By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Perhaps the oldest association for creative arts therapies – the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama – will be convening for the 77th year in Manchester, N.H., in May.
The method of psychodrama continues its strong presence in the United States and around the world, and the organizers of this year’s conference have put together a program that looks to the future while giving a bow to the past.
The theme is “Discovering New Worlds: Transformational Advances in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy,” and there is much to notice that is new, fresh and innovative.
To begin, this is the first time this national conference is taking place in New England.
The chairpersons of the conference are Scott Giacomucci and Maria Mellano, both rising in visibility as younger leaders in this professional organization. Each represents the myriad of ways that psychodrama is being integrated into various fields for healing, education and personal growth.
The 90-plus workshops and events further showcase the many ways that psychodrama is being used in today’s treatment centers, hospitals, private practices, schools and non-profit organizations. Presenters, many of them board-certified master trainers in psychodrama known as TEPs, come from throughout the United States and around the world, including Australia, Canada, China, England, Israel, Taiwan and Turkey.
I’m honored to be part of this event, as a pre-conference presenter of the all-day workshop titled “The Immigrant Within and Without: Finding Your True Home,” which combines psychodrama and Family Constellations and explores a current and controversial topic.
There will also be the conference debut of the film “A Cinematic History of Psychodrama: From Moreno to Modern,” a project which was conceived and directed by Robert Siroka, founder and director of The Sociometric Institute of New York City.
In bow to the past, the psychodrama association has added a new annual award that recognizes the late William L. Moreno, the younger brother of J.L. Moreno, the co-developer of psychodrama with his third wife Zerka T. Moreno. The name of William is hardly known, even within psychodrama circles, yet William was highly instrumental in keeping psychodrama alive and healthy by his financial support so that psychodrama might thrive. William is the first recipient of the award, and the association looks to receive nominations of people or organizations who have given outstanding organizational, educational, promotional, financial, or other significant support to ASGPP and to the field and research of psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy and in other ways.
Joining in the celebration of this new award will be William Moreno’s son Joseph Moreno, who is the author of the book Acting Your Inner Music: Music Therapy and Psychodrama and will present a workshop on the same name at the conference.
Also attending will be Regina Moreno, the daughter of J.L. Moreno and Florence Bridge Moreno. A longtime teacher who recently conducted workshops in Suzhou, China, Regina is in the process of writing her long-awaited memoirs.
The conference is scheduled May 2-5 in Manchester, N.H., and offers continuing education credits for licensure and psychodrama hours for board certification. For a complete schedule of the conference program and other conference details and discounts, visit www.asgpp.org. An early registration discount is available until March 22.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.