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

Welcome to this Edition of Socio

Poorneet (Tadpole Season)

Temperatures are rising but the rain continues. Flax-lilies are flowering… Pied Currawongs call loudly and often.

The flowering of plants such as Myrnong, (Yam Daisy), indicates the tubers are ready for eating.  Bulen-bulen (Superb Lyrebird) males have finished displaying.  Days and nights are of equal length.
Source – Museum Victoria

Whiringa-ā-nuku (October)
Ka ātaahua te māra ā tēnei Whiringa-ā-nuku.
The garden will be beautiful in October.
Source – Te Papa

Many thanks to contributors Elizabeth Synnot, Craig Whisker, Selina Reid and Joan Hamilton-Roberts.

Executive Election 2019

As you know, we are looking forward to an election in 2019 for the Executive for the next two year term.

Four current members propose to accept re nomination:

Helen Kearins, Indigenous Affairs
Helen Phelan, Membership Secretary
Patricia O’Rourke, Publications
Ali Watersong, Professional Development for Ordinary Members and Socio
Rosemary, Nourse Treasurer
Ex officio, Elizabeth Synnot, Immediate Past President

Claire Guy, Deputy President and Martin Putt, Secretary, are stepping down from the Executive having served several terms.

Professional Development for Ordinary Members

The Executive, with the Conference Committee, are pleased to announce a development opportunity for Ordinary Members to complement events already happening,  as a post workshop at the AANZPA Conference 2019 in Brisbane.  See the conference site on the AANZPA website for details and further information.

Announcement for Australian psychodramatists: Recognition of psychodrama training in Australia

ARCAP, Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, along with AHPA, Allied Health Professional Association, require organisations, such as AANZPA, to show that our training meets the AQF, Australian Qualifications Framework, at AQF level 7 for recognition and flow on benefits of medical insurance recognition, eg. BUPA, and to make a case for Medicare recognition with the Federal Government.  The Executive, the Board of Examiners and Psychodrama Australia are considering this.  Psychodrama Australia is further investigating this.

Announcement to Ordinary and Associate Members of AANZPA in Australia

Any ordinary member proposing to be on the Register for Psychotherapy and Counselling should get registered before April 2020 to gain registration under the current set of criteria that were set in 2014.

From 2020, the requirement for compliance with new criteria requires AANZPA to be compliant with AQF 7, see the point above.

A further consequence is that PACFA will require AANZPA to meet the AQF 7 standard to remain a member of PACFA so they can lobby the government through the MBS, Medical Benefits Services,  that 100% of their membership meet this standard and that services be provided by psychotherapists and counsellors

We are heading to Brisbane again next year for our wonderful Annual Conference.  We have got the airport train down pat, and can do trains and boats and planes if necessary (singing out loud is optional).   All conference news is on the website so get yourself over there and check it out.  Some photos to remind you of what a wonderful time we had last year.
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From Craig Whisker
In early August, Selina and I had the pleasure of spending a balmy-Balinese day with Mario Cossa in and around his lush garden-sanctuary in bustling Ubud. It’s been more than a decade since he was last down-under—at a conference in Wellington—and since 2012 he has established a working life in Bali for 9 months of each year, balanced by 3 months in California. When we caught up with him, he’d just returned from Egypt teaching the therapeutic spiral method in combination with role analysis. He credits his adoption of role analysis to the time he spent in Australia and New Zealand, finding it to be a user-friendly systematic framework applicable to many contexts. In the case of the therapeutic spiral, he overlays role analysis on the trauma triangle by identifying the spiral’s roles of restoration and transformation with progressive roles; defence mechanisms and disassociation with coping roles; and internalised perpetrator and abandoning authority with fragmenting roles.

It took Mario 3 years to gain legitimate business status in Indonesia, and work is now gathering pace. Consulting to YCAB, one of the top 50 not-for-profit organisations in Asia, he is developing action-based modules as part of a “Loving Your Nation’s Children” programme in schools to be used with teachers, school communities, parents and students. His modules utilise sociodrama and sociometry, with some psychodrama around role reversal, say, between a teacher and a rebellious student. He also teaches psychodrama and action methods in Indonesian universities and education institutions; runs experiential groups for expats; and residential psychodrama retreats. His retreats start with local Balinese teaching retreat participants how to make canang, the small baskets that hold the daily household offering of thanks for peace in the world to the supreme God of Indonesian Hinduism. They also feature a Balinese cooking class that progresses from purchasing food at a local market, to its preparation, cooking, and sharing a 3-4 course meal together. Mario views group cooking at residential events as an oxytocin-generating activity.

Back in California, he continues to contribute to “Safe School Ambassadors”, a bullying-prevention-and-positive-school-climate-enhancement-through-youth-empowerment programme. He travels all over the US with this, annually to Guam, and is currently negotiating the introduction of a suitable version into Indonesia.

As a TEP under the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy (ABE), Mario is his own ‘training institute’, which he says is mostly the American way. He conducts most of his training through Therapeutic Spiral Model International, plus in several sites around the world where he provides people with one-off exposure to psychodrama, and sometimes—as with the Korean Drama Therapy Institute, for example—this work evolves and goes on for several years.

During our day together in Bali, we talked non-stop about psychodrama and mid-afternoon we took a taxi to Tanah Lot on the southern coast where an ancient Hindu sea temple sits on a rock about 50-100 metres offshore. There we took off shoes, rolled up trousers, and joined tourists and devotees in crossing the strait to queue for a blessing. This coast is renowned for its sunsets across the breadth of an endless horizon—a transcendent breadth comparable to Mario’s warm embracing of relationship with us before, during, and after our visit. In our hearts and minds, he exemplifies what it means to be a living embodiment of psychodrama.

From Joan Hamilton-Roberts and the Editor
The most recent Currency meeting gathered on September 27.  Present were Peggy Cook, Jo-Anne Colwell, Antony Williams, Liz Marks, John Devling, Neil Hucker, Rob Brodie, Joan Hamilton-Roberts and Jean Mehrtens.

Antony presented on his action-oriented work with organisations over many years which has now yielded a new book. The evening was lively, fun and stimulating as we got a chance to see and reflect on our organisation AANZPA from various rooms in ‘Our House’.  Antony presented the development of his ways of working and the current forms of his thinking as concretised in his book.  We were able to have experiences and analyse those experiences as we “moved” through different “spaces”.  Some members of the group were fascinated by goings on in the toilet, and others found the laundry very revealing.  The evening concluded with a crisp demonstration of the use of fridge magnets to deepen an account of an organisation.  Thanks Antony! Here’s some information about his book in his own words:

Regarding the book, it’s called Our House: Visual and Active Consulting. It was published by Routledge this year – 2018. The methods shown in Our House are in the psychodrama/sociometry lineage, and I have plundered psychodrama’s treasure chest and taken out some of the gold and jewels freely available there. I am so hoping that colleagues will hop in and develop psychodrama’s simplest concepts – role, stage, affinity, concretisation and so on.

Please contact Antony if you want more information about his book.