The purpose of AANZPA is to promote spontaneity in the Members of the Association and through them the spontaneity, creativity and co-creation of progressive relationships that strengthen the health and well-being of society in Australia and Aotearoa   New Zealand and in our relationships with those in other countries. (more...)


The vision is of able men and women all over the place expressing themselves relevantly in the ordinary here and now situations in which they live and work. This expression may be in silence, in building, in planning, in negotiating, in teaching, or in play, but it will be a responsive and creative expression, and expression that brings joy to the human spirit, that uplifts the soul, that makes us feel part of the universe again.


First established in 1980, AANZPA now has about 90 Ordinary and Distinguished members who are Certificated Psychodramatist, Sociodramatists, Sociometrists or Role-Trainers. 25 of these members are further certificated as Trainer, Educator and Practitioners (TEPs) or Educator Practitioners. A further 200 members are Associate Members. Members are mainly from Australia or Aotearoa   New Zealand, with some in Japan, USA, UK or Europe

AANZPA is as an incorporated not-for-profit association in South Australia and in Aotearoa New Zealand. A copy of the AANZPA Constitution (PDF) is available.


An Executive is elected from certificated members every two years. You can Contact the President and other members of the AANZPA Executive.

Board of Examiners

A Board of Examiners is appointed by the Executive. Amongst other activities, they have established Training Institutes throughout Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Thorough training, supervision and rigorous assessment, certification procedures lead to a high level of practitioner competence.


Much of the life of the Association is in the Regions established in most cities in Australia and Aotearoa   New Zealand. AANZPA publishes an annual Journal as well as a regular bulletin, Socio, for members. Each year Association members conduct training and travel to conferences in other countries throughout the world.

Organisational Membership

There is a AANZPA flag statement on the PACFA site. It describes psychodrama and its applications and has additional information about ANZPA itself.


To get in touch with AANZPA by email go to the Contact page. AANZPA's postal address is: AANZPA, PO Box 232, DAW PARK, SA 5041, AUSTRALIA.

Objects of AANZPA

The purpose of the Association is to provide an organisation, property and facilities through which persons may associate for the following purposes:

  • To promote spontaneity in the Members of the Association and through them the spontaneity, creativity and co-creation of progressive relationships that strengthen the health and well-being of society in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and in our relationships with those in other countries.
  • To establish and maintain a professional association of those qualified in the areas of psychodrama, sociodrama, sociometry and role training.
  • To establish and maintain adequate standards for psychodramatists, sociodramatists, sociometrists or role trainers through a Board of Examiners.
  • To develop means for certifying individuals as psychodramatists, sociodramatists, sociometrists or role trainers through a Board of Examiners.
  • To develop means for accrediting institutes for training in psychodrama, sociodrama, sociometry or role training.
  • To promote the establishment and reputation of psychodrama, sociodrama, sociometry and role training in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand by:
    • encouraging research, evaluation and dissemination of information by individuals and training institutes, or through publication of journals and other relevant publications.
    • establishing and monitoring a code of ethics for members of the Association practising psychodrama, sociodrama, sociometry or role training.


President : Elizabeth (Diz) Synnot

Elizabeth (Diz) Synnot Elizabeth Synnot LLB, MSocSci, Sociodramatist, TEPIT, has 35 years experience working with all types of groups in our society. She takes initiatives to create environments to experiment and play with alternative approaches and outlooks to collaborative living and work. Elizabeth enjoys the complexities of group life and the extension and ongoing fine tuning of our world views and our concomitant experience of the world. She gets alongside you as you picture a good life and have experiences in the social systems in which you live. She highly values paying attention to spontaneity, sociometry and role relationships in the context of working and living together. Elizabeth has a practice where she works with families, individuals, communities and work groups. Much of her engagement by organisations and community groups is in the arenas of leadership and team work. Elizabeth receives regular professional supervision and training.

Vice President: Claire Guy

Claire Guy Claire is a TEP and trainer for Wellington Psychodrama Training Institute, Nelson Branch. She is a psychotherapist, trainer, supervisor and coach. She enjoys working with families and couples and loves to play with children. eMail: claireguy6552@gmail.com

Treasurer: Rosemary Nourse

Secretary & Web Liaison: Martin Putt

Martin Putt Martin is a Psychodramatist and registered Psychotherapist who works in Auckland. He works part time as a psychotherapist in a forensic inpatient setting with men with intellectual disabilities and in private practice with individuals (especially adolescents), couples and families. He lives in Westmere with his partner, Clare, and son, Jasper and is currently enjoying a foray into suburban beekeeping. eMail: martinputt33@gmail.com

Membership Secretary: Helen Phelan

Helen Phelan Helen Phelan has had over 25 years of experience in organisational development in many contexts and has recently focused on topics related to social justice and human rights issues. Helen is a qualified Sociometrist.

Committee Member: Helen Kearins

Committee Member: Patricia O'Rourke

Committee Member: Ali Watersong

Ali Watersong Ali Watersong is a psychodramatist, experienced counsellor and teacher in Otautahi, Aotearoa (Christchurch, New Zealand). She has recently retired from seeing individuals and couples for counselling and psychotherapy. She continues to lead personal development groups in the community which she has done for almost 30 years. She believes in the Creative Genius within each of us and delights in using the psychodrama method to assist people to create the lives they want. She loves the inspiration she receives from the natural environment and enjoys recreating in the outdoors, with or without her dog, Sophie. She is currently learning Te Reo (Maori language) and enjoys singing and playing guitar. She brings warmth, wisdom and a sense of fun to her work. Email: watersong@slingshot.co.nz Web Site: http://aliwatersong.co.nz/

Research on Psychodrama


AANZPA is committed to promoting the development and dissemination of psychodrama related research so that we continue to build the body of knowledge which informs our practice and strengthens our professional identity, and as a forum to promote communication with other professionals and with the community.

The genesis of new ideas occurs in the field, and research that builds on the conceptual developments of practitioners is more likely to advance our understanding of the types of issues that confront practitioners and their clients. We are therefore keen to build the identity of ‘researcher’ within the AANZPA community, so that practitioners can confidently pursue their research interests and/or build collaborative relationships with researchers.

AANZPA Research Committee


AANZPA’s Regions are established by the AANZPA executive and further the life of AANZPA and its members in each geographical area. There are six regions in Australia and four in Aotearoa   New Zealand. The regions organise and advertise local events, organise practitioner seminars, have conferences and carry out other important tasks in the life of AANZPA.

The regions are:


Aotearoa   New Zealand

AANZPA Regional Regulations (2007) (PDF)64.81 KB

AANZPA Regional Office Holders


President: Selina Reid
Secretary: Jane Goessi
Treasurer: David Grant
Committee: Cushla Clark, Faith Moon, Monique Zwaan


President: Jacqui Gough
Secretary: Dan Randow
Treasurer: Renee Alleyne
Committee: Marcia Armadio, Bronwen Pelvin

Canterbury Westland

President: Simon Gurnsey
Secretary: Ali Watersong
Treasurer: Ali Begg
Committee: Sara Crane, Mohammad Zareei, Mairehe Tankersley, Uli Frank

Otago Southland

President: Maria Snigerev


President: Joan Hamilton-Roberts
Secretary: Joan Hamilton-Roberts
Treasurer: Phillip Corbett
Committee: Saaskia Dickson, Teresa Mears, Robert Brodie, Jeremy Martin


President: Lynley McNab
ACT Coordinator: Willi Boettcher
Secretary: Lynne Burchmore
Treasurer: Jenny Postlethwaite
Committee: Penny Beran, Yehoshua, Tina Roussos, Jo Dewar


President: Christo Patty
Secretary: Bernadette Ruytna
Treasurer: Jenny McIntosh
Assistant Treasurer: Elizabeth Synnot
Committee: Neil Simmons, Anna Heriot, Jane Morgan, Wendy McIntosh

South Australia

President: Tony Densley
Secretary: Jennifer Callanan
Treasurer: Dianne Pepicelli

Western Australia

President: Helen Phelan
Treasurer: Kevin Franklin


Psychodrama is deep and complex

So much training and self-development is shallow and simplistic: 'Learn this and you will be able to do that'. But human beings don't work this way, because real life is complex and unpredictable. Knowing what to do is very different from being able to do it. Psychodrama is a profound way to look at life in all its complexity and chaos. And to do this in a teachable, straightforward manner. This way you can face life with confidence and spontaneity. 'Psyche' relates to the spirit or mind, while 'drama' relates to the stories acted out in life every day. By combining mind and action, psychodrama gets to the reality beneath the surface. It teaches you to 'feel colours' or 'see smells', as it were. It may sound a bit 'airy fairy' but it's not. Once you get below the surface you can learn things about yourself and the roles you play that will help you make a real difference to your life and the lives of people around you.

A typical psychodrama session

How does psychodrama work in practice? In a typical session, a small group of enthusiastic people work cooperatively to do their personal psychodramas and are led by an experienced practitioner. The trainer will ask someone to get up and act out some of their deepest personal or communal concerns, such as being bullied in the workplace, or the plight of the homeless in society. Others in the group will join in, acting the extra roles in the person's drama. The session develops spontaneously as each person in turn takes the lead role in their own drama or support roles in other people's dramas. In this open-ended way, people find ideas and solutions they didn't know they had, and which they would never have found using conventional training or self-discovery methods. Instead of passively absorbing 'the answers', they actively find their own answers and help other people find theirs. The whole thing is spontaneous and fluid, not didactic and rigid.

Exploring what is important for you

As a participant in a psychodrama session you can explore the life situations that are of interest and concern to you through this type of dramatic enactment. In the course of the enactment you can express, refine and integrate new ways of being and doing. Psychodrama works for people of all ages and cultures with a wide range of life experiences. It strengthens your sense of self. It also strengthens your relationships with others and your effectiveness in groups.

Psychodrama assists individuals to:

Psychodrama assists groups to:

History of psychodrama

Psychodrama is based on the philosophy and methods conceived of by psychiatrist Dr Jacob Moreno (1889-1974). It grew out of his experiments in Vienna in the 1920's with the theatre of spontaneity, a form of improvisational theatre. Moving to the USA in 1925 he continued to combine this with his interest in social science, exploring the possibilities of treating clients using group psychotherapy. This work has been further refined by many practitioners and training institutes around the world including in the United Kingdom, Central and Eastern Europe, USA, South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Though somewhat younger, Moreno was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, and like Freud he developed techniques to get below the surface of ordinary life to help people heal. Yet where Freud used the couch, Moreno used the stage, and instead of sitting passively he was an active participant on this stage. Moreno developed several techniques related to psychodrama, including sociodrama, sociometry, role theory and group psychotherapy, all of which are studied within the QTIP program. Psychodrama is being actively used and taught throughout to the world. In places such as North and South America, Canada, the European Union, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan.

Experiential Training

Psychodrama is taught experientially. This means that the training is highly interactive, involving you with working with yourself, your life, the life of others and the the development of the group. This method of teaching provides a form of deep learning that grounds the learning in your identity not just a series of ideas.


Sociodrama is the application of the methods of Dr J L Moreno (1889-1974) to address social and group issues. Sociodrama has applications in education, organisational and community settings. The premise of sociodrama is that all human growth and human functioning is powerfully influenced by wider social influences in our culture. A human being grows up in a social field that exerts enormous influence that may be largely beyond conscious awareness. All our lives we have been bombarded with belief systems, value systems and ideas about how life should work. These social and cultural forces have a powerful influence on our every day actions at home, in groups, at work at play, in silence, when alone or when in relationships and in all group situation.

The sociodrama producer enables the group to

The sociodramatist applies principles of sociometry, role theory, organisational theory and psychodramatic techniques to assist individuals to bring about effective group and inter group functioning. The sociodramatist produces interaction in groups of different sizes and a configuration to identify the social concern of the group and formulate a sociodramatic question, develop a dramatic portrayal of the social system, and makes an analysis. Group members develop new perceptions and new approaches are opened up that lead to more open group norms and creative behaviour.


Sociometry is a methodology for stimulating, exploring and measuring interpersonal relations invented by Dr J L Moreno (1889-1974). The purpose of sociometry is to facilitate group task effectiveness and satisfaction of participants by bringing about greater degrees of mutuality amongst people and greater authenticity in relationships. Moreno noticed groups and communities function with people being attracted to or draw away from others and the subsequent networks and patterns of interaction these created. He discovered when people chose whom they interacted with, the higher level of satisfaction in being together, greater sense of belonging, achieving their purpose.

Moreno ’s early long-term study within the Hudson School for girls in NY, gave profound results. Frequent runaways had those at the home look for innovative solutions. Moreno was invited to work with the girls and staff. He set about and invited each girl to choose who she would prefer to sit at meals with. Their choices were mapped, and enacted. The level of runaways dramatically reduced.

Sociometric methods have been developed over time, with the principle that the investigator is an active group member. Material generated from the group, belongs to the group members. Is not taken away by the researcher and managers to make decisions about the group. Sociometric interventions bring flexibility to systems and groups by investigating the choices with the people who make them, and displaying the patterns of relationships created by those choices. Stimulated by this information, group members create new patterns for themselves, and enhance authentic companionship and greater mutuality in the group.

All groups have intricate networks, based on both moment-by-moment socio-emotional choices, and longer-term psychosocial networks, which endure over time. Identifiable patterns of interactions become apparent. These networks reflect alliances, hidden agendas, sub systems, sub groups and isolates gathering around identifiable individuals, and their values, beliefs, and experiences. Some liaisons become entrenched and others are enacted moment by moment. In order to understand what makes a group tick, an assessment of the strengths and qualities of relationships in the group is essential. People are curious to know where they stand in relations to others; within their family, with friends, with their bosses, peers and colleagues, and are curious about others’ relationships. Who is close to their mother, their manager, who doesn’t get on with who.  Who will be chosen for project teams and on what basis? Who do you go to, to know what is really going on here?

Sociometry means ‘companion measure’. Moreno designed it as a measure, a new science. He wanted to create a society where all humans achieve their potential to love, to share and face their truth. By making choices overt and active, he hoped individuals would be more spontaneous, authentic and organisations and group structures would become fresh clear and lively.

Sociometry enables us to enter the world of these interpersonal choices, attractions and rejections, and their effects. Sociometry has methods for displaying interpersonal choices, attractions and rejections and assists in exploring and improving relationship dynamics; social network explorations, sociograms, social atom maps, the classic sociometric test. 

By making choices based on criteria, overt and energetic, individuals become more spontaneous, and organisations and groups structures become fresh, clear and lively. 

AANZPA - Conditions of Membership

  1. Payment of membership fees is continuous and applies until a letter of resignation is received by the Membership Secretary.
  2. All Members agree to comply with the AANZPA Code of Ethics.
  3. All Members will maintain a relationship of 'good standing’ with AANZPA.
  4. Ordinary Members are eligible to be nominated and elected to the Executive Committee of AANZPA Inc. and to vote at the Annual General Meeting.
  5. Ordinary members will keep their currency up to date or be in touch with the Currency Committee.
  6. Associate Members and Affiliate Associate Members are not eligible to stand for the Executive Committee of AANZPA Inc. or vote at general meetings. In all other matters they have the rights and responsibilities as Ordinary Members.
  7. Associate Members will maintain a Training Agreement with their AANZPA accredited Psychodrama Training Institute or Campus.
  8. Associate Members will let the Membership Administrator know if anything changes that affects their membership or their Training Agreement is not current for the year.
  9. Associate Members will receive supervision from a supervisor approved by an accredited Training Institute or Campus for their psychodrama related work.
  10. Affiliate Associate Members who re-join a training program and have a current Training Agreement may apply to be an Associate Member using the normal membership joining process.


AANZPA offers a range of membership categories as outlined below. All members receive communications about AANZPA conferences and meetings along with occasional newsletters and our annual journal. Membership of AANZPA also brings automatic membership to the AANZPA regional association in your area. AANZPA Inc maintains a membership database of addresses and relevant details. It is a member’s responsibility to notify the Membership Secretary of changes to these details. Up to date records permit the easy dissemination of notices and material as well as maintaining an accurate membership directory, which is published on the AANZPA’s website for members only.

Ordinary Membership

Ordinary Membership is open to practitioners who hold a current practice certificate issued by the AANZPA Inc Board of Examiners on payment of a fee. Ordinary Members are eligible to be nominated and elected to the AANZPA Executive and to vote at the AGM.

Associate Membership

Associate Membership is open to those who have a demonstrated commitment to the Association and its goals and principles through undertaking ongoing training with an AANZPA accredited Training Institute or Campus for at least 6 months. An Associate member will have a current Training Agreement with an AANZPA accredited psychodrama Training Institute or Campus and get supervision when applying the psychodrama method. Your application must be accompanied by your sponsor’s letter which is completed on-line by an Ordinary or Distinguished Member who is involved in your training. This will be followed by payment of the relevant membership fee. Associate Membership is a requirement for advanced trainees. Associate Members are not eligible to stand for the Executive Committee of AANZPA Inc. or vote at general meetings. In all other matters they have the rights and responsibilities of Ordinary Members. An Associate member of AANZPA, who no longer has a Training Agreement with an AANZPA accredited psychodrama Training Institute or Campus, is designated an Affiliate Associate. This category has been created for Associate members who no longer participate in on-going training and supervision with a Training Institute/Campus or are taking a break from training. Affiliate Associate category is only available to those who have already been an Associate member. It's important to note that an Affiliate Associate may not present themselves to the public as practicing under the auspices of AANZPA. The AANZPA Ethics committee is unable to receive complaints from clients of an Affiliate Associate’s practice, so while they may choose to use the Code of Ethics to guide their practice, they should not give the impression to clients that they are a practicing member of AANZPA. When an Affiliate Associate has a new Training Agreement they may apply to be designated an Associate member.

Other Membership Categories

Distinguished Member

AANZPA may also appoint Ordinary Members as Distinguished Members. Any Ordinary Member may apply to the Executive Committee to become a Distinguished Member of the Association and the Executive Committee may in its absolute discretion admit an Ordinary member of the Association to be a Distinguished Member of the Association.

Honorary Distinguished Member

The Association may, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, admit any person (whether an ordinary member or not) to be an Honorary Distinguished Member of the Association.

Non-Practicing Member

The category of Non-Practicing member may also be made available to Ordinary Members in certain circumstances such as retirement from practice.

President’s Mailing List

President’s Mailing List is available to people who are not eligible for membership to AANZPA Inc and who wish to be assured of receiving publications and notices of events. These people may include those with overseas qualifications who are resident in Australia or Aotearoa   New Zealand and waiting for certification by AANZPA Inc, international applicants, professional associations and other interested professional people.

Application for Membership

To apply for Membership or to be listed on the President’s Mailing List, please email the AANZPA Membership Administrator membership-administrator@aanzpa.org. Membership Fee information is available.

AANZPA Membership Fee

Applies from 1 July 2017

Ordinary Membership $280.00

Associate Membership $145.00

Affiliate Associate Membership $145.00

President's Mailing List $80.00

Non–Practicing $80.00

A Pro rata fee applies to new Associate members who join part way through the membership year.

July to January (Pre Conference) $145.00 (Full Fee)

January to June (Post Conference) Discounted rate $75.00