By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Professional conferences offer opportunities to connect with colleagues, learn what’s new in the field and inspire participants to move forward with fresh ideas when returning to our daily schedule and calendars of the work week. During the 80th annual conference of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, which ended Sunday, April 3, all that happened — and more.
I've already blogged about my 10 takeaways from the 80th annual psychodrama conference, gathering the rich and sparkling gems that I found on the adventure of the conference. Even with the online version of the conference -- absent of hugs in hallways, shared meals in present time and the modifications of the tried and true psychodramatic techniques -- we still managed to learn, to teach, have fun and feel connected. You can read my blog article about all of that on Medium here. And there's more...
One of the most important parts of the gathering is the opportunity to make contact with the history of psychodrama, which began in 1921, when Dr. J. L. Moreno placed an empty chair on the stage of a fancy theater in Vienna, Austria, and challenged the audience to find a leader within the group who could take the country out of its tattered post-war years into a new era. This year marks the 101st birthday of psychodrama and the 80th birthday of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, which Moreno founded as a membership organization in 1942.
I love history, and I am appreciative of the elders among our community who have carried the message of this method through the years. Even with its age, the method reminds vibrant and inspires us to create even more new variations and integrations.
As part of my gatherings, my inner ear listened for the drops of wisdom from my colleagues, many of them elders with wise words. A few are not exactly "elders" yet, but they offer words worth considering. These words of wisdom emerged during workshops, in conversation, during the plenary session and in acceptance speeches at our annual awards ceremony. One I caught from a social media post that touched my heart. And one is from Zerka Moreno, the widow and collaborator of Dr. Moreno. Although she was not physically present at the conference and is no longer physically present on the earth, her wise words and advocacy and explanations of psychodrama always ring true for me.
I had fun making these graphics with these wise words. If I were to take these graphic images and create cards to pass out to group members for a thoughtful warm up, I would give you these. I give them to you now. Which one speaks to you and which one would you answer?
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is the founder of the Lancaster School of Psychodrama and Experiential Psychotherapies in Lancaster, Pa., which teaches transformational learning in a variety of experiential methods and practices, including psychodrama, sociometry, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, group skills and more. Subscribe to her e-letter for professionals and get first notice of training events, Early Bird discounts, helpful links and inspiring and supportive info. You may subscribe 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.