Welcome to this Edition of Socio

My first editorial – lot of firsts in this production!  Firstly, many thanks to the contributors who are the substance of Socio, and to the editorial/technical support team – this edition is on a new platform and we hope it will be a more accessible communication method.  Let us all acknowledge Noa Gross for her sterling efforts as the retiring Editor and look forward to her future contributions as a correspondent.  

This edition has a report from the President, news from the very active mob in Canterbury-Westland (including a wonderful photo of our newest Psychodramatist), impressions of first time conference attendees, photos from the Conference, and a new feature From the Archives .  

Jean Mehrtens


From the President’s Desk

The AANZPA Executive recently met in Brisbane for our mid-year 3-day meeting. The Queensland Regional members made our visiting folks feel right at home offering billeting to all.  The Executive met with the regional conference committee for a productive and enjoyable meeting on Saturday afternoon at Duschene College, where the conference will be held. We all greatly enjoyed the delicious Spanakopita and Galaktaboureko from one of  the conference co-convenors, Christo Patty’s, labour of love in the kitchen. The venue appears to be perfectly suited for our conference and we are looking forward to a lively and enriching conference 2018.

Rosemary Nourse, our Treasurer, let us know that our finances are in good order.

Helen Phelan, our Membership Secretary, reported that the membership work is progressing smoothly.  She and the contracted Membership Administrator, Simon Gurnsey, are getting ready for the renewal of annual membership and Claire Guy continues to oversee and improve our currency processes.

Martin Putt and Helen Phelan are managing our transition to a new Wordpress website for AANZPA.  They do this with AANZPA Webmaster, Simon Gurnsey and his colleague, Hugh, who are contracted to do the technical work of this transition. Simon tells us some of this work will be done in the next month or so while on his and Sara’s canal boat in the South of France.

Patricia O’Rourke is getting her feet under the desk of the Publications portfolio and has already been involved with Phil Carter on publication matters.  Diz Synnot will work with Jean Mehrtens in producing Socio.

In case you haven’t heard, the next conference is in Brisbane 17-21 January 2018 and then we are planning for a conference in 2019 in sunny Nelson, New Zealand.

We will hold two 1.5 hour meetings during the upcoming Brisbane conference prior to the AGM where we will discuss the issues at hand with PACFA and PBANZ.   There will be a short paper circulated prior to these meetings to assist an informed discussion.

Helen Phelan and Martin Putt are re-formatting the association’s PPP manual (principles, policy and procedures manual) so that it can be more user friendly.  Helen Kearins and Ali Watersong are completing the updating of our conference principles, policy and procedures.

I am particularly excited to let you all know that Ali Watersong is producing a personal and professional development program for certificated members.  She will discuss her ideas and hear from those interested at the conference in Brisbane.  Stay tuned.

warmly,   Elizabeth Synnot (Diz)


Craft day; AANZPA Canterbury members Ali Begg and Gillian Rose (Pictured) along with Sara Crane, Simon Gurnsey, Jenny Wilson and her daughter Emily got together with NZ Llama association members for a craft day run by Jacky Middleton. Llama and other fibres were crafted into slippers, scarves small toys and sculptures. Much fun was had.

Our newest Psychodramatist

Marcel van Der Weerden: our newest Psychodramatist. Examiners Bev Hosking and Hamish Brown together with our new Psychodramatist  Marcel van der Weerden. Marcel undertook his practical assessment with a group of his peers and invited guests at Knox Hall in Christchurch on 22 April. Marcel’s thesis Men’s Psychodrama Groups: Expanding Expressions of Masculinity is available on the AANZPA website.

One Conversation, 100  Communities

AANZPA Canterbury talks with Te Putahi. Members of AANZPA Canterbury took part in Te Putah’s One Conversation, 100 Communities. This project, designed by Te Putahi Christchurch Centre for Architecture and City Making, formed a chance to help rediscover Christchurch’s sense of place, particularly after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. AANZPA members responded to the provocation, ‘Christchurch is…’  with ..like my family. ..my home. ..changing. …a place of possibilities. …self-discovery of myself.

Peer South
Peer South is a group of AANZPA practitioners which meets twice a year in Christchurch. They most recently met at Simon and Sara’s house in Governors Bay in April.
Front row. Mr Brock (he is always in the front). Second row left to right Tansy, Simon Gurnsey, Judy Sutherland, Jenny Wilson. Back Row left to right. Judith McDonald, Ali Watersong, Gillian Rose, Joc Phiskie, Ali Begg, Simon Parkinson-Jones.

From First Timers @ 2017 Conference

Hoop Arkwright

Having heard many tales, all good, about the AANZPA conferences and others further afield; I was more than curious so when it was in Auckland, right on my doorstep, I had to go.

I went very open minded, not really knowing what to expect. The main thing I noticed was after a couple of days, the atmosphere was so buoyant. This appeared (to me) to be because I was in the midst of a large group of very spontaneous people who had obviously done a lot of work on themselves and training in the “method”.

A wonderful enjoyable time experiencing the richness of the resources I participated in, and individuals I met.

Eric Park

Brand new to the concept of Psychodrama in 2016, the single question in my mind, indeed the purpose of my coming to conference was to find out: “What might my life work look like if I were to train as a Sociodramatist – and should I begin training?” I walked in to a warm and loving embrace of like-minded souls, I sought out kindred spirits and pressed my questions, I received validation and endorsement of my life work so far, I was indulged at every turn by those with a life-time of experience and the credentials to prove it. And, I answered my question … with a resounding ‘yes’.

Cissy Rock

My first AANZPA conference in January this year left me filled up and longing for more, it was a buffet of goodies each one full of surprise and delight, I truly wonder why I left it so long to attend.   Best of all is the connection I feel to a wider community, the realization that how the method is applied is so varied, and now I have something to look forward to every year 🙂 

Photos fron 2017 Conference, Auckland

Bellringers at the beginning of a session

Around the piano
Celebrating Katerina’s birthday at the dinner dance

From the Entertainment Night

From the Archive

Many thanks to Walter Logeman for this blast from the past, previously seen on FaceBook. 

From Left to Right: Clare Elizabeth, Max Clayton, Mike Consedine, Joan Chapel-Matthias, and Walter Logeman

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