Messages from worldwide psychodramatists


Cassandra Patrovani-Smith

This has been one of the most positively challenging years of my short, new
life. I'm no longer concerned with the old... the old ways of doing,
feeling, seeing, hearing or experiencing things. I'm into the new. A sort of
rebirth that took place December 11-15, 1996. The labour pains were tough -
real tough. The being was huge. I'd been carrying this weight for 32+ years.
Can you imagine that? Something growing inside for 32+ years?! It took four
days to begin it's departure. Sure, bits and pieces are still here and
there, but the majority of the weight and certainly the pain have moved on
to another place. I fought the goodbye, cried for days and nights... trauma
seems like such a little word to describe the enormity of the event. But
boy!! The experience from here, today has been so very rewarding for me and
the people in my life. Do you know what it's like to feel the warmth of the
sun on your face? Well imagine that warmth gently resting on your face and
embracing your body extending love and comfort. If you can imagine it,
you'll have an idea of how Psychodrama has not just touched my life, but
micraulously transformed it. It's beautiful.

I sit sometimes in places watching people and find myself reflecting on
Moreno and his treasured gift. I try to role reverse with him to understand
in more depth what drew this complex and brilliant mind to the conception of
Psychodrama. I sit and wonder how big this web really is. I know it connects
the world, but size...I can't fathom the size. And I wish I could.

My country has a population of 1.3 million people. A small part of that web,
and not meaningful in the bigger picture. But, I believe in our gifts as
people. We are blessed with the gifts of creativity and spontaneity. Anyone
who questions that should join us for our 2-3 months of Carnival
celebrations or even the average Trini lime. What I would like to experience
is those gifts of creativity and spontaneity being directed within a
psychodramatic framework. That's my dream, that's my goal, that's what I'm
working towards.

There's some dabbling going on here by some people. To some extent that
concerns me, but it will come together as we move and develop. We held the
first ever fully dedicated Psychodrama training Workshop here at the
University in July 1998. It was a resounding success and left people
thirsting for more. Our 2 upcoming Workshops - Psychodrama and Groupwork -
later this month are fully booked. Another successful step.

I would like us to establish a recognised Training Institute and have a
Psychodramatist here working alongside us to strength our skills and
abilities. It will happen. We are presently in discussions with the
Australia New Zealand Psychodrama Association and this year I will be
approaching the BPA and the ASGPP of which I am a Student Member.

We want to expose ourselves to different styles and teachings. To this end I
will continue to approach other Trainers to realise this goal. It's not a
cheap exercise but those who are truly interested in the spread of
Psychodrama will recognise our efforts and invest in us. That I believe.

Last year I began my lobbying efforts with our Government and intend to
continue with that aggressively in 2000. If we can spend billions on
fireworks that evaporate forever into the darkness, I can sell the benefits
of investing in Psychodrama to light our paths, warm our faces and embrace
our bodies. That I truly believe.

Each one of us who is holding the light that is Psychodrama has a
responsibility - no, an obligation - to pass it on. I was moved to tears
when I watched Nelson Mandela go back to Robben Island, light that candle
and pass it on. And selflesslessly he lit the entire continent of Africa.
For me, that candle is Psychodrama and I wholeheartedly believe that
together, passing that light from one to the other we can light up the
world. What do you believe?

"To whom much is given, much is expected." If you have been given the gift
of Psychodrama, you have been given more than much.

I wish each of you a blessed year, filled with warmth and light.


Cassandra Patrovani-Smith
Trinidad, West Indies