Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dateline NBC spotlights experiential therapy at Pa. treatment center

calls it "group therapy on steroids." Online, NBC broadcaster Keith Morrnison calls it "unorthodox group therapy." It's experiential therapy at  an intensive residential program known as Breakthrough at the Caron Treatment Centers in Wernersville, Pa., for adults from alcoholic and chaotic homes. It's where I first discovered the power of experiential therapy back in 1985 in a program that was founded by visionary Ann Smith, the author of Grandchildren of Alcoholics: Another Generation of Co-Dependency, just a year earlier. Keith Morrison interviewed Ann and spent a week at the treatment center to  film the group therapy for tonight's segment "Back From Nowhere."

Becoming acquainted with experiential therapy led me to become trained in psychodrama and to work as a group therapist at Caron from 1989 to 1992, later returning as a consulting therapist. The Dateline program aired tonight with my friends and colleagues Marilyn Hawn and Randy Gaul.

Here's Keith Mitchell's story focusing on John, one of the participants in the treatment program:

You can see additonal scenes here.

Here's a mini-look at one clip with therapist Randy: