Member of the Federation of European Psychodrama Training Organisations (FEPTO)
Psychodrama Center Orpheus was created in Sofia in 1883 by Galabina Tarashoeva, MD, with the active support of Prof. David Kipper from Chicago and Daniela Kerina’s cooperation.
Psychodrama Center Orpheus is the first Bulgarian institute to engage in psychodrama training and create its own program for the full training course of psychodrama leaders. This program meets the training standards of the institutes of psychodrama, members of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy (IAGP) and the Federation of European Psychodrama Training Organisations (FEPTO). Over the years it has developed in accordance with the minimal standards requirements of FEPTO, the Bulgarian Society for Psychodrama and Group Therapy (BSPGT), the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) and the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy (BAP). Psychodrama Center Orpheus’ training program is the first Bulgarian psychodrama training program accepted by FEPTO, serving as a model for future training programs in the country.
The director of Psychodrama Center Orpheus, Dr. Tarashoeva, was one of the co-founders of FEPTO in 1996. Orpheus has been an institutional member of the Federation since March 1998. Psychodrama training organizations, members of the Federation, recognize and accept each other’s certificates, trainers and students.
Zerka Moreno has more than once shared with me Moreno’s conviction that Psychodrama started from the Balkans and sooner or later it would come back to the Balkans. I adopted it as my (and Psychodrama Center Orpheus’) mission to contribute all that I can to fulfill Jacob Levi Moreno’s conviction by:
- Popularizing Psychodrama among the professionals and society in general in Bulgaria
- Comprehensive professional training in classical psychodrama, sociodrama and group psychotherapy
- The practical application of classical psychodrama in the fields of therapy, psychosocial activity, education, theater, organizational psychology, etc.
THE OBJECTIVES OF PSYCHODRAMA CENTER ORPHEUS ARE:
– To provide a complete training course in Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Group Psychotherapy for specialists in the helping professions. To maintain and improve the qualification of already certified psychodramatists.
– The practical application of psychodrama in the fields of therapy, education, organizational psychology, etc. Supervision
– To create professional contacts and cooperate with other psychodrama organizations which have similar aims, as well as with other specialists practicing psychodrama or other psychotherapeutic methods, for the mutual exchange of experience, enhancement and improvement of the method.
MEANS FOR ACHIEVING THE INSTITUTE’S OBJECTIVES:
– Level 1 and Level 2 training courses
– Cross-seminars for the Institute’s students led by guest lecturers
– Thematic cross-seminars
– Personal potential development groups
– Summer academies, intensive courses, specialized schools, thematic courses
– Collegium of psychodrama practitioners
– Open lectures for specialists in the helping professions
– Participation in and organization of seminars, conferences and congresses – local, regional and international
– Orpheus Library, providing specialized literature – psychodrama and other forms of psychotherapy – books, magazines, bulletins, articles and publications.
Here at Psychodrama Center Orpheus we see Moreno’s classical psychodrama as the basics of our foundations, but at the same time we are open to all the diversity and richness of forms, modifications and combinations of this method with others. We strive to give our trainees an opportunity to experience as much as possible of this richness and variety, produced by the spontaneity and creativity of the leading psychodramatists. But the aim of the training is that the trainees master the classical psychodrama method and apply it efficiently. We achieve it through the variety of guest lecturers and thematic seminars.
Psychodrama Center Orpheus was a pioneer and remained true to its mission. Although a small center, it has been accomplishing its objectives throughout the years. It meets both the ethical regulations and the training norms and standards:
– Обучението става in small groups – by definition of no more than 12 – 15 people, but in practice of less then 10 people so that there can be enough time for each participant for both personal works and supervised practice of directing each other.
– People who are in relationships of dependence with the trainer (such as students or subordinates) are not allowed to join the groups
Since 1993, Psychodrama Center Orpheus has held:
- 20 personal potential development groups,
- 5 Level 1 psychodrama training groups
- 1 Level 2 psychodrama group
- 10 different guest lecturers conducted a total of 28 cross-seminars and 19 open lectures to the general professional community.
- 2 continuous therapeutic groups
- 4 five-day modules of training psychologists from employment agencies nationwide – group dynamics, crises and crisis interventions, groups for long term unemployed people
- 3 training modules for the teams of “Health and Social Development” foundation, working with minority groups
- 2 modules for crisis intervention teams of 2 mental health centers
- Team supervision
- Psychodrama workshops not only at psychotherapy congresses, but also at psychiatry conferences and congresses in Bulgarian and abroad
- Participations in TV and radio stations, interviews and media publications for the popularization of psychodrama
– the second conference of the Psychodrama Institute for Europe in Sofia
– the tenth annual meeting of FEPTO in Sofia
These results might seem modest, but everybody’s efforts – including co-leaders and guest lecturers, are geared towards accomplishing the mission. I can comfortably say that we can congratulate ourselves on what we have achieved as psychodrama has come back to the Balkans and the homeland of J. L. Moreno’s father – Bulgaria.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND PROSPECTS:
- Currently and in the near future we are planning on investing more time, energy and efforts into the practical application of the method in therapy, and not only in the education of psychodramatists
- Another area of interest is research – we are proud of the award given to our poster (G. Tarashoeva, K. Ilieva) “Therapeutic Factors in Psychodrama – Observation and Analysis of the Work in Groups in Psychodrama Center Orpheus” at the 17th congress of the International Association for Group Therapy in Rome, 2009. A lecture on the same topic was given at the international meeting Socio-Psychodrama at the Faculty of Psychology at the Buenos Aires University in September 2010. There was also a chapter titled Cuáles son los Factores Terapéuticos en Psicodrama – Observaciones y Análisis del Trabajo en Grupos en Centro Psicodramático Orpheus, with Katerina Ilieva published in the e-book Psicodrama en la Universidad – in college www.zuretti.com.ar – 2010
- We are also involved in the relationship between psychodrama and neurosciences, we have a chapter titled “Neuroplasticidade e mudanca terapeutica” (“Neuroplasticity and therapeutic change”), by G. Tarashoeva and Petra Marinova in “PSICODRAMA E NEUROCIENCIA – CONTRIBUICOES PARA A MUDANCA TERAPEUTICA”, edited by HELOISA FLEURY, and published by AGORA, Sao Paulo, 2008. We also gave a presentation on the topic of neuroplasticity and psychotherapy at IAGP’s congress in Sao Paolo in 2006
- Our interest is currently focused on working with myths, dreams and fairytales, bibliodrama. We developed a structured model of working with myths that we have applied in our groups and at conferences. We summarized and presented our observations at the 17th congress of the International Association for Group Therapy in Rome, 2009. We also published a chapter called Orpheus and Dionysus – the Impossible Harmony, a Model of Working with Myths, together with Katerina Ilieva, in an e-book, published by Franco Angeli www.francoangeli.it – 2010
The management of Psychodrama Center Orpheus would like to express its sincere gratitude to all guest lecturers, lecturers and supervisors: Prof. David Kipper, Bernhard Achterberg, Sue Daniel, Chantal Neve Hanquet, Dr. Roberto de Inocencio, Elaine Sachnoff, Prof. Pierre Fontaine, Yakov Naor, Eva Falstrom, Dr. Ralitsa Mendova, Dr. Monica Zuretti..
We would also like to thank all who donated specialized literature and training video and audio materials, namely: Adam Blatner, David Kipper, Göran Högberg, Renee Marineau, Zerka Moreno, Anthony Williams, Dalmiro Bustos, Elaine Goldman, Marcia Karp, Christina Hagelthorn, Monica Zuretti, Sue Daniel, Monica Westberg, Marc Treadwell, Grete Leutz, Eva Røine, Lena Lopuhina, Dag Blomkvist, Chantal Neve, Fred Harris, Judy Swallow, Toni Horvatin and others
We are also extremely grateful to all the institutes, centers and organizations that let us use their programs and training standards, namely: all founders of FEPTO, the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, the Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association, and others. Without these materials it would have been impossible for us to create our training program, considering the complete lack of experience, traditions or models in this field in Bulgaria.
Last but not least, there is a special place reserved for an exceptional person – Zerka Moreno, whom I would like to thank most sincerely. In spite of the circumstances that prevented her from visiting Bulgaria, Zerka is the person who, since the very beginning – since my first meeting with her and with psychodrama at IAGP’s congress in Zagreb in 1986, has always supported me and Orpheus in every possibly way, during all times of difficulties.
I would like to take the opportunity to pass on two of Zerka Moreno’s messages that have guided me throughout the years – I pass them on to my students and I would like to pass them on to you too:
- A psychodramatist must have 2 things – love and respect to people
- Psychodrama is an instrument similar to a scalpel – you could use it to remove a tumor, but you could also kill. It is important who is holding it – the skills and ethics of the person using it are equally important.