Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Psychodrama Trainers Conference in Bearsden

Entry for 16 April 2008:

I gave three conference presentations in the first week of April, which meant that I missed a bunch of email that I still haven’t had a chance to get to. The most colourful experience was presenting to a group of psychodrama trainers on a sunday morning at a Catholic Seminary in a northern suburb of Glasgow. I was very impressed with their wisdom about group processes and the lovely way they decided the theme of next year's conference by physically getting up in the middle of the group and having people who agreed with them gather around them. In the space of 10 minutes 8 proposals emerged from 50 people; people gathered around their favorite proposals, then the groups negotiated, merged, dissolved and reformed until there were only 2 left, at which point a count was made, and everyone involved cheered the "winner"! The process was both charming and efficient.

I loved the way they embodied what they were talking about. Celia Scanlan, who it turns out lives near me in Hyndland, organized the conference, so when they wanted to express their appreciation to her, they asked her to stand in the middle of the group. She then invited her helpers to stand with her, and, noting that some of them were unable to be there, she immediately deputized other people to stand in for them, so that all the helpers were represented. After this, she had to leave the closing session for a bit to drop me off, but before doing so, she asked Michael Weiser, to “be” her. I said, “You mean, to represent you?”, to which she replied, “No, to actually be me!”. I found this creativity, flexibility and embodiment to be both entertaining and inspiring.

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