Notes from Cathy
Emerging from Covid Isolation into Healing Connection at the
2022 LPTI Psychodrama Intensive
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!
New Book on Integrating Psychodrama into Coaching Soon to Be Released
LPTI cohort member and Adlerian coach, Pascale Brady, and Cathy have written a manual, Bridging Two Worlds: Coaching and Psychodrama—A Manual for Integrating Psychodramatic Action Methods in Coaching. Edited by Carley Foster and reviewed by Kimberly Dailey, the manual features The Integrated Coaching Model Cathy and Pascale created. The model is illustrated with vignettes featuring a cast of fictional coaching clients.
This manual, a co-creation in the making for several years, will be debuted when Pascale and Cathy present a workshop at the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology Conference, May 26, in Arlington, Virginia.
Of the collaboration, Pascale shared: “It’s been such a delight and a great honor to work with Cathy on this project! What started out as a simple article idea years ago became this manual, which I cannot wait for coaches and psychodramatists to see. Our original goal was to expand the coach’s toolbox while narrowing the chasm between coaching and therapy – and I believe we did just that.”
Copies of the manual will be available to LPTI community members at a slightly reduced rate. Please contact Cathy for further information.
LPTI Cohort Member Kimberly Dailey’s New Book Is Coming Soon!
Purposeful Creativity Methods:
A guidebook to create insight and connection in organizations and communities
- Purposeful because they are intended to strengthen human relationships.
- Creative because they spark original and new ways of relating to self and others.
- Methods because they are based on theoretical foundations and evidence-based strategies.
Coming Up at LPTI
Sunday, May 1: Special Topic Workshop: Working Skillfully with Shame: Sociodramatic Explorations and Psychodramatic Interventions with Special Guest Trainers Paula Catalan Bayon and Milton Hawkins Event Flyer
June 23-26: Special Topic Weekend: Sociometry Intensive with Special Guest Trainer Barbara Guest Event Flyer
Sunday, July 17: Helping Clients Cultivate the Skills of Self-Compassion Event Flyer
October 2022- June 2023: LPTI Training Cohort, meets monthly on either the Second Saturday or Wednesday of each month Event Flyer
For Your Psychodramatic Toolbox:
Pairs from Playback Theatre
By Sarah Klotz
During the Blue Mountain Retreat, Cintra Harbold showed us a few Playback Theatre structures, including one called Pairs.
For Pairs, four actors are selected by a “conductor”, a playback theatre term for facilitator or director. The actors come to the designated stage area, stand in pairs, and face out to the audience with their feet rooted, one slightly behind the other.
Once the actors take their positions. The conductor selects a “teller” to tell a short, true story that holds two strong emotions. The retreat participants added the criterion of “two strong emotions related to directing” to serve as the warm-up for director selections held later that afternoon.
After the teller has recounted a story that highlights two strong emotions, the conductor doubles them, highlighting the emotions and key phrases. They check in with the actors to ensure everyone has enough details to play it back. Then the audience and teller watch as the actors play out the two emotions with movement, dialogue, and often humorous renditions of the emotions. A fun twist to the action is to have both actors facing front until it is time for action. At that time, actors turn back to back and perform the action while rotating in a circle.
To close, the conductor calls to end the action and the audience gives the actors a round of applause, then thanks the teller for their story and the teller shares how it felt to receive the performance.
To experience playback theatre, consider River Crossing Playback Theatre’s next open zoom practice on Friday, May, 20th from 7-9 pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.