Welcome to the Spring edition of Behind the Scenes at Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute!
Twelve participants joined guest trainer, Linda Ciotola, trained auxiliary ego, Will Halm, and me to co-create the LPTI Psychodrama Intensive, March 10-14. After having to cancel last year, the team was excited to be able to meet in person at Blue Mountain Retreat Center in Western Maryland. Our host, Blue Mountain proprietor, chef extraordinaire and massage therapist, Beth Ehrhardt, provided all the comforts of home and more–delicious, nutritious family-style meals, relaxing facilities and grounds, and on-request massage therapy sessions.
Participants included LPTI community members, trainees from the TSM community, a visitor from India, someone new to psychodrama, and an experienced psychodrama student who is also a drama therapist. To acknowledge his high level of attunement and skill, LPTI certified its first-ever Trained Canine Auxiliary Ego, Capo, whose human companion is Sarah Klotz.
A truly co-created workshop/retreat, participants were invited to offer morning and lunchtime sessions to help us stay grounded, embodied and inspired. Pauliann Long offered yoga, Mary Collins led QiGong, and Paula Catalan offered heart-pumping aerobic movement and 5Rhythms. Sarah Klotz led a high-energy game (Ninja) that created fun and laughter. Mary Kalbach led a session on Clinical EFT (Tapping), demonstrating how she uses tapping with clients in individual sessions to help them remain regulated while processing difficult material. Mary Collins offered an evening class on the tarot, which was a highlight of the intensive for many participants.
This year, the Intensive focused on exploring classical psychodrama and sociometry compared and contrasted with contemporary adaptations of the classical method, including the Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM). I directed extensive sociometry in the classical style that I learned from my teacher, mentor and friend, Ann E. Hale. Linda Ciotola directed a TSM-style psychodrama that incorporated elements of ancestral psychodrama and Family Constellations.
LPTIers, Laura Greer and Carley Foster, directed full psychodramas, while Cintra Harbold facilitated Playback Theater exercises and demonstrated the psychodramatic timeline. Advanced psychodrama student in training with Nina Garcia and Registered Drama Therapist, Whitney Bell, led a drama therapy-inspired warm-up, followed by a classically-informed action structure incorporating sculpting and resourcing. Rashmi Datt and Sarah Klotz also directed a timeline in a break-out skill-building session. Beloved TAE, Will Halm, held the space for us throughout and facilitated a closing exercise featuring a psychodramatic violet flame to transform what needed to be left behind and anchor in our learning.
Participants expressed a very high level of satisfaction with the Intensive, with an average score of 4.9 or 5 on a 5-point scale on all 13 quantitative questions. Some of the qualitative comments include the following:
- The container was very safe and accepting.
- The leaders modeled participative leadership and co-creation of healing space.
- The design of the 5 days was wonderful. I appreciated how much planning and consideration went into…creating a truly transformative retreat.
- I left with skills I didn’t know I had!
- The venue was perfect for this type of learning and deep healing work.
We have already booked Blue Mountain for the 2023 LPTI Psychodrama Intensive; hold these dates: March 09-13. Space is limited to 12 participants.
May we all be well!
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