24 May 2019 at 10:26Share
Magdalene Jeyarathnam – India
Simposium – English
BREAKING GANGS USING SOCIOMETRY IN A PRISON SETTING
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.
Workshop – English
USING PSYCHODRAMA WITH LGBTQI COMMUNITY IN INDIA
Gay teens are often subjected to intense bullying that they’re unable to continue their education. Violence and discrimination is a part of day to day life for most of the LGBT community. LGBT youth identified bullying problems as the second most important problem in their lives, after non-accepting families, compared to non-LGBT youth identifying classes/exams/grades (Human Rights Campaign, 2013). Only 37% of LGBT youth report being happy, while 67% of non-LGBT youth say they are happy. (Human Rights Campaign, 2013). With each instance of verbal or physical harassment, the risk of self-harm among LGBT youth is 2 ½ times more likely (IMPACT, 2010). Studies show that LGBT population are more likely to be treated for anxiety, panic disorder, depression, poor self-esteem, eating disorders or to develop alcohol or drug dependency when compared to the general population (Cochran, Mays, Alegria, Ortega, Takeuchi). These youth are also 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts (CDC, 2011).
The LGBTQI community constitutes around 5% of the general population according to certain studies. Modern or post colonial India is still awakening to the fact that the LGBTQI community very much exists and is struggling to assert their basic and fundamental human rights. This workshop aims to share our experiences of using psychodrama with LGBTQI community in Chennai on issues related to violence based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and issues related to coming out to their families and/or friends. The experience of them dealing with shame, guilt, anger, depression and pain that the community go through are made to express and process through psychodrama and sociometric exercises. The workshop will also take you through how psychodrama helped many members to come out to their close ones through sociometric exercises.