Psychodrama (ASGPP). He has presented numerous workshops at conferences of the ASGPP
and its affiliated New England chapter.
Since 2003 he has been a lead trainer for the National Therapeutic Theatre Workshops of
Bangladesh, and is also a member of the Bangladesh Therapeutic Theatre Institute.
He has published articles on sociodrama, psychodrama in theater work and role-playing in
education in The British Journal of Psychodrama and Sociodrama, The Journal of Group
Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Sociometry,and The Internaional Journal of Action Methods.
He has also contributed a chapter on uses of psychodrama in education to Psychodrama in the
B) Five day training on Art Therapy in November- The trainer will be Jen Kristel, Expressive Arts Therapist, Playback Theatre Director/teacher
Participants will learn aspects of Art as Therapy:
Basic history of Art therapy
Integrating different arts as therapy
Methods of assessment
Symbology of imagery
View case studies
The value of art as diagnostic tool
Arts used in different clinical areas, in western culture
Define, assess and develop concept of using the arts as therapy in Indian culture
Experiential work both individually and group oriented.
C) Five day training on Playback theater also in November. The trainer will be Jen Kristel, Expressive Arts Therapist, Playback Theatre Director/teacher
Playback, What Is It?
The process of Playback is deceivingly simple. At one level, we are playing back a person’s story from his/her life. Yet, the act of creating the safety that allows anyone to tell the story is important, as well as the ability to listen deeply, not so much with our ears, but from our heart to the tellers story, and bear witness to it through the enactment as a way of giving them a gift. As an actor, we receive these stories as a gift, and it is important then to hand back to the individual as well as to the audience as a whole. The conductor holds a presence similar to that of a “shaman,” needing to pay attention to the subtle as well as broad dynamics within the audience as well as the connection between the actors and the audience. There is a balance of art, social awareness and ritual that needs to be present in order for a Playback performance to go well. In Playback as well, one can pay too much attention to any of these areas, and the other areas might lack. As audience members become used to what Playback is about, for many, also become accustomed to the ritual and look forward to it. Many an audience member will come to a performance regularly, because they understand that when they do, there is a basic ritual that they will know- one which includes the ability for them to tell a story of their own, from their own life, and see it enacted.
Playback began over 30 years ago by Jonathan Fox and the original Playback Theatre troupe. It is now done with over 350 companies in 50 countries. Each company, and in each country does Playback in their own way, yet the ritual of Playback remains the same. Whether in a hospital setting, a prison, or an open performance Playback supports people in connecting with eachother through personal story, creating community and supporting people in finding their voices for change, acknowledging their dreams, developing support networks through shared experience.
An evening of Playback can elicit laughter, tears and “ahas” all within a few minutes of each other.
“People need to tell their stories. It’s a basic human imperative. From the telling of our stories comes our sense of identity, our place in the world, and our compass of the world itself.”
-Jo Salas, original member of Playback Theatre
Playback Theatre brings “theatre back from the domain of entertainment to its earlier purpose of preserving memory and holding the tribe together.”
-Jonathan Fox, Founder of Playback Theatre