Journal 20 December 2011

Journal 20 December 2011

Journal 20 December 2011 - Entire Journal

Enlivening the Psychodramatist as Writer

There is a wide roaming pack of existential fools, mavericks and strangers in strange lands. Some are writers. Some are great. The great writers have achieved a working practice of spontaneity, purpose and craft. They are alchemists working with the exhilarating power of production. They engage readers as active participants in the emerging human experience, not explaining things but crafting them in a way that the reader can experience them. Their works and their lives lived are treasures for the apprentice writer. This paper presents some of these treasures.

Surplus Reality: The Magic Ingredient in Psychodrama

Anything that can be imagined can be created on the psychodramatic stage. This is the magic that makes surplus reality a central aspect and powerful tool of Dr. J.L. Moreno’s psychodrama method. Through surplus reality a person is able to enter the unknown, live out their fantasies and become the creator of their own life. Using psychodramatic work as illustration, Ali Watersong demonstrates the way that surplus reality facilitates the development of spontaneity, brings about social atom repair and assists in the formation of a positive identity.

The Dance of Relationship: Using Moreno in Workplace Injury Rehabilitation

Katherine Howard explores the use of Moreno’s methods in what has become, in Morenian terms, a robotic workplace injury rehabilitation system. Presenting two case studies as illustration, she employs the metaphor of the dance of relationship to capture the way in which psychodramatic techniques transform difference and conflict into mutuality and cooperation, habitual coping roles into fluid and progressive functioning.

Walking with Moreno Take Two: Integrating Theory with Practice

In an article published in the 2010 ANZPA Journal, Wendy McIntosh explored the significant impact of Moreno’s work on the nursing profession. In this follow up paper she presents her utilisation of role theory in work with one nursing client who has transgressed professional boundaries. Mindful of Moreno’s dictum for nurses to establish and maintain a reciprocal relationship, she demonstrates the client’s progress as he develops insights and roles that will assist him to maintain adequate professional boundaries in the future.

Psychodrama at Distance: Effective Supervision Using Communication Technologies

Psychodrama and electronic technologies seem unlikely bedfellows. As this paper demonstrates, they are, in fact, made for each other though surprisingly little has been written about their combined potential. Drawing on vignettes and case examples as illustration, John Farnsworth demonstrates how effective supervision can take place in the absence of a physical psychodrama stage. He describes the way in which he uses all aspects of the psychodrama method via email, phone, digital and online communications, to create warm, functional working relationships.

Healing Rifts: Sociodrama in a Maternity Community

Don Reekie was contracted by a New Zealand District Health Board to facilitate the healing of rifts among practitioners in a hospital maternity community. In this article he describes the efficacy of sociodrama in this work, particularly focusing on his decisions and interventions, and the responses of the participants involved. Reference is made to community members’ written attestations regarding the positive ongoing consequences of the sociodramatic interventions.

Responses to the Threat of Climate Change: A Sociodramatic Exploration

Katerina Seligman describes a sociodrama undertaken during a residential psycho- drama workshop, whereby sociodramatic questions regarding the global threat of climate change were posed, and a range of subgroup responses were explored. She begins with her personal story of exploration regarding climate change to warm the reader up to the sociodramatic enactment that follows. The author describes the way in which the enactment facilitated role reversal and a deepening of the understanding of conflicting values in relation to climate change.

A Creative Spirit at Work in Our Association: Then and Now

This keynote address was presented by Dr. Max Clayton to the 2011 Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association (ANZPA) Conference To Be And To Create, That Is The Challenge in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr. Clayton discusses the value of the living encounter, being grounded in the present moment, doubling and role development, and then goes on to highlight some of the founding principles and activities of ANZPA.

Book Review: The First Psychodramatic Family (2011 Edition)

The First Psychodramatic Family was first published in 1964 as No. 40 in the Psychodrama and Group Psychotherapy Monograph Series. The authors were J.L., Zerka and Jonathan Moreno. Biographer Rene Marineau (1989:140) describes the work as “the very personal account of the use of psychodrama in Moreno’s own family”. This 2011 edition is published by the North-West Psychodrama Association with Zerka Moreno’s permission and blessing.

Book Review: To Rakiura and Beyond

For me, To Rakiura and Beyond began as a sensory experience. This slim 99 page paperback looks good and feels good with its colourful cover and silky, high quality pages. Short chapters with poetic or descriptive titles are sprinkled with poems and italicised quotes in large print. A great warm up. Soon I was immersed in Sandra Turner’s cancer journey, her experiences of living with cancer rather than battling it. I was in tears at times and full of wonder at the strength of the life force in others.

Book Review: The Body Alchemy of Psychodrama

Dr. Rebecca Ridge has been practising the psychodramatic method for 30 years. During this time she has also studied, taught and incorporated a broad range of somatic therapies into her work. This book is the culmination of her therapeutic practice, academic studies and extensive research. It is presented as a text book- cum-manual to assist psychodrama practitioners develop and integrate their abilities in somatic therapies.

Book Review: Sociodrama in a Changing World

Edited by Ron Weiner, Di Adderley and Kate Kirk Sociodrama and Actions Methods Training, UK 2011
ISBN 978-1-4466-1786-1 available at

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