Clinical, social and educational applications of psychodrama (English-Italian-Hebrew)

Date: 7 September 2019 from 16:30 to 18:15

Type: Symposium

Speakers: Marco Ius, Magdalene Jeyrathnam, Rosa Shemesh

Chairman: Marco Ius

Magdalene Jeyarathnam (India) -


The session is the first of many sessions conducted in the prison over ten months. In the first session sociometry was used to discover and find out more information about group members. A group of 25 out of 50 young men in the ages 18 to 24 who had committed various crimes were chosen through a simple random sampling method. All the young men who were over the age of 18 and could no longer be housed in the juvenile prison lived in the place called Home of Safety. The room where we did the work had 2 armed guards, the psychodramatist and 3 assistants who helped with translation and any help needed in motivating the group to do the activities. In India juvenile justice board which comes under the ministry of women and child development is responsible for safety and upkeep of children who are in conflict with the law. Some of these young men are completing their prison term or are waiting for re-evaluation of their sentence; a couple of young men were kept in solitary confinement for their own safety from other inmates / gangs. Fights between the gangs were quite frequent. The overall objective of the psychodrama session was to build compassion and empathy among the participants. The first session was a beginning of the group showing a little trust towards one another and a little empathy towards each other including the psychodramatist.
Byrne, K (1976) talked about how Psychodrama seems particularly suited for work with prison inmates since Psychodrama is an action therapy which tends to rely less on the spoken word than many therapies, and gives the convict a chance to do, and then to re-do, those parts of life that cause him difficulty. Byrne also emphasized on how many convicts have limited education and less than adequate skills in verbally communicating their feelings and that with action therapy, a vehicle is available for safely demonstrating one’s feelings. Since it is a form of group therapy, even those members whose problems are not being directly considered can benefit. Often more hesitant members can be gradually involved by playing roles in someone else’s session (Byrne, K). Corsini (1951) notes that during his extensive experience in prison systems he has personally tried several methods of group therapy but has finally discovered that only one method, that of psychodrama, even approaches the effect of deep individual treatment.

Byrne, Kenneth (1976) “Psychodramatic Treatment Techniques with Prisoners in a State of Role Transition,”The Journal of Sociology
& Social Welfare: Vol. 3 : Iss. 6 , Article 13.

Rosa Shemesh (Israel) -

Sogni durante le varie fasi del recupero dal disturbo da uso di sostanze -

Dreams during varying stages of recovery from substance use disorder

Rosa Shemesh by:
Supervised by: Dr. Sharon Rabinovitz Shenkar
University of Haifa

Drug addiction can lead, among other things, to criminality and delinquency. The withdrawal and therapy process is long and complex, and includes changes of many kinds at different stages. One of these is dreaming, which has significant repercussions on the quality of sleep and the addict’s alertness. These repercussions can in turn jeopardize rehabilitation and therapy.
Previous studies of this subject focused on the dreams of addicts while still achieving abstention and addressed the drugs themselves. Such studies were quantitative and based on the Freudian theory that dreams are an expression of an unrequited desire in conscious life. They sought to identify the desire for drugs in dreams, with the supposition that early identification of such desire in dreams would lead to better prevention of desire and drug seeking in consciousness, thus enhancing prevention of the recurrence of drug use.
The present study approaches the subject from a different angle, according to Moreno’s idea (Furst, 2013; Moreno, 1972) that dreaming is a creative expression of a person’s internal world. The aim was to consolidate a comprehensive approach to the dreams of addicts at different stages of recovery, and the way in which they experience their dreams. Accordingly, changes in the dreams of all addict-subjects at all stages of recovery were examined. This study is qualitative and phenomenological; thus, it aspires to enable participants to write about and relate their dreams and report their feelings and perceptions in semi-structured, in-depth interviews.
The present study reveals that the dreaming experience at all stages of dependency is filled with fear and panic, causing frequent awakening from sleep and compromising the quality of sleep. Most participants felt that their irregular sleep pattern is jeopardizing their recovery.
On the whole the findings point to a clear change in the dream content and dreaming experience of addicts arising from the three stages of recovery. The content of dreams typifying different stages of recovery, the ways in which the participants cope with their dreams and the implications on their sleeping and waking hours significantly expand knowledge gleaned from prior studies that focused on narrow characteristics and the first stage of recovery.
The findings of the present study indicate that drug dreams express a complex and difficult emotional experience of withdrawal from drugs, involving a process of bereavement and separation from drugs, friends associated with the period of drug taking and related behaviors. This study shows, for the first time, that at most stages there are dreams addressing therapeutic content, according to the stage of recovery when they occur. It was also found that both early and advanced stages of withdrawal are characterized by dreams of key life experiences, connected to pivotal events in the participant’s life. Such dream content also appears infrequently with the achievement of abstention. Furthermore, most of the dreams, regardless of their content, were found to be nightmares and recurrent nightmares. In previous literature this pattern has been considered typical of people suffering from PTSD, which reinforces the findings of several researchers who see in addiction the characteristics of post-traumatic disorder.
The present study is the first of its kind and could prove significant in the planning of therapeutic interventions at different stages of recovery. The implementation and practical implications of the results have the potential to help towards withdrawal from drugs, the promotion of therapeutic processes, the improvement of the quality of addicts’ waking lives, the enhancement of their quality of sleep and enabling the enjoyment of dreaming.

Marco Ius (Italy) -

Pictures, drawings and sociodrama: fostering the integration of resilience theory in social work with children and families -

The concept of resilience has spread widely over recent decades, and more and more often practitioners use it to refer to situations of children and families in care. However, it is often difficult to understand how social professionals drive resilience theory into practice and integrate it into care plans.
This paper aims at exploring and reflecting on a methodology and specific activity used in training of multidisciplinary groups of social professionals (social worker, psychologist, educator, home-carer/educator, teacher, child neuropsychiatrist) about the use of the culture of resilience (theoretical framework, definitions, different approaches and tools) within their practice with children and families.
The sociodramatic drawing and telling group dynamic was used in 8 one-day training sessions with different size groups (from 20 to 40 members) within different editions of the Italian Program of Intervention for PReventing Institutionalization (P.I.P.P.I.) and other contexts. The conductor used the activity at the beginning or first part of the session in order to warm up the group (emotionally, cognitively, physically and socially) with the topic and to collect the group’s culture on it to be used as a base where to build up the rest of the work and to bridge previous knowledge and skills with the new ones. The activities were audio-recorded and documented by pictures, in order to obtain the transcription and to content analyze it in the future.
This first reflection about the use of a sociodramatic drawing activity in training on resilience shows this method as particularly favorable and coherent. Indeed, professionals’ feedbacks encourage to keep using it. As a conclusion, planning a research project seems particularly worth in order to deepen the use of this method, to evaluate it and its impact on professional practice, and to keep empowering the professional culture on using resilience with vulnerable children and families.

Who shall survive?
IAGP International Psychodrama Conference 2019

4/9/2019 - 8/9/2019, Iseo (BS) - Italy

Conference ended

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147 Speakers

157 Events

360 Seats

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