By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Talk to me about groups and I’ll talk to you about the 78th annual conference of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, coming up April 1-4 in Schaumburg, Ill.
This year’s theme is “Here and Now: The Power and Effectiveness of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Sociometry.” This longtime conference will continue its traditions of internationally recognized speakers, workshops, ceremonies, entertainment, and silent and live auctions while introducing new cultural conserves, and this year there’s an extra emphasis focusing on the “group psychotherapy” part of the organization’s name, giving attention to the importance of group process and group skills.
The conference offers an exciting line-up of three featured speakers, each of whom have deep experience with groups, trauma healing and training:
Tian Dayton, Ph.D., TEP, will open the conference with her keynote presentation on Thursday morning. Tian is the author of 15 books, including her most recent book “Neuropsychodrama.” She is a pioneer in combining treatment for addiction and codependency with psychodrama and is the developer of Relational Trauma Repair, an experiential model for the treatment of relational trauma. She taught psychodrama at New York University for eight years and is now a senior fellow at The Meadows treatment center in Wickenburg, Ariz., and the director of the New York Psychodrama Training Institute.
Richard Beck, Ph.D., president of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes, will discuss establishing and deepening group cohesion as plenary speaker on Friday morning. With his expertise in groups and the treatment of psychological trauma, he conducted more than 1,000 hours of trauma treatment in groups in New York City after Sept. 11, 2001, treating survivors, witnesses, family members, police officers, firefighters, emergency workers, hospital staff, psychotherapists and personnel from New York City businesses. He teaches, writes and lectures nationally and internationally on psychological trauma, and the toll that trauma treatment takes on the clinician.
Sammy Rangel, MSW, CSAC, executive director of Life After Hate and founder of Formers Anonymous, will be plenary speaker on Friday evening. A formerly incarcerated gang member whose life was transformed by experiential psychotherapy, he will tell his story about how action methods changed his life and talk about his work today that guides men and women away from far-right extremism and white supremacy as co-founder and executive director of Life After Hate. In 2012, Sammy founded Formers Anonymous, a national self-help group based on the 12-step model for people addicted to street life and violence.
Attendees will be able to pick from 90-plus pre-conference and conference workshops led by trainers from throughout the United States and around the world who will facilitate workshops that convey the power and effectiveness of psychodrama, group psychotherapy, sociometry, sociodrama and sociatry and their integration with related fields. We will demonstrate classical Morenean methodology and its creative derivations, while highlighting the transformational advances of our current generation of trainers.
I’m pleased to report that I will present and co-present at two of the conference workshops:
The location is the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill., just a 15-minute ride from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Schaumburg, a northwestern suburb of Chicago, is known for the massive Woodfield Mall, with hundreds of shops and restaurants, plus the Legoland Discovery Center, which features children's rides and a 4-D cinema. The Ned Brown Preserve has paved trails and a chain of connected pools, collectively known as Busse Lake. To the west, the Trickster Gallery is dedicated to Native American culture and art.
Discounted rates are available for college and university students, for psychodrama trainees and for those who register in a group. In addition, a reduced fee is available for veterans.
You may view and download a conference brochure here.
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.