Messages from worldwide psychodramatists


Sue Daniel


Dear psychodrama friends and colleagues,

All of us have been watching the numbers clicking over the 2000 odometer.
Perhaps it is time to reflect on what has been, specifically the time when
Dr Jacob Levy Moreno brought a new idea into the world.  Born in the 19th
Century, Moreno was often referred to as a man fifty years ahead of his
time.  Yet lately I have been thinking he was a hundred years ahead.

"Who Shall Survive?"  The work of Moreno has survived.  Psychodrama is a
living entity, an organic process.  As we are at the beginning of this new
century, we can revisit the theories, the work and the philosophy of
psychodrama and be mindful of its essence.

It is time to recognise and marvel at the durability of the method.  It is
a testament to that durability that people are still coming together to
meet one another in Jerusalem in August 2000 at the Congress of the
International Association of Group Psychotherapy and in Melbourne in
January 2001 at the 5th Pacific Regional Rim Congress of the IAGP.  As a
past President of the Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association, I
am delighted to have been invited to co-chair the scientific committee of
the 5th PRRC at the time of our Association's 21st birthday.  The
Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists (AAGP) and ANZPA are the
co-hosts for this significant event.

The theme title of the Congress is "The Tyranny of Difference: Freedom
through Interaction". There will be several streams in this three-day
conference including applications of the method in working with children,
adolescents and the various cultures within society.

Now is the time to celebrate psychodrama's survival and to see how it has
benefited - what it offers and continues to offer.  Psychodrama is in fact,
flourishing with new institutes and associations forming in all the major
continents. There are many new students and trainers writing about and
applying the method in their respective fields. Since I have been
travelling around the world for over a decade, conducting workshops in
countries including Sweden, Norway, Russia, Bulgaria and Japan, I am
continually seeing people, the young and the older creating lifestyles that
suit themselves rather than fitting in with some preordained lifestyle.  I
see psychodrama being lived in the streets, the neighbourhoods, the
community, in universities and organisations and I see new life emerging in
the people.

Because we refer to the past, doesn't mean we don't have an idea of the
future, and that we won't look forward. The beginnings of psychodrama and
its subsequent expansion in the 1930's in particular, supplies a focal
point from which we can gain a clear vision of the future. Rather than
staring blindly ahead, or having a love affair with the year 2000, let us
use the past, and our history to consolidate this excellent groundwork and
gain some clarity for the future.

Warm greetings
Sue Daniel