Monday, May 24, 2010

Playback Theatre improvises stories of our lives

Playback Theatre is a wonderful derivative of psychodrama that has now made its own fame and boasts its own method. There are groups across the United States and around the world.

The Washington Post just featured a group in Silver Spring, Md., which is active with monthly gatherings of 70 people, some of whom volunteer to tell a personal story while a group of actors improvise their story and play it back while everyone watches. Part community building and part entertainment, these presentations may be poignant or humorous, but they are always deeply human.  In February, the topic was "Variations on a Dream" in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.; later in honor of Valentine's Day, the topic was "When We Are Granted Our Heart's Desires." For more on Playback and its trainings, click here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New book combines psychodrama and the body

As the newest research in neuroscience reframes how and why experiential psychotherapies bring significant healing to the brain and body, a new book, "The Body Alchemy of Psychodrama" by Rebecca Ridge, arrives to show how one practitoner puts these theories into practice.

As a psychologist, psychodramatist and bodyworker, Rebecca combines her knowledge and skills to show how the action method of psychodrama blends very well with the subtle hands-on practices of craniosacral therapy, positional release, reflexology and shiatsu.

Rebecca says:

"Alchemy is a wonderfully expressive term to describe the philosophical, psychological and biological processes that illuminate and transform the body mind in each of us. The body is still and may remain forever to some degree a mysterious universe, no matter how much we might be able to explain the complexities of our body and brain’s physiological intricacies. Thus Body Alchemy involves the mystery and the potential to keep evolving one’s relationship to our body mind."
Rebecca is a Midwest trainer, educator and practitioner who divides her time between Anoka, Minn., and Australia. She explains psychodrama as an embodied form of psychotherapy and includes a historical background of  somatic psychology theories. 

As more pracititoners incorporate some kind of touch in their work, she offers a valuable chapter on the ethics of touch for the group therapist, psychodramatist and psychotherapist so that they may safely apply practices of touch in therapy. Her ideas are now incorporated in my annual experientially based ethics training, "Ethics In Action."

See Rebecca's site, which includes articles and a link to order her book here.