Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting ready for the psychodrama exam? Some tips.

In the psychodrama world, the tests for Certified Practitioner and Trainer, Educator and Practitioner are coming up this month.

As a supervisor and volunteer reader for the exam, which is conducted by the American Board of Examiners for Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy, I’ve compiled several suggestions that have been helpful for me and others.

I plan to add these tips to my next revision of The Psychodrama Notebook, but I want to offer them now for those candidates who are in high-prep mode after years of training. These suggestions can be adapted for other exams in school and for professional tests, too.

Get the American Psychological Association's code of conduct online and become familiar with the basics of the code.

Review sociometry by visiting Anne Hale’s great Web site International Sociometry Training Network, where you will find great discussion and answers.

Read each question carefully and make sure you fully understand the question. Make a few side notes to focus on the basic points you wish to cover in your essay.

Focus on answering the question, and all parts of the question, completely and accurately. If the question asks you to discuss three points of “x,” make sure that you cover three points, not two points, or one point on “x.”

In addition to the information that you present, identify how you might apply the information to a real-life practitioner or trainer situation in your psychodrama group or with a client.

Answer from your role. If you are taking the test to become practitioner, identify the points regarding to practice with clients; if you are taking the test to become a trainer, identify how you would train your students regarding the issue.

Practice exquisite self care – get yourself into the schedule of getting enough sleep and rest, eating properly and such in the weeks and days before the exam.

On the day of the exam, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast with high-quality protein. High-quality protein might include hard-cooked eggs, peanut butter, other nuts and seeds, yogurt, low-fat cheese and the like. Avoid foods that are heavy or sugary which might affect your mood or ability to think.

Bring a snack which should also include high-quality protein to the test.

Make sure you drink enough water. Dehydration will slow your brain and contribute to sluggish thinking. Think about it – plants wilt when they don’t have enough water.

Supplements that may be helpful are Vitamin B-12 and Omega-3 fish oil, which you can start taking now in preparation for the exam. Vitamin B is important for stress and Omega-3 feeds the brain. I also recommend Green Matcha Tea, a green tea from Japan, which offers four hours of ability to focus and easy concentration.

Remember to breathe.

Good luck!