„Which house is mine?“ A symbol of a home in the child psychodrama of adopted children
A child faced with loss and abandonment from biological parents and carers, carries his/her family experiences, memories and identities. At the same time, a child is seeking his/her place in the new family system. Adoptive parents, on the other hand, have lost their ‘imaginary’ child and their ability to be biological parents. Now, they have to accept “someone’s” child as their own and to play the new role the best they can. For all these reasons, transitional difficulties often occur with parents and adopted children.
We are discussing the developmental course in the children’s psychodrama group of three biological half-brothers (two boys and a girl) adopted by the same family to show how the children used the symbol of the house and what it meant to them in the children’s psychodrama workshops.
The house is a very rich symbol.
In our workshops various houses were created: castles, tents, houses in the middle of the woods, houses under the open sky, children were building houses, breaking into other people’s houses by force and were shamed of their own. A lot of emotions and conditions changed both in children’s souls and on the stage of children’s psychodrama.
To children, the house was all of this – a safe home, a family, a dangerous place, a place that shows their fragility, the desired goal, their addiction and their insecurity.
During the sessions, therapists were able to perceive different emotional states that were constantly changing: helplessness, abandonment, rivalry, jealousy, low self-esteem, difficulty accepting rules, difficulty sharing, focusing on competition, struggles and confrontations as a source of aggression.
It will be shown how children coped with a sense of fragility, temporality, fear of new change, and a sense of the possible danger of a new abandonment despite the acceptance by the adoptive parents.
Different roles in the psychodrama group will be presented, as well as the ambivalence and difficulties that the children showed in the process of integration into the adoptive family.
The key processes of identification and stages of socio-emotional development of children will be highlighted.
Ljubica Duspara – Developmental psychologist, psychotherapist, educator of integrative child psychotherapy, counselor psychologist. Provides support to children and families from children early age through the encouragement of early development and support for parenting in early communication and encouraging adherence programs. In her professional work she deals with child psychotherapy and counseling for parents, which is an indispensable part of therapy. She continuously leads child psychodrama groups with children suffering from emotional and behavioral difficulties. Play therapy through various modalities and techniques is a daily work in order to stimulate the emotional recovery of children and to harmonize relationships with other people in the environment. She also deals with adult counseling through individual and group support. An integrative approach to therapy is evident through the continuous specialization in various fields and therapeutic directions, of which she is particularly fond of psychodrama. Active participant in professional conferences, presenter in the field of developmental psychology and child psychotherapy, especially child psychodrama. Co-organizer and co-host of the 1st and 2nd UPSI Conferences on Modalities of Integrative Child Psychotherapy in Practice held in 2018 and 2019 SPUH member, co-founder and president of the Association for Integrative Child Psychotherapy since 2012
Zvonimira Lojen – Master of psychology, integrative child psychotherapist and educator of integrative child psychotherapy with thirty years of experience in the field of upbringing and education – the field of early childhood and pre-schoolage developmental psychology. Promoted to the Counselor by the Ministry of Education and Sports. Continuously engaged in counseling work with parents and education of professional and educational staff in the field of education related to the early and pre-school age of children. In addition to working with the general population of children and parents, she is professionally dedicated to the problems of child development, support and psychotherapy for children with developmental and emotional disabilities. During her professional carrier, she has been continuously educated in the field of integrative supervision, the original theory of affective attachment in family counseling, the field of emotional intelligence and the application of programs to stimulate the emotional literacy of children. Co-author in various child safety, protection and prevention programs. Actively participates and organizes professional conferences related to the implementation of developmental and preventive programs, presenting experience in working with children using different modalities of child integrative psychotherapy.
Presentation of a Psychodrama Festival, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Psychodrama Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria is a specific form of presentation of a Psychodrama and Sociodrama . Founded in 2012, and held annually (2012-2019, and will continue in 2022) , the main goals of the Festival are:
To provide a playful, friendly and free space of a Psychodrama for different psychodramatists, young psychodramatists and artists working in methods close to psychodrama / art, music, stage, mixed arts /;
To open this space to the people – adults, children, teenagers – who have never touched by psychodrama but are curious to peek inside.
Senior Trainer in a Method of a Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Therapy – Psychodrama Institute DEA, Bulgaria. Trainer and supervisor of social workers, psychologists, educators, etc. – in social centers for children and families at risk, children with disabilities; schools and kinder-gardens; Playback Theatre, etc. Psychotherapy with individuals – children/0-18/ and adults, families – using a Monodrama, Sociometry, Role playing. Co-organizer of a Psychodrama Festival, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Trainer and therapist in a Method of a Relational Psychomotricity.
Child psychodrama with the sibling of a neurodiverse child: a case study
Growing up with a neurodiverse sibling faced with social, communication, and behavioral difficulties brings a number of challenges into a child’s life. Neurotypical child in a family is expected to be significantly more independent, “healthy”, stronger and more competent, able to help with family responsibilities, which can sometimes go beyond the typical age range. Research confirms that these children are more likely to experience guilt, anger, and shame, loneliness, isolation and neglect. At the same time, they can have feelings of loss (of a childhood) and are concerned for their future. This presentation will show the work with an 8-year-old girl growing up in a two-parent family and an older brother in the autism spectrum. The girl participated in 15 child psychodrama sessions that took place in a group of six children and two therapists during one school year. Through analysing her psychodrama roles, it shows that the girl played themes related to her life: the relationship with the mother, the feeling of invisibility, the protective relationship to others, “being a child” and “where do I belong?”. She plays the roles of a healer and protector of the weak, stops chaos and creates a refuge for herself and everyone who needs protection and undisturbed peace. Through her role as a queen, she expresses the need for her to finally be noticed and recognized in her family and to have some decision-making power and her needs appreciated. Through psychodramatic play, she finds ways to communicate with her brother in nonverbal and creative ways. Her return to reality, outside the symbolic world of child psychodrama, using a complex system of portals, is time consuming, requires concentration, focus and consistency, and is a fascinating example of a transition process that is otherwise challenging for her.
Andreja Bartolac: PhD, MaPsy, BaOT is a senior lecturer, researcher, author and practitioner of a child integrative psychotherapy (EAIP).
Short history of Children Psychodrama Association APCA-KH, Romania
„Kende Hanna” Children and Adolescent Psychodrama Association (APCA-KH) – was founded in 2009 at Cluj-Napoca/Klausenburg/Kolozsvár, Romania (Transylvania). On the POSTER will be briefly presented the growth and evolution in the last 10 years, how children psychodrama is spreading in Romania. This short, schematic summarizing will give you an impression about APCA-KH’s position in the Romanian professional context and about the daily work of children psychodramatists. Will be used a lot of photos and little statistical data for information.
Mária Orbán – psychologist, psychotherapist, psychodramatist, trainer in children psychodrama and systemic couple and family psychotherapy, Cluj/Klausenburg, Romania, more than 15 years of professional experience with children and adolescents in individual and group settings, couple and family psychotherapy, from 2016 offers continuing education courses in children psychodrama. Publication: Orbán, M., Román, M., Szőke, E.: Psihodrama with children: the self-healing method for children within a group. Part I and II, in the Romanian Psihodrama Review (Revista Română de Psihodramă), no. 4/2015 and no. 5/2016.