A Place for Us Programme

Thursday Afternoon

(AEDT 3:00 PM, NZ 5:00 PM)

On Thursday afternoon Jean Mehrtens and Kate Cooke as Co-convenors will welcome you to the Event.

Followed by socialising in pairs or groups of your choosing.

Friday Morning

(Perth: 8:00 AM, Brisbane 10:00 AM, Adelaide 10:30 AM, AEDT 11:00 AM, NZ 1:00 PM)

Find your zebra stripes – a sociometry writing workshop

Session Leader: Diana Jones


Language for a sociometrist reflects their identity just like stripes on a zebra. Armed with sociometric language you can discuss concepts, make assessments, generate insights and design interventions. In this writing workshop, we will use online collaboration tools to describe group events in sociometric terms, and practice and share writing. Diana will take an example from her work and describe events in sociometric terms. Participants will take this or their own example and describe their assessment and proposed intervention, or reflect on a recent intervention.

Preparation: participants send Diana a named and titled diagram on power point of a group event you want to write about.


Diana Jones is a sociometrist, TEP and FTINZ staff member. She works as a leadership advisor and executive coach helping leaders and their organisations interact with vitality and relevance.
Type of Session: Interactive workshop<
Timeframe:  1.5 hrs
Maximum Participants:  12

Life and death matters

Session Leader: Trisha Bennett


Encountering life with full spontaneity requires us to connect with our strengths and fragilities. For many of us, our ultimate vulnerabilities sit around issues related to our own mortality.  If nothing else, the COVID virus has brought the fragility of life into sharp focus for us all. There is an opportunity in this as we are now all warmed up to this area. We don’t have to wait until someone we love is facing death, until we ourselves have a palliative diagnosis or until our ageing bodies force us in other ways to confront these realities. Facing towards these issues together can ironically lessen fear and isolation, free up energy, extend and develop our role repertoire and as such ultimately be life-enhancing.
Join a small group of your psychodrama peers to enhance the creative explorer in yourself and each other in this interactive session.


Trisha Bennett has worked in the palliative care area with patients and families for more than a decade. Working with issues of death and transition have assisted her own role development to face life with greater courage and creativity.
Type of Session: Interactive workshop
Timeframe: 1 hr
Maximum Participants: 12

Responses to racism: reflexivity and action

Session Leader:  Jenny Hutt


How do you think about racism these days? Does it feature in your daily life or that of your clients, colleagues, family members? Are you confident or cautious to discuss it? Perhaps you see it as a personal prejudice you simply do not hold, a social conflict which will never go away or something which has been largely overcome. This presentation invites you to think again.

Four years ago I started a study group to learn about the history of the relationship between Aboriginal and other Australians in Victoria. Before long, I found myself drawn up another tributary of that river. I was drawn to learn more about racism: how it developed, why it’s still around and how it gets transformed. Colleagues and clients who share this interest have been willing to explore it further in discussions and workshops. I’ve found myself researching more and more: the historical origins of racism; the efforts to overcome this social conflict by Moreno and his contemporaries; and the fresh perspectives revealed by current social research and anti-racism practice. This presentation summarises what I’ve discovered so far and invites you to consider the implications for each of us as professionals and members of society.

During this session Jenny will be joined by three AANZPA members as discussants who will respond to her presentation: Chris Hill from Golden Bay Aotearoa, a farmer and District Councillor with iwi affiliations to Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa and Kāi Tahu; Astrid Mbani from Melbourne, a mental health nurse and group worker originally from South Africa; and Helen Phelan a psychodrama trainer in Perth who was formerly with the Equal Opportunity Commission of Western Australia.


Jenny Hutt was born and raised in Aotearoa New Zealand. After completing an honours degree in Anthropology, she worked in social development programs in the NZ public service and has since been a learning and organisational development consultant. She has extensive experience in the field of workplace diversity. Jenny is an Associate with Burbangana, an Aboriginal-owned consulting company. She is a Sociodramatist and TEP, based in Melbourne, where she is the Director of Training at Psychodrama Australia’s Melbourne Campus.

Type of session: Webinar presentation with discussants followed by small group discussions
Timeframe:  2hr
Maximum Participants:  26

Love with DV can never be?

Session Leader:  Josephine Dewar


My journey in my work in domestic violence began 45 years ago. I was in love and followed the person to a meeting. The meeting was to discuss opening the first women’s refuge in NSW, a place of safety for women escaping violent partners. The love didn’t last but a life-long commitment began.
My purpose for this workshop is to engage you in a group discussion on the subject of gender, domestic violence and love; and to explore/challenge the roles of violence that create restrictions to true love stories. Together we will contemplate the underlying myths that maintain socially constructed gender roles that potentially destroy connection.

Every day I listen to love stories, love stories filled with violence.

“I love Him but He beats me.” “I can never leave Him because I love Him.” “What can I do to make Him love me?”
My whole being is challenged daily by how someone can be blinded by love when danger, violence, control and death is part of their relationship.


My name is Jo and I have worked in the area of domestic violence for many years. I am a counsellor and psychodrama practitioner: I have worked for many years with women who are experiencing abusive and violent relationships. I believe that equity is essential in any intimate adult relationship and the use of violence, coercion, or control is a violation of basic human rights.

I believe in social justice, which fuels my passion to continue in my work. As a practitioner, I believe I must stand up and say no to violence. I have always believed that a deeper intimacy in love should be nurtured.

Type of session: Interactive workshop
Timeframe:    2 hrs
Maximum Participants:  8

Sociatry: no it’s not a spelling mistake it’s an idea

Session Leader: Cissy Rock


I want to read Moreno and find my brain goes into some sort of muscle cramp as I pour over the dense, wordy, other world writing.  I figure that being together and sharing our ideas, and grappling with meaning will shed light and create space to understand these dense words. In this session collectively we will make meaning of  J.L. Moreno’s idea of Sociatry.

“The pathology and the therapy of normal groups have been neglected but it is upon them that the social health of mankind depends” J.L. Moreno, Who Shall Survive? Student Edition 1993 pg 90

Moreno wrote in a different time and different world, how does what he is saying fit in the world of today?

We will focus on two pages of his writing and find different ways to interpret what is being said. We will then collectively apply some of the meaning we make to situations we are currently working with.  Readings will be supplied but don’t need to be read: other novel ways of exploring this writing will be offered.


Cissy is a trainee with  ATCP. She is a community developer who loves sociodrama and is committed to being part of a world where you are free to be yourself .

Type of session:  Interactive workshop
Timeframe: 1.5hrs
Maximum Participants:  30

Improving a relationship through role reversal

Session Leader: Walter Logeman


In this workshop, we will focus on important relationships in our lives. The themes that emerge will help us to identify a protagonist for the group. Participants will be guided to be auxiliaries in a short drama. The group will end with sharing.


I’m convinced that psychodramatic principles can be effectively applied online. In this time of Covid-19, we have been developing our ability to work online.  I’m offering this group in the spirit of exploring and extending that ability.  Walter is a trainer in the Christchurch Institute.

Type of session: Experiential workshop
Max number of participants:  15

Colleagues considering the Morenian stages of development

Session Leaders:  Richard Hall, Robert Brodie, Annette Fisher


Having jointly conducted training workshops on zoom for trainees, centred in Canberra, Richard, Rob and Annie have continued a productive and enjoyable exploration online with one another. This is a window into their thoughts and interactions, and a chance for participants to develop theirs.
The panel will present and discuss some ideas about the importance, recognition and application of Dr Moreno’s stages of human development in assessment, practice and training. This will be followed by small group and whole group discussions, reflections on the process and sharing.


Richard Hall is a psychodramatist on the training staff of Psychodrama Australia. He is also a very experienced counselling psychologist in private practice. Richard conducts counselling with individuals and couples and runs personal development groups. In addition, he trains and supervises teachers and professionals working with disadvantaged clients.
Annette Fisher, Trainer Educator Practitioner, OT, BA (Hons)
Annette is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice and is a psychodrama trainer with 30 years of experience. The application of aesthetics and the creative arts with psychology and theatre is her passion. Her wide range of experience has included mental and community health and consultancy to organisations.
In supervising and mentoring professional people, her aim is to assist in maintaining passion and spontaneity in professional practice. Currently, she is a trainer with the Adelaide and Sydney Campuses of Psychodrama Australia and conducts supervision and psychodrama training in the ACT.
Robert Brodie, MSc, – psychodramatist, Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP), DMAANZPA Rob is a registered counsellor and psychotherapist (PACFA) in private practice. He has provided extensive training, consultation and clinical supervision to a range of professionals face to face, individually, in groups and online. He is a staff member of Psychodrama Australia and a Distinguished Member of AANZPA.

Type of session: Interactive workshop
Timeframe:  2 hrs
Maximum Participants: 16

Friday Afternoon

(Perth: 11:30 AM, Brisbane 1:30 PM, Adelaide 2:00 PM, AEDT 2:30 PM, NZ 4:30 PM)

A walk down memory lane

Session Leader: John Barton


A walk down memory lane is a way of working with clients using small toy figures to explore, celebrate, understand, make meaning of, heal or grieve a significant relationship.

In this experiential workshop, I will invite participants to warm up to a relationship they wish to celebrate in some way. Of course, all significant relationships have good times and difficult times, and this work will look at the whole relationship.

The workshop will involve a 2-part demonstration of how to direct A Walk down Memory Lane with one protagonist. Following each demonstration, other workshop participants will work in pairs with one person being a protagonist and the other being the director. There will be sharing and some discussion to finish. It is likely that people will be deeply touched by this work.

Following the workshop, I will email out some written material and I would expect that all participants would be able to work in this way with their clients using this approach.

If you know in advance that you would like to be a protagonist you will need a set of figures. I will post sets of figures to those who would like them.


John Barton first trained as a scientist.  He met Max Clayton and psychodrama in 1974 and his life changed.   He went to medical school and became a GP in country NZ (80s and 90s) and inner Melbourne (90s, 00s) during which time he ran over 3,000 hours of psychodrama groups with his wife Tabitha.  He is now a psychotherapist and Balint group leader in Auckland and carer for Tabitha.  He was introduced to Small Figures in 2002 by Carlos Raimundo and has run Small Figures workshops around the world since 2004 including Zoom workshops since the arrival of the virus.

Type of session: Experiential workshop
Timeframe: 2hrs 15min
Maximum Participants: 11

The First Five Minutes

Session Leader: Monique Zwann


Meetings often fall short of the mark.  People may have vital contributions that they don’t bring forward, or the same people say the same things while others take a back seat. The first five minutes is a critical time to create the warm up for what is possible in the life of a meeting.

This session, that will take the form of an interactive discussion, puts a spotlight on these vital minutes that can easily be skipped over. What do you pay attention to?  What cultural norms and practices apply? What are the forces in the system around a particular meeting? Let’s slow things down and learn from each other.

We will look to develop some principles that enhance focus, participation and vitality that we can all take forward into our meeting lives.


I am an advanced trainee learning to be a sociometrist. I  live in Wellington,  a city with a lot of meetings. Like so many others I have spent a lot of my life being in or running meetings. I know it’s a good one when I’d rather be there, even if it’s stunning outside.  Much of my work has been in local or central government organisations, along with NGO, committees and voluntary groups.

Type of session:  Interactive workshop
Timeframe: 1.25 hrs
Maximum Participants:   8

Talking about sex in a matter of fact manner with clients

Session Leader: Peter Howie


This workshop is designed to inform and stimulate participants about the area of adult sexuality and relationships from the perspective of normal people and what a normal sex life might entail. Many clients and many people are unaware of what normal sex might be. Unfortunately many people imagine that others are all having happy optimistic regular fun and engaged sex most days of the week. This myth is perpetuated simply because no one talks much about sex. And no one talks much about no one talking much about sex. Mainly because it appears as though sex in our cultures is ubiquitous and therefore everyone knows, or ought to know, or doesn’t want to be seen as not knowing.

Participants will be invited to consider a range of principles that will allow them to address adult sexuality and relationships with their clients; consider possible reasons clients won’t bring areas of sexual dilemmas forward; how such reluctances might impact their mental wellbeing; and how to raise these areas as a non-specialist.

There will be short input sessions, breakout sessions, and there may be sociodramatic exercises in the breakout rooms as well as the larger group.


For over 20 years, I’ve been developing deep learning experiences for adults. I’m a qualified group therapist and psychodrama director and trainer through the AANZPA system since 1999. I also have a PhD in how, as humans, we warm-up to new experiences and situations, and how this makes us learn best. I have nearly 30 years of training, experience, and a practice of working therapeutically with groups and individuals using creative methods such as psychodrama, drama, and interpersonal engagement. More recently I have trained as a sexological bodyworker and added the title of adult sex educator to my work.

Type of session: Interactive Workshop 
Timeframe: 2 hrs
Maximum Participants: 16

Trauma and illness – spinning straw into gold

Session Leader: Phillip Corbett


“Working through trauma and illness pulls us from the surface of life into what is real and authentic about us. It is in this way we spin straw into gold and turn our wounds into wisdom.”  Tian Dayton

Drawing on my own experience of transformative life threatening illness, I invite you to explore and share the often overlooked or under appreciated potential positive outcomes of your experience of significant trauma or illness. In this way you may not just “get back to your old self again”, rather become aware of and celebrate a new, more progressive and authentic experience of life.


Phillip is an advanced psychodrama trainee and ex chiropractor and Special Education teacher. He has facilitated a group in the northern suburbs of Melbourne for people experiencing anxiety and depression for over ten  years.

Type of session:  Interactive workshop
Timeframe: 2hrs
Maximum Participants:  12

Role is the holistic and systemic way a human becomes and is a person

Session Leader:  Don Reekie


Don’s experience and view of role is that it is an actual tangible functioning form that a person takes in their responses to their life.  Moreno observed that his concept “role” is one that cuts across four disciplines in study of humans. (physiology, psychology, sociology and anthropology). Don will make brief crisp presentations followed by crisp enquiry then a response comment and brief discussion on 4 areas of the nature of the actuality of “role” in its holistic reality.


Don Reekie is a psychodramatist and has spent 40 years applying psychodrama and 70 years applying action and drama in education and community development. He is a recently retired TEP.

Type of session:  Interactive workshop
Timeframe: 1 hr
Max number of participants: 15

Living with a changing world

Presenter:  Lynette Clayton
Session Convenor: Helen Phelan 


Based on her original paper Use of the Cultural Atom to Record Personality Change in Individual Psychotherapy, Lynette presents her experiences and developing insights on the development of the self, gained through workshops and further publications. She presents the recognition of how quickly merging with the therapist can occur and that through doubling and maintaining the role of witness, the therapist needs to continue to validate the client. Lynette will share how a client comes to be witness to their own experience and what Moreno termed “encounter”.

Reflecting on current events in the world during the coronavirus pandemic, our capacity to respond is tested as people experience fear, distress, anger, confusion, shame, rebellious resistance, and retaliation (taking it out on the other). The task of the sociodramatist and the sociometrist is to take this understanding and the encounter, and use it thoughtfully in the situations where they are healers at this important time.


Lynette Clayton is a Distinguished and Founding Member of ANZPA and an initial member of the Board of Examiners.   From 1971 until her move to private practice in 1987, she conducted Psychodrama therapy and spontaneity training groups in W.A. Psychiatric Clinics and Hospitals, and social systems consultation with government departments. Her committee work with the Uniting Church in W.A. included the Wasley Centre management committee, when the Wasley Centre was initially set up as a Mental Health Training and Service Centre.  Lynette trained for the Psychodrama Institute of W.A. from 1971 to 2000 and conducted workshops in Australia and New Zealand

Type of Session: Webinar
Time frame: 2 hr

 Arts Lounges

AANZPA music and song lounge

Co-ordinator:  Alison Begg


The spontaneity and creativity of AANZPA singers and music players have been extended to recording and uploading material to this lounge for us to share. There is nothing like hearing music and seeing our singers and musicians for activating memories and the feeling of being with people. These offerings may not be perfect, but they will be real, and by people, we know or may get to know. Music creates an atmosphere and can provide space to listen, reflect and integrate the other experiences at this online event. It could warm us up to sadness and longing or joy and dance – and hopefully a sense of being with each other, however far apart.


Ali Begg is a psychodramatist, GP and medical educator who loves singing with AANZPA friends and playing clarinet in a local amateur orchestra.

Type of Session: music and song videos
Timeframe: available throughout the Online Event

Photographs sustain and inspire

Coordinator:  Jerri Bassi


We live in a time of The Image more than ever in the history of the world. Photographs, paintings, sculpture and film capture, contain, represent, symbolise and most of all sustain and inspire us through times of despair toward hope.

The AANZPA Online Event invites you to send a photograph that has inspired and sustained you during 2020.

To assist the viewers to warm up to your personal experience consider adding a subtitle or brief comment including the date and location which will be included in the presentation of your photograph. The comment can also be spoken and included as an MP3 audio file no longer than 10 seconds long.

All photographs and their comments will be compiled into one or more video slideshows and uploaded along with other Online Event video presentations.

As 2020 has had such a variety of events across Australia, New Zealand and the world, there may be themes and locations that tell specific stories when combined together.

You will be free to view these visual stories at your leisure during the Online Event.


Jerri has enjoyed psychodrama practice and theories for more than half his life. In the previous half, he experienced photography in Europe almost attending art school, travelling exploring dark and light rooms. These days of digital imaging we can innovate and create new ways of communicating and sharing stories.

Type of session:  Videos and Visual Material
Timeframe: available throughout the Online Event
Contact: Jerri at jerri.bassi@gmail.com
Deadline: The deadline for submission of photographs is 20th December

The art show

Coordinators:  Annette Fisher & Robert Brodie


An exhibition of the work of practising artists who are members of AANZPA Artists

This show is artists exhibiting their work in an online gallery with accompanying text. The text will be up to 250 words written by each artist sharing their experience of the relationship between psychodrama and their art practice.

Art objects will meet their audience in the Lounge Room of the Online Event


Annette Fisher: Trainer Educator Practitioner, OT, BA (Hons) Annette is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice and is a psychodrama trainer with 30 years of experience. The application of aesthetics and the creative arts with psychology and theatre is her passion. Her wide range of experience has included mental and community health and consultancy to organisations. In supervising and mentoring professional people, her aim is to assist in maintaining passion and spontaneity in professional practice. Currently, she is a trainer with the Adelaide and Sydney Campuses of Psychodrama Australia and conducts supervision and psychodrama training in the ACT.

Robert Brodie, MSc, – psychodramatist, Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP), DMAANZPA Rob is a registered counsellor and psychotherapist (PACFA) in private practice. He has provided extensive training, consultation and clinical supervision to a range of professionals face to face, individually, in groups and online. He is a staff member of Psychodrama Australia and a Distinguished Member of AANZPA.

Type of session: Video and Visual Material
Timeframe: available throughout the Online Event
Contact: Annie annette@annettefisher.com.au
Deadline: The deadline for submission of visual material is 20th December