Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Psychodrama helps train law enforcement

Every day, as people in Washington, D.C., go about their lives, the FBI, CIA, Capitol Police, Secret Service and U.S. Marshals Service stage covert dramas in and around the capital where they train. Officials say the scenarios help agents and officers integrate the intellectual, physical and emotional aspects of classroom instruction. Most exercises are performed inside restricted compounds. But they also unfold in public parks, suburban golf clubs and downtown transit stations.

Psychodrama assists in the training of these officers and agents, and Barry Spodak, LICSW, TEP, discusses the schizophrenic, bipolar and paranoid characters that he created to help law enforcement agents assess threats on the lives of presidents, Supreme Court justices and other VIPS in The Washington Post article Threat Theater: For The Actors, It's A Living. For The Officers, It's A Test Of Nerve. Also available, a video.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rene Marineau talks about discovering the life of J.L. Moreno

Rene Marineau, the main biographer of J.L. Moreno,  talks about his experiences in documenting the life of the developer of psychodrama, and his first meeting with him in 1971 in this video.

"We learned with our feet, rather than our brain," he says of this seminal action method although he confesses that he was not impressed with the "doctor" upon his first meeting. Gradually, he followed the threads of interest to find the truth of Moreno's life, as well as Moreno's gifts of imagination and symbolism.

Marineau, a professor, psychologist and psychoanalyst from Quebec, Canada, is a former president of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. More about his book here, plus an excerpt here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New books combine psychodrama, art, somatic therapies

Two psychodramatists have published books on combining psychodrama with their specialties.

Rebecca Ridge has published a new book on the integration of psychodrama and somatic therapies entitled, The Body Alchemy of Psychodrama." Ridge, a psychodramatist and body therapist, divides her time between Drummoyne, Australia, and Anoka, Minn., and teaches craniosacral therapy and various body therapies for the Upledger Institute. Her book discusses how she has integrated psychodrama, somatic therapies and Chinese medicine. Find more information here.

Satya Winkelman. psychodramatist and artist in Sarasota, Fla., has  written "Through The Fire -- A Woman's Guide To Transformation" which takes the reader on a journey of the feminine cycles of change and provides activities for personal growth.  She been a communication trainer and consultant for Fortune 500 companies, schools, churches and businesses in the United States and internationally for more than 25 years. Read an excerpt here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's invitation to self care

Today's post is a guest blog from Connie Lawrence, a licensed clinical social worker and certified experiential therapist in Cleveland, Ohio, who uses psychodrama and other experiential activities in her practice.

This is an invitation to join me in a playful exercise in forming a whole new relationship with self care. Rather than the grim New year's crackdown of "I'm going to stop (eating, drinking, smoking, etc.)", how about an uplifting approach? How about indulging in an unlimted supply of whatever your soul really craves?

Here is the question:

"If I could have an unlimited supply of something in 2010, what would it be?"

Two years ago my answer was MUSIC. That year I bought my iPod and discovered a deep-sea underworld of rhythm, culture, healing and ideas springing forth of what people can do with the right music. I began germinating the concept of "Rock the House!" to build connection and spontaneity through music, which has led me to people around the country and inspiring activities. It opened up a whole new world of creativity.

Last year my soul's answer was SERENITY. I can have as much serenity as I want, whenever I want. I can stand up for it, protect it, and I deserve it. It led me to a new frontier of boundary-setting I didn't know was available.

Here's how I do this:

Once the answer bubbles up from my soul, I find a way to concretize it. Last year SERENITY was small box with a clear blue stone on it. It can be anything -- a drawing, a stone, a box, an art project, a simple note. Then I have some dialogue with it.

What would I like to ask Serenity?
What would Serenity say back?

Just as I sat down the write this message, I opened the Serenity box and found this note, "You can have as much as you want in 2009. Close your eyes, breathe, and I will be here. You deserve it. You've already set the boundaries -- and you can set more. Dive in."

So this is my invitation: let's indulge ourselves in good care. It's soul food that doesn't go to your hips. Please join me in the adventure.