Four Chairs of Discernment

By Carley Foster

Cathy created this action structure to help people explore a difficult decision from four distinct perspectives. At LPTI and the recent ASGPP Conference, Cathy offered the Four Chairs to help the protagonists discern their motivations to enter – or not enter – a dual relationship with a client or student. However, the action structure is useful for exploring any ethical dilemma. By examining a predicament from the perspective held by each of the chairs, protagonists (and group members) gain insights to help guide their choices and actions.

Nature Informed Therapy Warm Up

By Tania Lanning

Whether or not you are able to take a client into an outdoor or public space during a session is an important consideration for your practice.  You can alternatively try this exercise inside by having a basket, box or bowl of nature’s treasures (such as sticks, stones, moss, leaves, and pinecones). Gathering these materials ahead of time can also be a fun and therapeutic process for the therapist.

Pairs from Playback Theatre

By Sam Klotz

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.

The Dimond of Opposites

By Carley Foster

Cathy learned The Diamond of Opposites from her early teacher and life-long mentor and friend, Ann E. Hale. Until her death in December 2021, Ann was a luminary in the study and application of sociometry. As a tribute to Ann’s extraordinary contributions to the field, we offer The Diamond of Opposites in this edition’s toolbox.

On the Green Carpet

A poem by Laura Greer

Meet you on the Green Carpet
I visited a sweat lodge with you, once.
You brought your kitchen conversation into a photograph of my childhood.
Together, we crouched, weeping, over an injured fawn on the side of a country road.
We wept for more than the broken animal. We mourned for all of humankind and for the heaviness of grief, despair, and rage.

Warming Up To Directing

By Thomas Northup

As a warmup to the intensive, the directors wrote about how they prepare for a psychodrama and how they would be showing up for the weekend. From slogging through the workdays until the intensive arrived, to establishing new routines to get grounded in the weeks before, everyone realized that the days leading up to any workshop always, in some way, prepare them to direct. Most people indicated that they drew confidence from their belief that psychodrama is a valuable method.

An Empty Chair Structure: The Turning Point

By Laura Greer

One tool that was demonstrated was a four-chair “Turning Point” activity (adapted from an action structure Cathy learned from Donna Little, MSW, TEP). In this action structure, participants began with creating a personal timeline to highlights different lifetime events, memories, or significant moments.

Foundational Definitions from Developmental Repair Workshop

By Cathy Nugent

Developmental repair describes the process of identifying unmet attachment needs from childhood, and meeting them through the surplus reality of psychodrama. In a psychodrama, developmental repair usually occurs after the catharsis of abreaction, and is often one of the most powerful and moving scenes in the psychodrama.