Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finally, Zerka Moreno tells her memoirs about psychodrama

In psychology and psychotherapy networks, Jacob L. Moreno and his wife Zerka T. Moreno were a pioneering couple.

Now we can read about Zerka's life in To Dream Again: A Memoir, just published this month by Mental Health Resources.

Zerka met "Doctor" in 1941, when she brought her psychotic sister to Moreno's alternative hospital in Beacon, N.Y.  His creative approach of psychodrama -- sans medication -- gave the sister great relief, and Zerka was enchanted by the charismatic physician who had emigrated from Vienna, Austria to the United States.

She  became his co-worker, partner, wife and  helpmate until Dr. Moreno died in 1974 and continued to refine and develop the psychodramatic method and traveled around the world to teach until she was well into her eighties. She now lives in Charlottesville, Va., still drawing great respect and pilgrimages as the "mother of psychodrama."

I had the great good fortune throughout the 1990s to study with Zerka  as my primary trainer. It was she who recommended that I pursue becoming a trainer -- even though I was convinced I still had a lot to learn as a practitioner. 

I'll write more about my relationship with Zerka, a true wise woman, in coming blogs. However, for now, I'll repeat the words of Marcia Karp, a  well respected trainer in England and co-author of Psychodrama Since Moreno, and another of my treasured mentors:

"Zerka Toeman Moreno tells us many wise stories of survivor courage, steely determination, graceful dignity, witty humor and just plain guts. This is a guidebook for being alive, being awake, caring about oneself and the world, taking ethical action, being fully human."