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Traveling as Spontaneity Training: If you want to become a Psychodramatist, Travel the world!

By Scott Giacomucci, MSS, LSW, CTTS, CET III

Abstract

The experience of traveling has the power to provide us with rich experiential learning experiences and a deeper understanding of psychodrama theory. I offer this article as an personal discourse highlighting how traveling has offered me significant contributions in my evolution as a psychotherapist and pshychodramatist. Both JL and Zerka Moreno provide us with role modeling throughout their lives as travelers and world therapists. It is this author’s claim that through international travel one can exercise their capacity for spontaneity and creativity, learn to communicate non-verbally, and develop a trust for the universal presence of tele. Traveling provides us with a deeper awareness of ourselves and the world around us. Expanding our sociometry beyond our own social atoms, which is often limited in terms of diversity, allows us to experience the wisdom of Moreno’s teachings and come to an acknowledgement of both the humanness and godlikeness of all people. Read more

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The Sociodrama of Life or Death: Young Adults and Addiction Treatment

By Scott Giacomucci, MSS, LSW, CTTS, CET III

 

The continued opiate epidemic has severely impacted young people as drug overdoses have reached unprecedented levels. Young people, more than ever, have been seeking addiction treatment with mostly unfavorable outcomes. Adjusting our treatment approaches to the specific needs of young adults is necessary. Many treatment programs for young adults can be improved by incorporating engaging, experiential treatment groups into their models, including sociodrama and sociometry. This article emphasizes the effectiveness of sociometry in meeting the developmental needs of young adults in addition to recounting the Sociodrama of Life or Death, which manifested spontaneously in an inpatient group at Mirmont Treatment Center and has been enacted with many different groups since. The walk toward life in sobriety or toward death by addiction is a walk that many are facing each day. Using future projection and surplus reality, the sociodrama brings these two paths, side by side, into the room for the group to experience.

Keywords: Sociometry; sociodrama; addiction; young adults; adolescence; life; death; step-in circle; group psychotherapy. Read more

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Being in two places at once: renegotiating traumatic experience through the surplus reality of psychodrama

By Scott Giacomucci & Amy Stone

 

Abstract

This article continues the dialogue started by Skolnik 2018 about the synergistic union of social work and psychodrama group approaches. The theoretical and clinical alignment of psychodrama and sociometry with social work with groups will be described. A practice illustration from Mirmont Treatment Center will be presented and discussed to explore some of the dynamics of psychodrama and, in particular, the therapeutic value of surplus reality. Surplus reality is a creative tool used to provide a therapeutic corrective emotional experience. Integrating insights from neuroscience, this article advocates for psychodrama as a valuable modality for clinical social work- ers engaged in group work. Read more

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Experiential Addiction Treatment: Creating Positive Connection through Sociometry and Therapeutic Spiral Model Safety Structures

By Scott Giacomucci, MSS, LCSW, CTTS, CET III, TSI AL

Many argue that addiction is preceded by a sense of psychosocial dislocation, experiences of relational trauma, attachment ruptures, or neglect. The lived experience of drug addiction is incredibly isolat- ing and likely to disrupt relationships with one’s closest attachmentgures. Most agree that one’s social experiences-relationships, fam-ily, groups, and community-signi cantly impact the chances of recov- ery after addiction. Sociometry, the study of groups and interperson- al dynamics within groups, is uniquely effective in providing clients with corrective relational experiences in addiction treatment groups. This article outlines multiple experiential sociometry tools that hold the potential to cultivate safety, explore similarities between group members, establish group cohesion, and assess the group based on chosen criteria. These action-based sociometric processes, in addition to two safety structures from the Therapeutic Spiral Mod- el (TSM) of psychodrama, are outlined with facilitation guidelines and clinical vignettes depicting their utilization at Mirmont Treatment Center. These strength-based group structures can be adapted with different criteria, different populations, and used in any type of group setting.

Keywords: Addiction; Group therapy; Isolation; Sociometry; Thera- peutic spiral model; Trauma
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