Our zoom-based educational program will include psychodrama and sociodrama workshops, group psychotherapy packages, playback theatre, didactic presentations, book readings, and more. We recognize because psychodrama workshops require a certain level of spontaneity, many would-be psycho-dramatists are never exposed to the power of our work; hopefully, those who may be reluctant to participate in an experiential session can become warmed up for the experiential workshops by learning about theory and practice through book readings, courses and didactic presentations. Designed to complement educational events already being offered by the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP), the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) and other organizations, our educational program deepens the sociometry of our community, because people deeply bond in these educational and experiential events. Our program allows us to access the expertise of our senior therapists, facilitating a culture of generosity in our field. Because zoom is international, our educational project also raises the reputation of American psychodrama around the world. Our mission to advance the use of psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy and spread the Moreno legacy is furthered by our Educational Program, which offers teaching and training while raising money for scholarships.
Jacob L. Moreno (1953, p. 3), the father of psychodrama, wrote, “A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of mankind.” He envisioned using electronic transmission to create mass audiences, and used radio, film, and television to teach psychodrama (Hudgins, 2017).
While admitting challenges to working online, many psychodrama practitioners have cited advantages to online psychodrama. Some have reported creative ways to work with the technology: using breakout rooms for warm-up exercises, sharing the whiteboard for a group project, and supplementing the session with music, art, or a special background to enhance the experience. Because psychodrama works by conveying our experiences through action and interaction, the online camera becomes a powerful ally; much of what is lost can be gained visually. Using gestures, like thumbs up and thumbs down, participants efficiently answer questions posed by the facilitator. For example, one participant turned her head sideways and held her nose to remark decisively on the pandemic. Stuffed animals can be hugged to convey affection. A club (perhaps rolled up magazines covered with duct tape) can be pounded on a tabletop to express anger or discharge rage.
Psychodrama uses role play and role reversal extensively to enact conversations, and hats, scarves, and masks, particularly eye-catching in the camera, can be used to track the roles online. A baseball hat may designate a boyfriend, a scarf over the shoulders an elegant mother, and a participant with a white scarf over their head may play the spirit of their deceased grandfather. Props can be used creatively, concretizing meaning. A participant showed a toy shovel to symbolize her depression, saying she had dug herself into a hole; the participant playing her role showed a scissors instead, and everyone understood.
Particularly in a small group, telehealth practice has the advantage over in person sessions of the facilitator being able to see all the faces simultaneously, allowing them to monitor the engagement of each of the participants. For example, the proximity of the participant to the camera may signal the degree of engagement, critical information for the facilitator. In our experience, on a single screen showing eighteen or fewer participants, facial expressions can be read easily and accurately, like a movie star with their face in a close-up. In a psychodrama session, spontaneity and creativity enrich the work, bringing levity to the experience and facilitating bonding, and some participants are more spontaneous and creative online than face-to-face, even making faces for the camera. Attitudes can be exaggerated; one participant played an unforgettable grumpy Aunt Martha online, her mouth in a squinch and her forehead furled.
With increasing appreciation of the value of these techniques in education, business, litigation, theatre, and other endeavors, expressive therapy is a growing field today. Facial expressions, gestures and props facilitate the work online, while enriching the process. The experience of connection, freedom, and creativity, the general goal of all our work arguably in every field is achieved through these techniques. With careful facilitation, telehealth can be as powerful and effective as face-to-face psychodrama in resolving our psychological issues, and, as in face-to-face psychodrama, generate healing, growth and transformation.
Organic in its process and bonding for the participants, psychodrama brings us catharsis and transformation, a new experience of ourselves and the people in our lives.
Some gains from our presentations:
Our current educational programs are listed below.
Group psychotherapy can be a life-changing experience, offering relational experiences critical to the process of healing, growth and transformation; psychodrama experienced in a group format Is perhaps the most powerful and effective modality in our therapeutic repertoire.To learn more ...
This workshop starts with Moreno’s belief that the Self develops from the roles we manifest. TSM Psychodrama uses role theory to define what roles are needed to work experiential therapy with trauma survivors in a safe and contained window of tolerance.To learn more ...