JUNE 2018

for the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association (AANZPA)

Welcome to this Edition of Socio

Na, i te wa o te hotoke, o te takurua o Pipiwai.  Takurua, hupe nui.
(Now, in the time of winter, the winter of Pipiwai.  Winter, when your nose runs.) 
“What is Winter? It is not just the absence of summer. Ancient wisdom tells us that Winter is the downside of any cycle of energy, when there is more darkness than light, and when natural rhythms slow down. It is also when seeds rest in the season and prepare for the future Spring.”
(Institute of Generative Leadership website)
It is 9 degrees and raining in Melbourne as I work on this.  May your seeds and bulbs be gathering energy to burst forth in our next season.

Many thanks to contributors Denise Hagan, Bev Kaho and Cecelia Winkelman.

The first project given a grant from the Small Grants Sub-committee was the Puuya Foundation.  For more of the story check Denise Hagan on TED-X Brisbane at
See the Foundations website for how to contribute to this excellent project.
The Puuya Foundation’s purpose is to develop every day leaders to empower the Lockhart River Aboriginal Community. The Foundation has an unwavering commitment to leadership development to strengthen community capacity. “We believe everyone is a leader, and has to lead in life – at home, at work or in the community. What we are doing is providing a supportive environment for our future women leaders to succeed in” explains Denise Hagan, CEO and Founder.   We have started a Women’s Leadership Program (WLP) to develop each individual’s leadership skills and confidence, as well as building a network of strong women to learn and work together. “Women will find their voices and support one another to act to change things for the better – to support their families, organisations and the community” said Puuya Foundation Director, Veronica Piva.

Kuuku Yaú Elder and Puuya Foundation Chair, Dottie Hobson said – “ We thank AANZPA for providing some funding towards our Women’s Leadership program and we thank them so very much. This program is so important to the future of our community.”

The program is being led by Denise and Bernadette Rutyna of Human Ingredient.  “It is all under a banner of leadership because the work of leaders and the development of leadership requires that we build our self-awareness, our communication skills, our ability to grow our relationships with other people to create good teams in organisations or develop effective community engagement,”  Ms Rutyna said.

The first workshops were held in August 2017 at the Kuunchi Kakana Centre,  followed by coaching and mentoring once a month for all our participants over the next year to assist their ongoing application of learning.  More workshops will be held in 2017-18.  WLP participant, Indigenous Knowledge Centre coordinator Grerita Pascoe said the program ‘helped a lot’.   “I’m the youngest in that class, but still learning new stuff; like I learnt new word – ‘sociometry’yesterday, which is a connection between two different organisations or people that will work together to get a program happening. So it’s basically communication between, for instance Kuunchi Kakana and the Council, which is where I sit, we talk, we get a program and we link up; it’s like an arm linking around something important we want to create, and that’s Sociometry.”

Some participants will present at the Women of the World Festival (WOW) in Brisbane this year.  WOW celebrates the achievements of women and girls and looks at the barriers they face in achieving their goals.  Our WLP participants are keen to participate saying “I didn’t know about other women in the world and their stories, until I saw the WOW video from London. Everyone has similar worries and things they want to do. I want to go to WOW!”


– first encounters with Psychodrama 2016 / 17
It’s 2.13 pm. Suddenly a stillness falls on the room. We are sitting in a circle on the floor linking hands. Out of the corner of my eye I see two pairs of feet and notice one pair moving almost imperceptibly towards the other. I realize the director is drawing closer to support the protagonist in what could be a life-changing moment. The action is moving to a deeper level – psychodrama is alive and in session!

In another psychodrama, Mary and Craig sit side by side on chairs facing the rest of the group. She breathes calmly; her neck and shoulders are a picture of courageous dignity. He is searching for an entry point into her drama – where are you, Mary? Who else is here? What do you see? Soon I ‘m in Mary’s drama; the beach she is walking on, the sea, the gulls. She warms up to an experience of loss and my inner world stirs awake. Tightness spreads through my chest. I want to hunch down and make myself as small as possible. Invisible. I want to cry for what I have lost too. And in this grief, there is also a strange beauty. What connects us all?

As I reflect on my experiences of psychodrama during the past two years, I see what has been offered to me – an amazing opening up of inner space that allows creativity to re-enter my life and find its own expression.

Through psychodrama I can move on. I speak with the characters and symbols I recognize from my own life, putting them on stage and moving them around. I write my own script and create new endings for my dramas. I open doors and traverse corridors where bleakness and despair become hope and acceptance. As birds, trees and wind come alive and interact, I feel something crack open. I am letting others in. It is as if I am transcending my humanity to reach my divinity. I am with others in a safe and supportive way. Music connects us all. We dance together and allow ourselves to connect and move, always following the thread that binds us, yet also gives us this freedom.

Dream, Nov 2017: “I am in a big old mansion looking out the window. It’s raining. There is a faint sound of music from somewhere behind me. My friend M appears and suddenly we’re dancing together, holding hands, under a high portico. Now we’re outside, dancing in the rain . . . I’m happy, amused, and astonished . . .”

Do you believe our dreams can show our potential for joy? Can Psychodrama point the way? Maybe we’ll meet on that journey – let’s keep open to this connection.

Bev Rosevear-Kaho

Foundations of Psychodrama (first year) trainee in Auckland

I have attended two events so far this year – a review/sharing of Conference experiences and a Currency meeting for practitioners. At that meeting Jane Maher presented  on her current work, integrating psychodrama with social/emotional coaching for parents. This was an enlivening session, engendering hope for a world of attunement and connection.  Thank you Jane.  Thank you also to Rob Brodie for facilitating.

Present were Johnno Devlin, Cecelia Winkelman, Neil Hucker, Rob, Jane, Joan Hamilton-Roberts and Jean Mehrtens.

If you will be in Melbourne in July, join us for the WINTER WARMUP (6 – 10 pm 21/7/18) – a meal and a movie at Richmond Library. Practitioners are also welcome at our next Currency Meeting on 26/7/18.

Cecelia Winkelman was presented with her Educator certificate by AANZPA President, Diz Synnott. She was at Chestnut Hill, near Melbourne, and had lunch with 24 AANZPA trainers from all over Australia and Aotearoa.
Listen to Cecelia at