“As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.”

(From a Native American initiation rite)

Psychodrama Overview

Psychodrama is a form of group psychotherapy developed by Jacob L. Moreno, M.D., a Viennese psychiatrist who came to the United States in 1925.  J.L. Moreno’s wife and chief collaborator, Zerka T. Moreno, contributed significantly to the theory and practice of psychodrama, as did many students and followers of the Morenos.  Psychodrama is part of the triadic system developed by Moreno, which includes psychodrama (therapeutic enactment), sociometry (the measurement of group relations), and group psychotherapy (drawing on the power of interpersonal relationships to promote individual and collective healing and growth).

Psychodrama uses various forms of enactment to expand and deepen the purely verbal method of therapy.  Because psychodrama brings the body, mind, and emotions into action at once, it can be more powerful than traditional talk therapy alone.  J.L. Moreno once said that “the body remembers what the mind forgets.”  By bringing the body into therapeutic work ─ through movement, gesture, sound, and action ─ we can get in touch with memories and experiences that might not be accessible to our conscious mind.  Bringing up this information can be helpful in psychological and emotional healing: It can give us access to memories we need to work through, as well as access to inner strengths and resources we may have lost touch with.

Psychodramatic action can help a person achieve insight into a problem, express feelings, complete unfinished actions, and learn new and more satisfying ways of behaving.  Although it is typically practiced in therapy groups, psychodrama can be used in individual psychotherapy, and it can also be used for education, skills training, and organization development.

To read more about Psychodrama, click here

Cathy’s Trainers and Mentors

Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model

In addition to her extensive training in psychodrama, Cathy has academic preparation and experience in adult education and experiential learning. One of the major influences on Cathy’s teaching approach is David A. Kolb’s theory of adult experiential learning.

According to Kolb (1999), ELT “provides a holistic model of the learning process and a multilinear model of adult development, both of which are consistent with what we know about how people learn, grow, and develop.”

ELT maintains that optimal adult learning occurs best when the learner goes through a complete cycle of learning that encompasses four different ways of learning: Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization, and Active Experimentation. Furthermore, Kolb explains that adult learners prefer to enter the learning cycle at different points in the process.

To read more about Kolb’s theory, click here.

David A. Kolb (b. 1939)

LPTI Bibliography

Theoretical Underpinnings of LPTI Integrative Framework

The books and articles listed in the bibliography have informed the LPTI Integrative Framework for teaching psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy. The LPTI Integrative Framework is shaped by classical theories and methods of J.L. & Z.T. Moreno and their followers, as well as contemporary findings from interpersonal neurobiology, attachment theory, somatic psychotherapy, and ancient wisdom traditions and diverse spiritual philosophies.

Psychodrama Websites  

American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy

American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama

LPTI Associates & Friends

Alexander & Ciotola Training Services

Linda Ciotola, M.Ed., CETIII, TEP

Bethany Grove, LCPC, NCC

Sylvia Israel, MFT, TEP

Joshua Lee, LCSW-C

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