Psychodrama in the
London IAGP ConferenceFounded by J.L. Moreno in 1973 (as remembered during the Lon-don Conference in a round table on "Group psychotherapy in a historical and social perspective: the history of IAGP: facts and findings", of which Grete Leutz was the chair, and where Zerka T. Moreno and Anne Ancelin Schützenberger, among others, brought their testimonies), the International Association of Group Psychotherapy has been seen as an "umbrella organi-sation", that joined group-analysts, psychodramatists, family therapists and others, since a couple of years ago be-longing to their own sections.
In London, from the 23rd to the 28th of August, took place the 13th Internatio-nal Congress of Group Psychotherapy, an event of a big dimension, with up to 800 participants, and of course, offering so many different opportunities in the scientific and social program that I can only write a personal note from my point of view.
Among the participants there were a lot of psychodramatists, from Europe and many of them FEPTO members, but al-so from USA and Canada, Brazil and South America, and Australia and New Zealand. However some people com-plained that the expensive registration fees and the structure of the meeting kept many psychodramatists out of this event, and, finally, the growth and richness that people feel nowadays in Psychodrama in many parts of the world could not be visible in the activities of the London Congress.
The Psychodrama Section (now under the chair of Peter Felix Kellerman and Jörg Burmeister, who replaced Grete Leutz and David Kipper in that function) had two meetings. In the debate Zerka Moreno particularly stressed that "we need forms of organisation that could reflect the growth of psychodra-ma, not only in the part of the world better represented in the London Conference, but also in Asia, Africa and the Eastern Europe poorly or not at all represented in the Conference". The new President of IAGP, Roberto de Ino-cencio, a psychodramatist himself, agreed with these concerns and the general consensus was that psychodra-matists must not complain of nobody else but themselves, and must become more active, and participate, and more numerous, in the IAGP organisation.
In the scientific program some activities have been of particular interest for the psychodramatists, unfortunately some-times at the same time (the schedule was not organised according to this kind of preoccupations). So, to name but a few of them (unfortunately I can-not give the whole list of Psychodrama representation in the program in a few lines of this Newsletter), I remember two series of daily initiatives: "Action methods: what's new in Psychodrama" (chair: P. F. Kellerman) with stimulant theoretical statements by Dalmiro Bustos (Argentina) and Adam Blatner (USA) and practical sessions of shor-tened ways of warming-up and action sociometry useful in business by A. Muttonen (Finland) and Anthony Williams (Australia); and "The Brazilian connection" (chair: Jose Fonseca) with presentations of psychodramatic techniques in a context of bipersonal therapy (one therapist, one client), and the controversial links with psychodrama as created by J.L. Moreno.
René Marineau (Canada), the well known biographer of J. L. Moreno, ran a session "A magic shop for psycho-dramatists", used in supervision and handling with burn-out of therapists, with some innovations like emphasising a less bargaining behaviour of the di-rector and the acceptance of all the "garbage" people come with, and giving a complementary chorus view, played by a Playback Theatre small auxiliary group. This approach seems to be a richfull alternative in the training and therapeutic or educational Psychodrama work.
I would not like to finish without a reference to major sessions like the Keynote Presentation of Zerka Moreno on "Ethical anger, its relation to an-nihilation, survival and re-creation" (that was just the main theme of the Congress) or the comments of Anne Ancelin Schützenberger at the Opening Ceremony on the presentation of V. Volkan "The transgenerational transmission of trauma and the concept of 'time collapse'", or sessions I could not attend by FEPTO members like Marcia Karp, Leni Verhofstadt- Deneve, Giovanni Boria and others.
Saying good bye to London, next time Jerusalem (2000), hoping that "an-nihilation, survival and re-creation" can be for the Mankind more than beautiful words.