Guide To Training: Who Can Attend?

The short answer is “Anybody.” Because psychodrama has largely been applied in the mental health fields, an assumption is often made that psychodrama is a method of psychotherapy. As a matter of fact, psychodrama is often defined just that way. In large part, this is due to the fact that J. L. Moreno, who originated the method, was himself a psychiatrist and developed the method in his private sanatarium with psychiatric patients. The psychotherapeutic function was the first major application of the psychodramatic method.

None the less, as the non-clinical applications developed, Moreno believed that anyone interested in his method should have access to training. Some of his first students were sociologists, criminologists, and other non-mental health practitioners. In any given training group at the Moreno Institute, one might find teachers, librarians, priests, plumbers and Canadian fish merchants in addition to social workers, psychologists, and counselors of all kinds.

The National Psychodrama Training Center carries on the tradition that Moreno started. In addition to the categories mentioned above, our students have included artists, writers, veterinarians, a university vice-president, engineers, and actors. Recently we have been gratified to have a large number of trial lawyers attending workshops, most of whom first encountered psychodrama at the Trial Lawyers College founded by renowned lawyer Gerry Spence, a strong and consistent advocate of the psychodrama method. These lawyers have developed unique and creative ways of using psychodrama in their profession.

Rather than as a method of psychotherapy, psychodrama is better defined as a method of communication and is by no means limited to its application as psychotherapy. Psychodrama as a method of communication might be compared with interview and discussion. Interview is the primary vehicle of individual psychotherapy, but this does not mean that interviewing is psychotherapy. Discussion is the primary vehicle of non-psychodramatic group therapy but this does not mean that discussion in itself is group psychotherapy. Analogously, psychodrama can be used as a way of conducting psychotherapy. This does not mean that all psychodrama is psychotherapy.

A further consideration is that some people attend training workshops who have no intention of ever directing a classic psychodrama. They sometimes attend training workshops to increase their understanding of themselves and human nature more profoundly. Acquisition of such understanding can enhance one’s daily life as well as professional performance.

The National Psychodrama Training Center has an open admissions policy. Anyone who is genuinely interested in learning more about psychodrama is invited to attend the generic training workshop. If you are in psychotherapy it is quite important that you discuss possible attendance at a psychodrama workshop with your therapist and have your therapist’s approval of your participation. If you have questions about participation in a workshop, please contact us.