Guide to Training: Training (Continued)

This model assumes that a participant learns something new at each workshop, something which the individual which practices during the interval between workshops. This inter-workshop activity serves to prepare the participant to learn something new at the next workshop attended. The training process is self-regulated by each participant who decides whether to attend one workshop a year or five.

The first session of a workshop is usually a group-building session in which established interpersonal relationships are recognized and renewed and new ones are begun. Information about the group, each of which is a unique event, begins to emerge. The agenda that group members have brought in, the individual and collective warming up processes and the workshop goals of the participants, start surfacing. Making this information known to all assists the group to maximally satisfy the needs of the group members.

Many of the subsequent sessions feature the production of classic psychodrama sessions in which participants have an opportunity to be protagonists, directors and auxiliary egos, who take the roles of absent significant others. A large workshop group may divide into smaller groups so that two, three or four psychodramas may occur during a single session. After it has been produced, each psychodrama session is processed. This is a special training event in which the group discusses how the elements of the psychodrama method were utilized in this specific drama. Techniques, method, theory and philosophy may be examined during processing.

Some of the workshop sessions may be devoted to special training exercises aimed at preparing the newcomer to psychodrama to take on the highly complex role of the director. Other sessions may feature variations of the psychodramatic and sociometric methods such as role training and sociodrama. On occasion the group may engage in formal sociometric exploration.

Most workshops address psychodrama training in a global or generic way. Some workshops, however, are dedicated to specific topics of interest such as dealing with guilt and forgiveness, managing rage, exploring the meaning of existential issues such as life, love and death. Specific psychodramatic issues such as catharsis, strategies of directing, and auxiliary work have been the focus of a training workshop. All workshops provide the participant an opportunity to be an active part of the group process, indeed insist upon active involvement, and all workshops take into account the needs and desires of those attending.