Conference Presentations

Dear colleagues,

We are honoured to meet you at the First Balkan Conference in Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Action Methods in Education “Pippi Longstocking and the Modern World” which will be held from July 3 to July 6, 2019 in Bulgaria at the Romance Splendid Hotel &Spa, St. St. Constantine and Elena Resort Complex, near Varna.

The working language of the conference will be English. Translation into Bulgarian will be available.

We are honoured to introduce to you our scientific consultants and leaders of the pre-conference workshops:

Chief Consultant and Mentor: ADAM BLATNER, 

Dr Daniela Simmons – USA

Eva Fahistrom BorgSweden

Prof. Vladimir Nikitin – Moscow Social Pedagogical Institute, Russia

LIST OF PRESENTATIONS:

1. Joseph Dillard, Institute: Integral Deep Listening, Germany  

“Assessing and Reducing Childhood Trauma and Anxiety Disorders Using Dream Sociometry”

The abstract: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the West. in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Undiagnosed and untreated anxiety in children manifests as poor concentration, irritability, social anxiety, in the form of fear of teachers and peers, fear of risk-taking and new experiences, fear of failure, and lack of confidence. In this workshop teachers and other caregivers will learn concrete ways to use shared dreams to identify anxiety and then methods, derived from J.L. Moreno’s sociometry, to interview dream characters in order to reframe anxiety in positive ways that promote improved school performance.

Key words: Sociometry, dreams, anxiety, trauma, school

About the author: Based on J.L. Moreno’s sociometric methodology, in 1980 Joseph Dillard developed Dream Sociometry, which has been used to successfully treat anxiety disorders, childhood trauma, phobia, PTSD, depression, as well as support meditation and higher-order development. Dr. Dillard has over 40 years professional experience in out-patient, in-patient, and private practice settings.

2. Izabella Kasza, Eniko Szoke, Antheia Association, Romania

“Within the Circle”

The abstract: This method was created in 2015 and since then applied in many schools, working with approx. 200 pupils from different schools in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania.

The method uses the philosophy and techniques of psychodrama, restorative practices and the principles of humanistic psychology. The goal of the method is to increase group cohesion in classrooms and to prevent bullying, or where the phenomena already exists, to address it in order to deal with it.

Role theory and role playing are the core of this method, offering the chance for participants (pupils and head teachers alike) to understand group and individual processes, thus becoming active part of the process rather than remaining in the passive roles of the victim.

The workshop aims to offer a practical introduction to this method and to boost the trust in psychodrama to be used more frequently in schools.

Key words: psychodrama, school, circle, roles

About the author(s):

Izabella Kasza, psychodramatist, creator of the method Women’s Cafe, co-creator of th­­e method Within the Circle, having a large experience in conducting groups using the method of psychodrama in therapeutical, educational, social inclusion and theatre fields. Co-founder of Antheia Association and member in various professional associations, conducts workshops nationally and internationally.

Enikő Szőke, child and adult psychotherapist and psychodramatist, co-creator of the method Within the Circle and co-founder of Antheia Association, member in different professional associations; founding member of Kende Handa Child Psychodrama Association, as trainer and supervisor in child psychodrama greatly contributing to the upbringing of new generations of psychotherapists in Romania.

3. Fabian Blobel, Psychodrama center Orpheus, Sofia, Germany

Bowlby meets Moreno”

The abstract: The attachment theory as an interpretation frame to analyze the symbol play of children and to plan our psychodramatic interventions. Research tells us that safe attached children have more social and emotional competences, are more integrated and successful and thought more resilient. How do safe and unsafe attachment styles affect the inner working models and thus the symbol play of children? Psychodrama helps us put the inner fantasies of the child on the psychodramatic stage and by co-creating and interacting, on the symbol level, to intervene pedagogically and therapeutically. 

In this workshop we will experience in a psychodramatic way the attachment theory and the inner working models. We will translate the theoretical assumptions into the symbol play of children and get a playful insight in the possibilities of attachment orientated psychodramatic interventions.

Key words: Attachment Theory, Psychodrama with Children.

About the author: Fabian Blobel, MD; Specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy for children and adolescents; trainer for psychodrama with children and adolescents. Working many years as a senior medical doctor in Switzerland to develop the departement for group therapy in the cantonal service for child psychiatry of Solothurn.

4. Fabian Blobel, Psychodrama center Orpheus, Sofia, Germany

„…Can We Go Smoke a Cigarette…” – Action Sociometry as an Analytic and Catalytic Tool for Dynamics in Groups With Adolescents”

The abstract:  The peer group is an important acculturation agent. Especially during the phase of adolescence the peer group helps the individual to grow from a family member to an active member of society. In their groups the adolescent has to find and learn competent ways to deal with the different ambivalences between Me and the We, the In and Out and Power and Sub-ordinance. The adolescent has to find a role in a growing variety of groups. This means a growing need for role creativity and flexibility. In their groups and as a group, they have to create their safe place in order to experiment new roles. Sociometry was originally introduced by J. L. Moreno as a group theory of relationships, creating group tools to measure underlying aspects of the tele. As “action sociometry” it became a wide spread tool for group interventions. Sociometry can help to give light and words to the unseen and unspoken aspects of the group. Sociometry can help the group members to double and mirror themselfes. This enables them to share important thoughts and emotions.

In this workshop we will experience the possibilities and limits of action sociometry in a wide range of group dynamics with adolescents.

Key words: Action-soziometry; Groups; Adolescents

About the author: Fabian Blobel, MD; Specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy for children and adolescents; trainer for psychodrama with children and adolescents. Working many years as a senior medical doctor in Switzerland to develop the departement for group therapy in the cantonal service for child psychiatry of Solothurn. 

5. Doris Prugel-Bennett, Southampton Body Stories, United Kingdom

“Concept of Spontaneity, Social Pathology of Contemporary Civilization” 

The abstract: The talk will present one of the exciting and fundamental concepts in psychodramatic theory and practice – Spontaneity. What can Pippi Longstocking tell us about living fully, with agency and responsibility, creativity, spirituality, in harmony with her environment as well as challenging reductionist approaches? What quality and characteristics of spontaneity does Pippi’s life express?

The objective of the talk is the exploration of the relevance of the concept of spontaneity in psychotherapeutic work. In particular, the concept will be related to the understanding of pathology, agency and community. It will be looked at how contemporary activation of spontaneity has emerged as a self-destructive force against the Self and the human group, causing the reduction of vitality, responsibility and independence – a social pathology of contemporary civilization shining through individuals. The effects of those forces are identifiable in the form of the mental health epidemic. On the collective level we experience a seemingly unstoppable move towards destroying crucial resources caused by the effects of the Anthropocene. This development warrants a reflection on the potential of psychodrama work.

The presentation invites the participants to engage in a meta-discussion about Moreno’s thinking and the identification of sources his writing display. The journey will take into account thinkers of Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization, Social Anthropology and Social Theories.

Key words: Working with Spontaneity – Pippi’s Embodied Agency.

About the author: Doris Prügel-Bennett MSc, BA (Hons), BPA/UKCP. Doris feels like friend of Pippi Longstocking’s, and as Ideen- und Sachensucherin, keeps searching for curious items particularly in terms of Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization and attempts to show links of J.L. Moreno’s theory and philosophy to Sociology, Philosophy and Social Anthropology.

6.  Evaldas Karmaza, Project “VIVIDSTAGES”, Lithuania

“Becoming teenager: education and support for children/teenagers and parents in extended group settings using stage and role training”

The abstract: To help for families to understand and accept the changes and transition from childhood to adolescence should not be difficult or dealt only when it is hard. It can also be trained and accepted in safe way in educational groups for parents and teenagers. The methods of psychodrama here are of great assistance.

During this workshop I will present, how I lead the extended group (meaning both children/teenagers and parents are present at the same time), but the group structure is made of two semi-circles.

The meetings are usually organized from beginning in structured way (series of 5 meetings with concrete content for learning). But due to flexibility any meeting can turn into therapeutic work on stage. Yet later it comes back to role training and sharing as important parts for support. During this work role training and stage work are often the basic work forms.  The extended groups are highly accepted here in regions where it is applied.

During the workshop I will present the work of these groups, share how it can be done in school settings; we will experiment with few exercises used during these groups.

Theoretical basis for this work is applied role theory of psychodrama.

Key words: role training, teenager, extended-group, stage.

About the author: Educational psychologist, psychodrama therapist (CP) and trainer (PAfE), leading qualification courses for schools, kindergarten for personnel, classes and training for students, support, education and therapy groups for parents in Lithuania (www.educarion.life), as well very interested it applied role theory of psychodrama (www.vividstages.life).

7. Reyhan Cakmak Yesilova, Turkey

“Once Upon A Time; When I Was A Child”

The abstract: Over time, the difference in understanding between teachers and children leads to the transformation of learning environments into a more monoton and non-creative atmosphere. But what happens to the teachers who were once children. Eventually they have difficulty of understanding and meeting the needs of children. The aim of this study is to ensure that teachers relate to their own childhood interest, curiosity, spontaneity and point of view. once upon a time when i was a child; It aims to allow teachers to recognize the parts they lost from childhood to adulthood through a magical journey to their childhood. This magical journey will perhaps take place in a surreal class environment or in a magical forest. Who knows?

Are you ready to explore together?

The objectives of the workshop:

– recognize the needs of children in the learning environment

– describe to the negative beliefs they carry from their childhood to the school environment

– see the difference between children’s expectations from school and teachers’ expectations from children

– meet with the good enough teacher

Key words: psychodrama, explorations, adulthood, childhood, teachers.

About the author: I’m a certified psychodramatist / psychotherapist / birth psychologist and school counselor. I lead groups and coordinates summer/winter camps using psychodrama on different topics for clients in Turkey. I’m doing master studies in clinical psychology at the Near East University. I’ve been working as a school counselor since 2010.

8. Daniela Tahirova, Nadia Svetoslavova, VITAE, Bulgaria 

“Teacher, Child, Parent – Triangle, Circle or Line”

The abstract: The geometry of the teacher-child-parent relationship is complex and variable. In the name of effective work, we can learn to change shapes and our places in them. Whether we are in a triangle – opposing each other, in a straight line – not interacting with each other or in a circle – hearing and receiving. That depends on all participants. What can we do to hear and understand others in the geometric figure and how to go forward? We all want the studying process to be effective. But how can we transform contradiction to understanding?

This workshop will work for strategies that we can build to be heard and understood by parents and children. We will discuss key concepts that need to be clarified to facilitate our work in the studying process. Borders, rules, power, control – what do they mean and how to handle them?

Through the workshop, you will work on soft skills such as expressing yoursef and listening to another point of view that underlies every effective communication. You will gain experience in dealing with different problematic situations. We will exchange information, views and stories from our personal experience. We will identify the obstacles in communicating with children and parents and we will look for ways to overcome them.

Our goal is to help each of you build robust strategies to deal with the various problem situations that it faces.

Key words: psychotherapy,teacher, child, parent, relationship.

About the authors:

Daniela Tahirova is a Master of Pedagogy , Logopaedy and Psychology * , Psychodrama Therapist and Director of Psychodrama with Children by the Methods of A. Aahinger and V. Hall, as well as a family consultant. She has 10 years of experience in therapeutic work with children and adults. She works with groups and individually with elements of family therapy. Distinctivae for her work with children is using the method of game therapy and counseling parents during the therapeutic process. Daniela is a mother of two children – a teenager and a toddler. (* 2000 Pedagogy of Deviant Behavior, 2002 Communicative Development Disorders , 2005 Psychology – SU)

Nadia Svetoslavova is  a Master of Psychology, Psychodrama assistant. She has 2 years of experience in therapeutic work with  group of children.

9. Cristina Schmidt, Daniela Damian, International Center for psychogenealogy, Austria

“Learning can be fun”

The abstract: We live in a world where the speed of technology development has reached a point that makes it very hard to keep up with all the discoveries. The skills required today are very different from those we needed to have and were trained on 20, 10 or even 5 years ago.

Unfortunately, the schools are still using the same topics and the same tools in order to teach the children who will became the adults of tomorrow. The teachers have difficulties in adapting to the new data. For the children it is more and more difficult to learn and maintain their focus. They use virtual tools in order to learn and communicate, thus lacking real interactions with others.

New tools are required in order to help both the teachers and the children with the learning process. In this workshop I propose the personification (psychodrama) as a tool and a way of teaching and learning. The children will improve their attention span, spontaneity, creativity, and their interactions with their peers; at the same time the teachers will find an easier way of transferring the information during the process of teaching.

In the last 20 years, the emotional and relational intelligence were the best skills to be successful. But for the future, the best skill one could have is the ability to adapt.

Key words: psychodrama, personification, ability to adapt, emotional intelligence, relational intelligence.

About the author:

I am Cristina Schmidt, psychologist, psychotherapist and psychodramatist. I have an experience of over 20 years and I deliver psychogenealogy workshops in Romania, Italy, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan. I founded the INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR PSYCHOGENEALOGY hoping I will build a very large group of professionals interested in developing the transgenerational psychotherapy. Associate professor in Bucharest University, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Studies.

10. Mariia Horshkova, Larysa Mazur, Association of Psychoanalysts and Psyciatrists in Ukraine, Ukraine 

“The Way to Children’s Feelings”

The abstract: To understand children, you do not need to ask them millions questions, you need to hear, understand and feel them. Trying to build a dialogue with children in the form of interrogation often ends with conflicts and misunderstandings.

On the one hand, children think that parents and teachers do not love them enough and do not understand them so good, on the other hand, parents or teachers are convinced that it is impossible to communicate with such children. They try to find many reasons, but among them, there is no such main reason – lack of empathy, lack of feeling of one another.

Without an empathic element, there are not a healthy, positive dialogue. Children cannot develop properly without stable, positive relationships that we can build with empathy. Empathy – this is “to put in her/his shoes”, going beyond yourself, understanding and feeling what another person thinks and feels. An adult-child dialogue requires a high level of empathy. To be an effective adult, dialogue should be “customized” or “unison” to understand its emotional states and intentions. The ability of adults to adjust and respond to the needs and initiatives of children is the basis for quality care, education and communication.

To help adults improve communication, increase the level of empathy; we go to the stage of psychodrama, which is the best helper in this way. Emotions, feelings, inner experiences, the replacement of roles and feelings of another at the body level, perfectly involve parents in the game and opens for them the true inner world of the child. The usage of cards, videos and photos in different situations helps us to work deeper with kid’s emotions and feelings on a stage, performing different dialogs can help to feel the real inner hidden feelings. At this work shop we learn how to be more empathy and how to use these exercises with parents and educators in therapy for being more open and understandable to kids and to build positive dialogs with them. Consequently, emotions and feelings on the scene!

Key words: psychodrama, empathy, emotions, relationship, dialogue.

About the authors: 

Horshkova Mariia, Psychodrama Practice, Master of Psychology, Head of the public organization “Center for the Development of Children and Youth of the Future” Alice “, facilitator-coordinator of the International Child Development Programme of Vinnitsa region. Mazur Larysa: Master of Psychology, Psychodrama Practice, facilitator of the International Child Development Programme, Co-ordinator of the Equal to Equal Program, coordinator of the program “Personal Dignity: Safety of Life, Public Position”.

11. Canel Bingöl, M. Turabi Yerli, Dr. Ali Babaoğlu Psychodrama Institute,Turkey

“The Clown, Jester/Juggler and Magician; Circus Life”

The abstract: Engaging in role play, mirroring, developmental activities, such as singing, playing instruments, playing different roles with structural game (circus life) in group therapy (expressive, psychodrama) or 1-on-1 therapy, can improve children’s social communication skills, improve their family’s quality of life, and increase brain connectivity in key networks. In the group, the kids/participants sing and play different roles, mirroring, playing instruments (like a circus life), working with a group therapist to engage in a reciprocal interaction. Spontaneity, creativity, action and role playing are basic for Morenian Psychodrama and if human being is not capable of his/her own self roles in life results in psychopathology due to regression or anxiety and it can only be developed by the courage and self confidentiality that has experienced all the roles starting from the birth. During this workshop; participants will experience and learn the basic Psychodrama techniques with Circus life including the clown, jester/juggler and the magician (psychosomatic, social and psychodramatic roles) with 4 doors of the circus (symbolizing integrity, unity in Jungian analytic psychology) in embryonic, 1st , 2nd, 3rd  psychic periods of life.

Key words: psychodrama, expressive, attachment, anxiety, growth.

About the authors:

Caner Bingöl, MD, PhD, Family Physician, Psychodramatist, Founder member of Dr. Ali Babaoğlu Psychodrama Institute. Jungian, PD Trainer. Master & Doctorate degree in Faculty of Fine Arts, Cinema-TV dept. Gratuated on Jungien Pschodrama at Özbek Institution & on Couple and Family therapy in Bilgi University, Istanbul. Graduated in Istanbul Bilgi University Trauma Studies Certificate Program, collaboration with the International Trauma Studies (New York) He has affiliations to The International Association of Group Psychotherapies, American Group Psychotherapy Association. He is also a member of IAGP Trauma Group and International Committee of ASGPP.

Turabi Yerli, MD, PhD, Ass. Prof. at Beykent University, Founder member of Dr. Ali Babaoğlu Psychodrama Institute. Jungian, PD Trainer. After his Medical education at İstanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Turabi Yerli had his masters degree in the field of public health at Marmara University, and then PhD degree in the field of internal medicine/nutrition at Istanbul Faculty of Medicine. Studied psychodrama at Prof. Abdülkadir Özbek Institute of Psychodrama in Istanbul. He has affiliations to The International Association of Group Psychotherapies, He is also a member of IAGP Trauma Group.

12. Maria Mellano, Boston Psychodrama Institute, United States 

“Bringing the Outside In: Using Imagination in Action to Lift a Wolfish Mood”

The abstract: This workshop will draw from the Children’s Book Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault, which is a story about two young sisters, Vanessa and Virginia, who is in a wolfish mood.  In the story, Vanessa, through applied creativity and play, brings her sister Virginia out of her dark and down mood by applying imagination and art to create a magical space called Bloomsberry.

 In this workshop, we will use what in psychodrama we call surplus reality, to explore how bringing the imagination to life through scene setting and role taking, playing and reversal, a mood can shift from bleak to color and lightness and behaviors of withdrawal and isolation can shift to connection, spontaneity and play. 

In this workshop, each person will have the opportunity through guided imagery to create their own personalized Bloomsberry internally. Each person will be invited to participate in a sociodramatic experience of the story, ending with collectively co-creating a Bloomsberry as a group.  The workshop participants will then be able to anchor the positive aspect of this  inspired experience with a mantra they can bring with them from the workshop to apply to their daily life as well as to their work with children. And, we’ll close with sharing.  

Key words: applied creativity to treat depression.

About the author:

Maria Mellano, LICSW, CP/PAT is a board certified Practitioner of Psychodrama, Practitioner Applicant for Trainer in Psychodrama and trained in Internal Family Systems. She is a certified Money, Marketing and Soul and Sacred Money Archetypes coach focused on helping those interested in making a difference in the world create lives from a place of soul aligned calling.  She has a private psychotherapy and coaching practice based in Boston, MA. She is a member of and on the executive council for the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. Maria can be reached through her website, www.IntegralPsychotherapyPractice.com

13. İrem Şahin Yoluk and Meral Atıcı, Çukurova University, Faculty of Education, Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance, Turkey

“Who Am I” – Psychodrama Experience Group 

The abstract: The general purpose of this study is to increase the level of social inclusion of pre-adolescent members by enhancing their personal and social skills development through the awarness/recognition of themselves. Within the scope of this general objective, the following aims are expected to be reached;

  1. To provide an atmosphere in which group members can recognize their feelings, thoughts and behaviors about an event.
  2. To help individuals discover their loved and unloved part of themselves, be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and what others like about them.
  3. To help group members reach awareness of some of the roles in their lives (such as children, siblings, students, friends).
  4. To enable group members make an evaluation about a person or persons whom she/he is identified with and  relate this identification  to his own self.
  5. To enable group members to realize their self- perceptions in relation to past, present and future.
  6. To help group members to understand their rights and everyone’ rights
  7. To help them to establish new friendships and develop their skills in involving in a new group.
  8. To help them to use various social skills (such as giving attention, thanking, asking, apologizing) in interpersonal communication and try to understand how others feel.
  9. To enable them to develop abilities to seek help from other people when necessary and to offer assistance to people in need.
  10. To enable them to gain different perspectives for problems.

In order to reach  these aims , a set of 10 psychodrama sessions are being held with two groups consisting of 9 members (6 girls, 3 boys; 6 girls, 3 boys) who are in the 7th and 8th grades of the middle school. Group members of groups, are individuals belonging to lower socioeconomic status in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey in the province of Adana. Role playing, doubling, role reversal, group games and warming games are the methods used the psychodrama group. In order to test the effectiveness of these psychodramatic group works, a quasi-experimental design with pre-test, post-test and with control group is  used. Measurement tools used as pre-test and final tests are; The Children’s Self-Report Social Skills Scale (Danielson & Phelps, 2003) and Brief Multidimensional Student’s Life Satisfaction Scale (Seligson, Huebner & Valois, 2005).

Key words: Pre-adolescence, Social inclusion, Psychodrama

About the authors:

İrem Şahin Yoluk is a research assistant at Cukurova University Faculty of Education Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance. She is continuing her psychodrama education at the Abdulkadir Özbek Psychodrama Institute.

Meral Atıcı is professor at Cukurova University Faculty of Education Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance. 

14. Suna Cetin, Reyhan Cakmak Yesilova, Turkey 

” Solution-oriented therapy with action methods in children with school phobia”

The abstract: When working with children with school phobia, the concretization of fears is necessary for improvement. Expressive techniques and psychodrama are very useful tools for this embodiment. In the same way, the solution-oriented therapy approach supports this process. Solution-focused therapies coincide with psychodrama in some ways. For instance, focusing on “here and now”, interesting with the healthy part and reactivating the individual’s potential In this workshop, we will focus on how to work with students on solution based therapy approaches in school-based problems such as school phobia.

The objectives of the workshop:

– While conducting interviews with students in primary school, the methods of reaching a solution are investigated using the action methods and it is ensured that the student is the hero of his / her story.

– Participants experience how one of the action methods is used in student interviews through their own lives.

– During the interviews, the interviewer is also put into action so that the student can get to the level and establish a better relationship. Their spontaneous and creativity is also provoked.

 Key words: action methods, psychodrama, school phobia, children, solution-oriented.

About the authors:

Reyhan Cakmak Yesilova – I’m a certified psychodramatist / psychotherapist / birth psychologist and school counselor. I lead groups and coordinates summer/winter camps using psychodrama on different topics for clients in Turkey. I’m doing master studies in clinical psychology at the Near East University. I’ve been working as a school counselor since 2010.

Suna Cetin is a psychodramatist, birth psychologist and a veteran school counselor. She has been working with children and family for 25 years.

15. Benedicte Astor Onarheim, Norwegian Psychodrama Academy, Norway 

“Using psychodrama to address adolescent bullying and personal conflict in school amongst adolescents”

The abstract: Adolescent students at all levels in school suffer from psychological and emotional stress. This is often displayed through bullying and personal conflict. This workshop will show how to use psychodrama techniques and methods to prevent bullying, isolation and conflict between adolescents in a secondary school setting. The work will be based on my own practical experience with girls and young teenagers in classroom setting using the theories and techniques I have learned about the vulnerability of adolescents in the educational system.

 Key words: Psychodrama techniques, bullying, secondary school students, personal conflict

About the author: My name is Benedicte Astor Onarheim and I am an Norwegian living in Bergen, Norway. I am an educated registered nurse, and have a broad education and experience in leadership and organizational development. I am a certified Psychodrama Director from the Norwegian Psychodrama Academy.

16. Krum Krumov, Carrot Ltd, Bulgaria

““Moon’s Journey” – an instrument for both psychologists and parents”

The abstract: The workshop will focus on an original set of short stories, titled “Moon’s Journey” (working English title), published by Carrot Ltd., 2018. The authors are Simona Krumova and Krum Krumov.

Moon’s Journey is a set of 16 short stories that follow the Moon as she travels along the night sky. In her journey she meets different characters (one in each tale) that is in need of help or support, while dealing with an emotional or social problem (e.g. self-confidence, conflicts, acceptance, inclusion, loneliness, etc.). In each of the texts the essence of how the Moon helps the character is focused in one line that is left open for the children (whether alone or together with a parent/psychologists/teacher) to fill so that the Moon can help the character. This way the child is relieved of the responsibility of being “the savior” or being “the victim” of the situation and can feel free to express how he/she feels about the problem.

During the workshop I will present the “Moon’s Journey” set and talk about how it can be used in practice professionally or at home (for parents).

The workshop will also include one or more reenactments of the stories to showcase the effect of the story and allow for some of the attendants to experience it firsthand.

The texts can be used both individually or in a group setting, which is something that will be discussed and presented during the workshop.

Key words: story, emotional intelligence, socialisation, instrument

About the author: I am currently working on a PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Veliko Tarnovo and am a certified psychodrama psychotherapist. My experience involves working with children with different social backgrounds, including in an innovative educational institution in Bulgaria. I am also the co-founder of Carrot Ltd – a publishing house, focused on early childhood education, where I take part in the creative process of the educational materials.

17. Carol Feldman-Bass, Jonathan Bass, Social Dynamix, United States

“Lights, Camera, Action!! Using Psychodrama and Improvisation to Help Neurodiverse Adolescents Navigate the Social Landscape”

The abstract: The goal of this workshop is to present a newly developed technique (The Social Dynamix Method) that addresses some of the essential difficulties in adolescents with High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder (H.F.A.S.D.) and their families.  Adolescents with H.F.A.S.D. are characterized as being cognitively rigid, use black and white thinking, fail to read social cues, and are unable to take the perspective of others making it difficult for them to be empathic and to see themselves as others see them.  These qualities impede effective social interactions.  Conceptualizing these difficulties as a form of Social Learning Disability, the question is raised as to whether these skills can be developed by using a multi-modal approach that enhances an individual’s ability to take the other’s perspective while increasing their spontaneity in social settings.

The Social Dynamix Method makes use of elements from Psychodrama, Sociometry and Improvisational Theatre.  Adolescents alone, in groups, or with their family re-enact unsuccessful social situations.  Through the use of different action techniques, individuals with H.F.A.S.D. are able to express the unexpressed.  In so doing, they feel both heard and understood, feelings not typically experienced by this population.  These techniques will be demonstrated with the assistance of audience participation.

Key words: Psychodrama, Neurodiverse, Asperger’s Disorder, Improvisational Theatre, Communication

About the authors:

Carol Feldman-Bass is a Psychodramatist who has developed a unique program using various action techniques with adolescents who have High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder. 

Jonathan Bass is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.  He works with Neurodiverse children and adolescents and collaborates with his wife.  They co-authored “The Use of Psychodramatic Techniques in Neurodiverse Individuals” in “Action Explorations:  Using Psychodramatic Methods in Non-Therapeutic Settings”, A. Blatner, ed.

18. Darlene Vanchura, Vanchura Counseling, United States

“Setting Limits Without Saying “No””

The abstract: Well-known and beloved Pippi Longstocking’s philosophy regarding rules is “Pippi doesn’t live by anyone’s rules but her own, and she’s perfectly fine with being a little different.”

Have you ever met someone with a similar belief?  Have you ever  had an instantaneous reaction to someone’s outrageous behavior?  In this workshop we can come to understand more about what is involved in an activating event and an “automatic” response.  We will use actions methods of Psychodrama to learn more about ourselves so as to reduce our stress level and to increase a general sense of well-being in ourselves and hopefully within the individuals we interact with – especially the little ones (of all ages).

Limits are important in living in society much to Pippi’s Chagrin. We are social creatures and need other people, therefore it is important to understand and comply with limits that are role modeled in a respectful manner as children learn what they live. 

 A-C-T   Acknowledge – Communicate- Target is a way to set limits without saying no, along with using some interesting phrases that are meant to teach children limits without targeting the child. The message is the same, how we communicate the limit is different.  Action methods will be used to practice a different way of communicating the limit.

Key words: Limit Setting, Activating Event, Response

About the author: I am a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and have been providing therapy to adults, adolescents, and children as young as three for over 20 years. My Master’s degree is in Counseling Psychology.  I worked in a Psychiatric Hospital with court – ordered psychotic patients.  I’ve also worked in a domestic violence shelter.  Currently, in private practice, I provide therapy for children and their families who have experienced trauma from car accidents to homicides. I have presented on many topics at the local, state, and national levels. I am also a mother & know the joys and heartaches of being a parent both professionally and from personal experience.  

19. Genady Matveev, 26th School, Sofia, Bulgaria

“Transformative Classroom Management: Psychodrama and sociodrama applications for problem resolution and creating cohesion among the students in the classroom”

The abstract: A cohesive classroom and school culture can be successfully created and managed by implementing psychodrama and sociodrama techniques. Students need practice in decision making and problem solving, and psychodrama and sociodrama applications can provide this practice in a safe, nonthreatening context. It helps them to become aware of the typical ways they solve problems, and it increases both social and personal awareness. It may promote acceptance, cooperation, and cohesiveness in the classroom. Students readily adapt to this kind of activity and find it both enjoyable and stimulating. It is recommended as a useful method in the classroom or guidance and counseling setting for helping students understand their own behavior and the behavior of others.

Key words: Classroom, cohesion, decision making and problem solving.

About the author: School Counselor, Expert-trainer at The Center for Education and Qualifications, Sofia, Bulgaria. Author and director of an Intervention Program for Child Delinquents

20. Irina Stefanescu, FLUX Training and Consultancy s.r.l., Romania

“Look at these roles you have!”

The abstract: The roles repertoire of any professional is rich and complex, with an interesting dynamic for the person and for the people around. The teacher’s role repertoire is a source of self-awareness and the beginning of an interesting journey to self-confidence, respect, growth, balance, immense contribution and fulfilment. We can discover and explore these roles with the cultural atom – a rich and generous instrument that can be applied either with an individual or with a group. After such an intervention, the participant(s) reflect upon their roles, then they start to inhabit them, testing, adjusting, learning, applying and performing. Demonstration and structured explanations.

Key words: Sociodrama, cultural atom, role repertoire

About the author: Passionate Learning & Development Partner for organizations and their people. Psychodramatist (2009) and devoted sociodramatist (2012). Volunteer with youth, children and their educators. Founder of FLUX Training and Consultancy (2004) and Sociodrama Centre Romania (2009). She contributes to the certificate course in sociodrama and action methods with ODeF in Geneva

21. Irina Stefanescu, FLUX Training and Consultancy s.r.l., Romania 

“Let the bodies help the learning!”

The abstract: Why play just one chord, when we have a valid 5 strings guitar and we can also tap the rhythm on that wooden box? With action methods, we activate and play all the learning instruments of a person, body included.

In a structured space of free movement, learners explore, fully express, discover themselves, the others, the new, the unspoken, the possibilities, the hope; they train their wholeness to healthy intra-, interpersonal and inter-group relationships. One of the basic ingredients in action methods is sculpture. It has many variations, it serves many purposes and it holds the ground for other valuable instruments like double, soliloquy, role reversal, mirror and tagging. A sculpture becomes a powerful visual and kinesthetic anchor and ignites the dialogue.

During the workshop, we’ll explore sculptures in the learning process, from personal growth to any school subject like history, grammar, chemistry and biology. So, let’s sculpt!

Key words: sculpture, action methods, body, learning, expressiveness

About the author: Passionate Learning & Development Partner for organizations and their people. Psychodramatist (2009) and devoted sociodramatist (2012). Volunteer with youth, children and their educators. Founder of FLUX Training and Consultancy (2004) and Sociodrama Centre Romania (2009). She contributes to the certificate course in sociodrama and action methods with ODeF in Geneva

22. Inna Braneva, D.E.A. Psychodrama Institut, Bulgaria

Presentation of a Manual for support of a personality development of children at risk (3-7 years old) in kinder gardens

The abstract: Presentation of a Manual made on a basis of a Psychodrama Method and a  Relational Psychomotoric Method for work with children at risk in kinder gardens.

This Manual is a part of a project of a Ministry of Education. The Manual complete 80 sessions – 20 sessions for every age (3-4; 4-5; 5-6; 6-7). The main goal of a Manual – it is to support the development of a personality of a child in risk (neglected; with disabilities; in difficult family situation; etc.) in formal and secure environment like a kinder garden.

In the workshop we will have the possibility to participate in a session like children do and discuss this kind of work

Key words: psychodrama, children at risk, personal development

About the author: Psychodrama therapist, trainer, supervisor

Psychomotorical therapist and trainer

Private practice with monodrama with children, adults and couples

Trainer and supervisor in school projects; schools and kindergardens

Trainer and supervisor in social institutions for work with children

23. Inna Braneva, D.E.A. Psychodrama Institut, Bulgaria

“The difficulties of a training of teachers in practice”

The abstract: In this workshop we will explore and discuss what happens with teachers in schools when they are invited to participate in a training or a supervision. We suppose that the training and the supervision are for support the teachers; for prevention of Burn-out; for exchange of an experience. But often the teachers have big resistance. How to build a connection with them? How to calm them? How to exchange with them…

Key words: training; supervision; resistance; school teacher

About the author: Psychodrama therapist, trainer, supervisor

Psychomotorical therapist and trainer

Private practice with monodrama with children, adults and couples

Trainer and supervisor in school projects; schools and kindergardens

Trainer and supervisor in social institutions for work with children

24. Daniela Simmons, ETTI Institute, Dallas, USA

“Understanding Childhood Fears and Anxieties What Do Kids Feel Afraid of?”

The abstract: Children may have many fears and concerns. A fear of being left alone in the dark, strangers or thunderstorms… A fear about the people they meet in their everyday lives, leading to a severe shyness and avoiding social events. Separation anxiety or even phobias. Fear of going to class, being examined or being bullied. This workshop will allow the participants to explore, and understand children’s fears through action methods, and will offer tools for how adults should be reassuring and supportive towards dealing with and healing fears.

 

Details about registration, accommodations and the registration forms can be found on the conference website below. www.balkanpsychodramaedu.com.