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PSYCHODRAMA GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY
Directed by: Rob Pramann, PhD, ABPP, TEP

Welcome to Psychodrama Group Psychotherapy, Action Therapy! The purpose of this group is the exploration of personal issues and their emotional resolution.

This approach goes beyond talking about an experience, problem, situation, or relationship which may be upsetting or causing difficulty. Using this method you may "show" the group the problem by enacting it with the help of other group members. Similarly the issue may be explored and resolved in action as well.

You may be as active or inactive in the group as you truly wish. You can expect some anxiety when you begin because most new activities stir this up; if you report your feelings and reactions honestly, you'll find that most of this anxiety goes away. Self-exploration and deeper understanding of others takes time and effort but is well worth it. Most group members have found this a rich, warm, and rewarding experience. I hope you will too.

TIME/LOCATION: To be determined.

LENGTH OF SESSIONS: Sessions will be scheduled for "approximately" two hours.

COST/PAYMENT: The cost of each session is $50.00. Payments are to be made with a check, cash, or credit card prior to each session. Checks should be made payable to “CCCU.” Sessions can be billed as group therapy to your insurance company or other third party payor if applicable. A $10.00 no-show fee is assessed if you miss a session for any reason with 24-hour notice or $25 without 24-hour notice. In addition there will be a fee based on our sliding scale rate for the required one session screening with appropriate referral and or two to three assessment sessions without an appropriate referral. (For more information about this see the “Assessment” section.)

ATTENDANCE: Regular attendance is very important. Joining the group means committing to attend weekly. An initial commitment of six sessions is expected so that newcomers can get acquainted with the method and with the other group members and can experience some personal benefit. You may elect to continue indefinitely on a weekly basis after the initial six sessions. Members will be added continuously as appropriate.

ABSENCES: Please make the group a priority. You are missed and important. Sporadic attendance doesn't help you or others. For unavoidable absences, please call Rob at 561-9987 ext. 3 before 5:00 p.m. and leave a message. A $10.00 "no-show fee" will be assessed for each absence with 24-hour notice or $25 without 24-hour notice, payable before the next session.

TERMINATION: Please give the group and group leader one week's notice that you intend to terminate your group relationship. Please announce at the beginning of the session, "next week will be my final session." This allows for good-byes, unfinished issues, and closure -- yours and others. Remember that you have been prepaying each session, the last one is "already paid for," so don't short-change yourself!

ASSESSMENT: A two to three session assessment is required of all participants except those in treatment with a therapist from CCCU who have completed an initial assessment and treatment plan or who have completed a treatment plan with another clinician with goals specific to group psychotherapy/psychodrama. The purpose of the assessment is to determine readiness for and compatibility with this approach and group, develop goals/treatment plan, and gather other information that may be required by one’s insurance or other third party payor. The cost of the assessment will be at our sliding scale rate.

CONFIDENTIALITY: What others share and what happens in the group is confidential. Each member promises not to discuss group matters outside of group as a condition of participation. The only exception to this "rule" is the disclosure of your own issues to your therapist or outside support persons.

SIZE: 6 to 16 persons is the ideal. A larger group is desirable than is the case in other psychotherapy groups because inpsychodrama/action group members participate in the enactment. In addition, learning by watching is valued and is a quite powerful aspect of this approach.

RECORDS: Dr. Pramann will keep a log of attendance and payment. Brief clinical notes on each participant and session will be kept on file.

RELEASE OF INFORMATION: Rob requests that you sign an authorization for release of information form so he may communicate (verbally or in writing) with others from whom you are receiving concurrent treatment.

ENROLLMENT AND QUESTIONS: If you would like to join this group or have questions please contact Rob Pramann, PhD, 268-1564 ext. 3. Dr. Pramann has posted additional material about action methods, psychodrama, and his training elsewhere on this website,"Training in Psychodrama, Articles, and Rob Pramann Vita," some of which is summarized below. Dr. Pramann also has a 45 minute videotape demonstrating this approach that you may view in our office. Click here to for a trifold brochure version of this document (best printed double sided).

About the Approach...

Psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy are methods developed by J. L. Moreno whose interests in the theater, existential philosophy, and psychiatry developed into this unique approach to the problems of humanity. He envisioned his approach as a way to change the whole of mankind, including the social order, but his ideas were accepted most readily by mental health professionals as an approach to psychotherapy. Nevertheless, they continue to have wide interest and application. Moreno's approach forms a coherent system for understanding people as individuals, individuals in relationship, and a society as a whole. His methods are of interest to a wide variety of professionals and lay persons as well.

Most basically psychodrama is a mode of communication, one which is powerful and effective. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the value of a motion picture reenactment of what happened? This method makes clear the limitations of a purely verbal approach. It engages individuals and groups on multiple levels through a combination of channels: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, intuitive, intellectual, emotional, relational, actional/behavioral, etc.

Psychodrama emphasizes each group member as a therapist of every other group member, spontaneity and creativity in the here and now and looks at events through the eyes of the person who experienced it. A “protagonist,” the apparent star of the action, is selected based on whose issues are most in common with those of the rest of the group at the time of the session. The director coordinates and directs the group in helping the protagonist using auxiliaries, supporting cast/group members who assist in the enactment that helps the protagonist understand, explore, and resolve their concern and indirectly those of the group as well.

The Psychodramatic approach enables the individual and group to explore experiences, events, concerns, or issues, both problematic and fulfilling, in the past, present, or future. The focus may include interpersonal ones or intrapersonal ones such as dreams, hallucinations, or internal conflicts. It can function to provide education, support, insight, a test of reality or as a spur to creativity or personal growth. It can play an important role in prevention of difficulties, understanding them, resolving them, and anticipating them such as to prevent them in the future. In a way unique from other approaches it addresses the importance of warming up to an issue or action, setting the scene such as to maximize one's chance of success, thoughtfully choosing the roles one might play in a given situation, and being flexible and creative.

In Moreno’s Own Words…

Definition: “Psychodrama is the science which explores the ‘truth’ by dramatic methods. It deals with inter-personal relations and private worlds.” (Moreno, 1953, p. 81).

Objective: “A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of (hu)mankind” (Moreno, 1953, p. 1).

Mantra: “One of Moreno’s mantras was ‘every man the therapist of every other man; every group the therapist of every other group.’” (Nolte, 2014, p. 111).

Spontaneity:

Spontaneity is the variable degree of adequate response to a situation of a variable degree of novelty. Novelty of behavior by itself is not the measure of spontaneity. Novelty has to be qualified against its adequacy in situ. Adequacy of behavior by itself is also not the measure of spontaneity. Adequacy has to qualified against its novelty (Moreno, 1953, p. 722).

Meaningful Experience:

Building on J. L. Moreno’s notion that every meaningful experience in one’s life should be experienced twice, the second time in psychodrama, I started using the approach described in this short paper. I believe dramatizing a meaningful experience demonstrates that psychodrama is first of all an art form, and secondarily, a method of communication without asking potential protagonists to reveal life problems. (Nolte, 2008, pp. 13 – 14).

About the Director...

Rob Pramann, Ph.D., ABPP, TEP., is the Director of CCCU Training in Psychodrama. He is a psychologist and also certified in Group Psychology (2/15) by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and as a Practitioner of Psychodrama (2/97) and a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner of Psychodrama (4/01) by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. Rob has trained with a number of recognized trainers in psychodrama, first generation students of J. L. Moreno (1889 - 1974), the originator of the method. He is a graduate of the Psychodrama Institute of New Haven, where he studied under Eugene Eliasoph, ACSW, TEP, to complete his training for certification as a Practitioner of Psychodrama (CP). Following that he trained under of John Nolte, PhD, TEP, to complete requirements for certification as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP) of Psychodrama. He has actively pursued training over the last thirty plus years because of what the approach has given him both personally and professionally and has functioned in a number of informal and formal training and teaching roles. Rob's training and experience with, and practice of Psychodrama has been varied and extensive.

 


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