Although I have trained in many psychotherapeutic modalities since the 1980s, over all that time, the modality I kept going back to was Psychodrama.
Psychodrama is a group psychotherapy action method which was developed by Dr Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974) last century. The method is also used in one-to-one and relationship therapy these days. Psychodrama is also a developmental theory comprising of a theory of personality and development, called role theory. It is a sociological theory comprising of the science of sociometry: the measurement of relationships and connection in groups and community.
The reasons I love psychodrama in particular and why I chose to train as a psychodramatist (which took 12 quite intense years) are many.
– It’s ALL about relationships
–It involves engagement and development of thinking, feeling and action (the 3 components of role), which few other psychotherapies do.
–Creativity and Spontaneity are the cornerstones of psychodrama
A note on the length of training: I completed my training (through AANZPA) relatively quickly. The training is not comparable to other education systems. It is based on role development, and progression through the training is driven by the trainee to a large extent. It also involves extensive personal development work. That is, my thesis and practical assessments were done only when my roles had developed adequately for me to step forward and say I was ready.
Here is a quote I love from Zerka Moreno (in “The Quintessential Zerka” p.43). (She was J.L.Moreno’s wife)
“Moreno’s vision was so comprehensive. With him, one worked all the time because life was constantly presenting itself to us. Everything was about relationships-ours to each other, extending to our near and far social atoms.”