Messages from worldwide psychodramatists


Stephanie A. Adler Ben-Yaish


Dear friends and collegues,

It's been twenty years since I was touched by the passion and joy of
Psychodrama. I've been contemplating sharing my thoughts and feelings
for awhile.  After reading Marcia's and Monica's letters I was
compelled to write.  I hope, that the following input will be
inspirational and utilized at the upcoming Congress in Jerusalem, in
August, 2000.

Twelve years ago at the ASGPP Conference in California, after having
learned that I spoke several languages, Zerka Moreno strongly
encouraged me to become internationally involved, i.e. with the IAGP.
Interestingly, my first two trainers were from the international
circuit:  Marcia Karp and Anne Ancelin Schutzenberger. They
originally sparked, validated and inspired me to pursue a lifetime
commitment of Psychodrama in my professional and personal life.  This
spark then paved the way for several years of intensive training in
the USA with my  primary mentor, Robert W. Siroka.  It is he, who
taught me technique and style and promoted my talent.  He validated
my expertise at "doubling" which has been a gift in clinically
treating patients.

Upon Zerka's strong recommendation, I began my international
involvement at the Congress in Barcelona in 1988.  I presented a
paper on the incidence of Anorexia and Bulimia and was fortunate to
direct a Psychodrama during that workshop with one of the
participants. This was a great opportunity to re- connect with
Marcia, Anne, and meet Monica Zuretti, Roberto de Inocencio, Giovanni
Boria, and so many colleagues from the Scandinavian contingent,
especially my dear friend Judith Teszary.  I was also fortuante to
speak Spanish and translate during workshops where it was necessary
that the psychodramatic enactment be conducted in Spanish. This
venture was the beginning of an international connection that enabled
me to build everlasting relationships beyond geographic, cultural
and/or language differences.

The 1996 Congress in Jerusalem was a strong experience for me once
again.  Given my Hebrew ability, I was able to connect with many of
our Israeli colleagues. Again, I managed to connect to more and more
foreign colleagues and expand my social atom with the strength and
wisdom of these new friends. While it was absolutely wonderful to
break bread with Jim Sacks and Sandra Garfield my fellow American
colleagues. The spontaneity and creativity with which we as
psychodramatists operate, generates the safety to develop new
relationships even where difference prevails. 

I am grateful to be returning to Israel in August, 2000 for the
International Congress.  We are indeed a family with Psychodrama
being our common language. For me, Psychodrama is a specialized form
of communication, another language, if you will.  However, what do we
do when we literally do not speak the same language? What would it
mean to hold the next meeting in a country where English is not the
main spoken language?  Certainly, we are all equipped in interpreting
non-verbal communication and promoting cultural cohesiveness. 

However, "bridging the language barrier" and embracing our
differences in this area is paramount to our global success as
psychodramatists.  Professionally, I have had a multilingual 
practice for years, and have been committed to utilize my language
abilities and stretch to cross barriers where needed.

Therefore, I most humbly propose that as a group, we offer our
talents and strengths in the area of "bridging the language barrier"
in Jerusalem in August, 2000. I will make myself available and
welcome the opportunity for others with multi-lingual skills to join
in this effort. Perhaps, we would benefit from a "pool of
translators" in order to truly facilitate an international network. I
invite your comments and /or any correspondence you might wish to

We are truly a privileged group; we have made so many wonderful
things happen. I am hoping that we can unite in this effort and make
this upcoming congress be a smooth and enriching experience for all.

I look forward to sharing with old and new friends, and remain,

Most affectionately and respectfully yours,

Stephanie A. Adler Ben-Yaish