Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moreno stage and Boughton Place seeking donations

Do you remember the first time you stood on the legendary Moreno Stage?

Maybe you were at Beacon Hospital when J.L. Moreno and Zerka Moreno taught psychodrama to students flocking  from throughout the United States and around the world to the small town of Beacon, N.Y. Maybe you first stepped on the stage after it was dismantled and reconstructed at Boughton Place, a retreat center in Highland, N.Y., where Zerka Moreno continued to teach until the  late 1990s. Or maybe you've taken part as an actor with Playback Theatre or...

Boughton Place preserves and maintains the original psychodrama stage built by J.L. Moreno in 1936, minus the first tier that was too wide to fit into the space. The stage is recognized as a vital symbol of the world wide psychodrama community, and thousands of psychodrama participants -- including me -- have attended events there since 1986.

Boughton Place houses Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute run by nationally known psychodramatists Rebecca Walters and Judy Swallow and has been used as a residential training center by Zerka Moreno, Jonathan Fox, Ann Hale, Dorothy and Mort Satten, Donna Little, Natalie Winters, Louise Lipman, Nan Nally-Seif, Connie Miller, Kate Hudgins and Susan Aaron. A non-profit organization, it has become an international training center for psychodramatists from around the world.

The board is now seeking financial donations to help with upkeep, repair, renovation and landscaping of the three-acre center. For more information about Boughton Place and how to make a donation, see this link.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A rare look at the first psychodramatic family

"The First Psychodramatic Family," which has been long out of print, is now available courtesy of the North-West Psychodrama Association  which has been bringing out the new J.L. Moreno series. This is a new edition of the book, originally co-written in 1964 by J.L. and Zerka Moreno and their son Jonathan. The book details charming stories of Moreno's birth and background for child-size ears and eyes, and Zerka tells how she used the role play techniques of doubling and role reversal to acquaint their young son with roles of parents and children and empathy. There are also many psychodramatic tales, including encounter with Freud, how President Franklin Roosevelt discovered sociometry and early demonstrations in psychodrama.

For details on this book and some excerpts, click here. Also available in this series are J.L. Moreno – The Theatre of Spontaneity and Impromptu edited by J.L.Moreno. All books are available in print and by download format

Three more classic Moreno titles will also soon be available on the same web site ( which are: "The Words of the Father," "Psychodrama Volume 2" and "Psychodrama Volume 3." Zoli Figusch  is series editor.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Attorneys who like psychodrama have new book to enjoy

Attorneys understand that a trial is as much an art form as it is a test of facts. Psychodrama can help you better understand your clients, their backgrounds, and what shaped them before they came to you. This is the message of "Trial In Action: The Persuasive Power of Psychodrama," a new book by Joane Garcia-Colson, Fredilyn Sison and Mary Peckham. 

The action method of psychodrama helps attorneys to present the compelling story of the case through a better understanding of the parties, experts, and witnesses’ motivations. It will also help attorneys prepare cases and direct them from intake to trial.

This book is a step-by-step manual that will help lawyers who are new to psychodrama learn the basic techniques, and will help more seasoned lawyers perfect their skills. The book begins with the history of psychodrama in law, then moves on to describe the specific tools and techniques that trial lawyers use. Each instructional chapter gives a "how to," followed by an example, and finishes with an exercise you can try at home. Finally, the book gives concrete examples of how you can use your newly found psychodrama tools and skills in all parts of a trial, from voir dire to closing.

Listen here for interview with Radio Interview about this book. For more, see book's web site.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Virginia Satir and the psychodrama link

Virginia Satir, who is considered one of the most influential and innovative of family therapists, has a psychodrama link. And a Wisconsin link.

Psychology students still read her most well-known books Conjoint Family Therapy as well as Peoplemaking and The New Peoplemaking, the last published in 1988.

Virginia Satir was born  in Neillsville, Wis., in 1916, the eldest of five children, and later moved to Milwaukee. At the age of five, Satir decided that she would grow up to be "a children's detective on parents." She later explained that "I didn't quite know what I would look for, but I realized a lot went on in families that didn't meet the eye."

Now to the link with psychodrama.

Psychodramatist Barbara Seabourne developed what she called "action sociometry" in the early 1960s, giving life to people's most important relationships by having them take postures to show their connections with each  other -- or the lack of same. Satir used similar ideas as she developed family sculpting, helping families to experierence their relationships with each other, not just talk about them.

 Zerka Moreno, the widow and collaborator of Dr. J.L. Moreno, the physician who developed psychodrama, adds that, in addition,  remembers flying to Milan, Italy, in 1963 to a conference of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy.

She writes:

"Dr. Moreno had secured seats on the plane for all those going to the conference. Virginia Satir sat across the aisle from us and attended the Moreno Academy one-day session before the conference in which I worked with a married couple. As far as I am aware, she attended all other sessions, including Moreno's presentation, at the conference, in which I presented "Sociogenesis of Individuals and Groups." She did not engage with us, nor seemed to do so much with anyone else on the plane; she was rather shy and quiet.

"We published a book containing all the presentations, called "The International Handbook of Group Psychotherapy." brought out by The Philosophical Library in New York, 1966. I was assistant editor.

"Virginia Satir's presentation is entitled: "Family Therapy: An Approach to the Treatment of Mental and Emotional Disorders." p. 441-445. She speaks, among others, of family conjoint therapy. She was, I believe, just beginning, but she was good at what she was doing.

"Virginia and I met again in 1985, in Phoenix, at the first Milton Erickson Foundation on Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference."

Satir died of pancreatic cancer soon after that meeting.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kate Hudgins speaks on innovative psychodrama and her trauma model

Kate Hudgins, the U.S. psychodramatist and psychologist who has developed an innovative model for treatment of trauma with psychodrama speaks about her most recent work at the international psychodrama conference in Portugal in October 2010, when she was keynote speaker.

Kate, who lived and worked in Wisconsin for several years, has demonstrated and taught her model in the United States and internationally, visiting some 30 countries through the years. For the past 10 years, she’s been teaching her action-oriented Therapeutic Spiral Model in universities in China. She is now back in her hometown of Charlottesville, Va., preparing for the upcoming publication of her fourth book, “Therapeutic Spiral Model on the Frontlines,” for which I’ve written a chapter with Kevin Fullin, M.D., on using the model with survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence. Her previous book, which I recommend to my trainees, is Experiential Treatment for PTSD: The Therapeutic Spiral Model.

Here’s the link to the first video, also shown below, when she talks about her model, how it can be adapted for children and moving moments with her work in China. The interview continues on this second link where she talks about hate, violence and compassion and her work with people who suffered in both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland and with torture survivors from Bosnia.