This professional training will offer participants the opportunity to learn adaptations of the sociodramatic method that works especially well with groups of children ages five through eleven.
Sociodrama is a natural, powerful and playful method for helping children develop problem-solving skills and try out new behaviors and roles. It helps children learn how to self-regulate and develop impulse control as well as to safely and appropriately express strong feelings. Sociodrama and story can be used to address social issues that may arise in the classroom and on the playground such as fighting, bullying, and intolerance. They can also be used to address the sorts of issues that commonly are addressed in counseling and therapy groups, such as dealing with abusive siblings, the death or divorce of parents, etc. It is a useful medium for teaching social skills and problem-solving to students with diverse capabilities and challenges in a wide range of settings.
Participants will explore, experience and practice sociodramatic structures and variations of sociodramatic action techniques that work with children such as:
- The Sociodramatic Empty Chair
- The Use of the Double
- Sociodramatic Dialogues
- Group Created Stories
- The Use of Newspapers and Current Events
- Rescue Fantasies and Sociodramatic Heroes
- Sociodramatic Scenes for Role Training for New Behavior
- Short Scene Work: Creative Drama and Sociodrama
- Use of Fairytale and Literature (Bibliodrama)
Participants will also learn how to:
- Choose the Right Story for the Right Time
- Be an Effective Storyteller
- Design child-friendly warm-ups to challenging roles and difficult stories
- Devise rules that contribute to the working of the group
- Use action to support pro-social behavior
- Address the needs of the quiet child
- Utilize the gifts of the highly verbal child
- Manage the disruptive child
- Set scenes with safety and containment
Rebecca Walters, MS, LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor), LCAT (Licensed Creative Arts Therapist), and TEP, is the founder and co-director of the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Initiative (1989). Rebecca received her Master’s degree in Expressive Therapies from Lesley College in 1978 and has worked with individuals and groups of children, adolescents, and adults since then. With thirty years of inpatient experience, she was the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychodrama Services at Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital, Katonah, NY where she ran six psychodrama groups a week with children and adolescents. She also supervised the psychodrama internship program at Four Winds. While at Four Winds she developed ways to effectively use psychodrama and other action methods in Dialectical Therapy (DBT) skill groups which she ran on the adolescent units several times a week.
Rebecca is known for her expertise in the use of action methods with children and adolescents as well as in the use of psychodrama in DBT skills groups. She has brought her well-received training seminars in these areas to conferences and training institutes throughout the US, Central America, Europe, and Asia. She is known for her warmth, sensitivity, and humor.
Rebecca is certified as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Creative Arts Therapist. She was an elected member of the Executive Council of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, an organization in which she is a Fellow. She was the 2018 recipient of the J.L. Moreno Award for outstanding life-long contributions in the field of psychodrama.