First International training group, Started 2018
Voices on Facebook:
“We spent a magical time in Sofia with the first international group for
psychodrama with children consisted of 23 professionals from 7 European and
psychodrama group and individual therapy”.
The topic was “Playful healing for anxious and aggressive children in
Thank you for sharing this inspiring time together.
Because of Covid-19 we have to start to play online.”
Milena, from Bulgaria
- Second International training group, Started 2019
The second international group for psychodrama with children, organized by Szenen – Institut für Psychodrama and the Center Child Development and Psychological Consulting Cognitiva, took place.
The focus of 2 online training week was “How to Play with Aggressive and Anxious Children in Individual Psychotherapy”. And the groups had an overarching mutual topic, commonly unexplored in psychodrama training: “How to Measure the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy with Children”.
Despite the deviation from the traditional face-to-face nature of psychodrama training, we believe that we were able to share many meaningful, playful, and educational moments together! The group members managed to establish a productive and supportive group dynamic, despite being thousands of kilometres apart.
We still believe that these international groups have been a gift for all of us. To be able to meet your inner child on an international stage is a rare opportunity and we feel very lucky to be able to share this with you.
Nothing can stop us! We have already caught the Play virus.”
Stefan, from Germany
Projects and personal engagement often begin unplanned und spontaneously.
In May 2012, Agnes Dudler and Stefan Flegelskamp accompanied Ursula Hauser and Maja Hess to the Gaza Strip for the first time and assisted them in their work there. At the 2011 FEPTO Conference in Israel, the two professionals had lobbied for international support for the project ‘Psychodrama in Gaza’. A concept was developed, and after two trial seminars, a three-year project was conceived that would provide Palestinian psychodramatists with advanced training in children’s psychodrama following the methods developed by Alfons Aichinger.
Any doubts that existed at the beginning of the project as to whether these therapy methods could also be applied effectively in the Palestinian treatment culture were soon laid to rest.
Playing with children and following along with them in their child’s world of symbols also demands from the therapists that they endure desperation and helplessness within their roles – thereby broadening the children’s scope for play and instilling hope in them. To accomplish this in Gaza of all places – the largest prison in the world, where the therapists are usually just as traumatised as their patients – is it possible? The faces of our participating colleagues – their increasingly relaxed body language and their feedback – all affirmed this. A few modifications were necessary, which we developed cooperatively – and the training helped the therapists themselves, their families, and their work.
And the need is enormous. Fifty percent of the people in Gaza are below 18 years of age, and they all grow up – as did their parents and most grandparents – under siege and the repeated threat of deadly attacks and war. Having lost their home and land is the trauma most families have had to cope with. Not being able to leave the country and travel, the economic depression and dependency on outside help are further challenges.
As important as all the continued methodological training is, one of our most important roles is to repeatedly bear witness to what is happening in Gaza, to establish contact with the inaccessible outside world, and to provide our exhausted colleagues with relief, recognition, and the courage to ensure that they can continue to live with dignity. In our concluding discussions, they told us again and again: “Psychodrama is our safe place”. They have earned our highest regard for their difficult work. Milena Mutafchieva has supported the training group in supervision since 2017. Currently we meet the group via online supervision each month.
Since 2019 the group members are certified “Psychodrama therapists” for children.
give a hand,
spread joy and happiness,
to make life possible, to have hope,
nothing impossible in this life.”
poem by one of the participants of the Gaza training group in April 2016)