What is Psychodrama?

Psychodrama includes all of the theories, action methods and techniques deriving from the work of JL Moreno (1889-1974).

Psychodrama is:

-a method of group psychotherapy

-an approach to working therapeutically with individuals, couples and families

-a means of making effective interventions in group and community life

Psychodrama works for people of all ages and cultures with a wide range of life experiences.

Psychodrama is used in many settings including counseling and psychotherapy, health, education, management, organisational development and the creative arts.

How does it work?

As a participant in a psychodrama session you explore life situations that are of interest and concern to you through dramatic enactment. In the course of the enactment you can express, refine and integrate new ways of being and doing.

What does it do?

Psychodrama assists individuals to:

-examine their current life situations, their past or future, social networks or cultural context

-generate new perspectives on particular events or situations

-strengthen a sense of self

-develop new responses to entrenched relationship dynamics

-prepare for future situations in which they wish to function with a greater degree of flexibility, vitality and effectiveness

-integrate insight and action with ‘here and now’ experience in the engagement with group life

Psychodrama assists groups to:

-examine themselves and constructively work through the dynamics of group life

-recognize patterns of interaction and interpersonal dynamics

-investigate both the formal and informal relationship networks

-recognize their collective functioning and make informed decisions about changing group norms

-strengthen their relationships and build community

-move beyond stereotyping and enlarge perceptions of themselves and others

Historical Background:

Psychodrama was conceived by psychiatrist JL Moreno (1889-1974). It grew out of his experiments in Vienna in the 1920’s with the Theater of Spontaneity, a form of improvisational theater. Moving to the USA in 1925 he continued to combine this with his interest in social science, exploring the possibilities of treating clients using group psychotherapy.  His work has been further refined by many practitioners and training institutes around the world including the United Kingdom, Central and Eastern Europe, USA, South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Qualified Practitioners:

Practitioners trained in this method with the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association (AANZPA) are certificated as Psychodramatists, Sociodramatists, Role-trainers or Sociometrists.

The training comprises 800 hours of training in accredited training seminars and workshops, along with approximately 1600 hours reading, preparation of written papers, supervised practice and allied activities in training seminars that contribute to the fulfillment of the training requirements. Practitioners who have completed the above training are eligible to be full members of AANZPA.

AANZPA was established in 1980 and is the body governing the training and standards of practitioners of the psychodrama method. It is an active and vibrant association that holds annual conferences and publishes a professional journal.