Finland (Finnish: Suomi) is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.
Finland’s population is 5.52 million (2018), and the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages; next come the Finland-Swedes (5.3%). Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, and one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area.
History of Psychodrama in Finland (a short story)
Psychodrama methods were imported to Finland on 1950’s, first at the Helsinki University Hospital in psychiatric clinic in teaching and treatment. Later methods were used in A-clinics (for addicts) in Helsinki, and in some public performances in theatres. First psychodrama courses were offered on 1970’s, and professionals participated short trainings in Beacon. The first psychodrama training was organised in 1977.
On 1970’s and 1980’s psychodrama trainers Zerka Moreno and Marcia Karp, were invited to give seminars once or twice each year. In late 1980’s the first psychodrama trainings by Finnish trainers were started. In the beginning there was one organisation, Suomen psykodraamayhdistys – Finnish Psychodrama Association, which organised trainings. Later in the turn of 1990’s, it was divided, and the second organisation was formed in connection of Ihmissuhdetyö ry – Association of Human Relations.
Psychodrama training was flourishing on 1980’s and 1990’s. Martti Lindqvist was one of the main figures, and he made psycho- and sociodrama well know in Finland. At the most there were 5 psychodrama institutes offering trainings in different parts of the country. Today there is one major institute in Helsinki, and one which organises trainings in cooperation with Helsinki Psychodrama Institute.
Psychodrama has had strong connections with bibliodrama and playback theatre in Finland. In 1980’s and 1990’s some psychodramatists got interested in these two cousins of psychodrama, and started development on those in Finland. Today, these connections still exist, especially with playback theatre.
Mrs. Riitta Hiillos-Vuorinen, one of the first Finnish psychodrama trainers was active in 1990’s in founding Nordic Board of Examiners of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy (NBA), together with colleagues from other Nordic countries in Sweden and Norway. She and Mrs. Pirkko Hurme are founding members of FEPTO, too.
The focus in psychodrama training has changed during the years. In the beginning, therapeutic work and self-experience was in the core, and today psychodrama is much trained and used in work in education and organisations. Connections to universities and research are enhanced, and there is some academic research of psychodrama on therapy and education.
In Finland, there are:
- about 400 trained group leader (3 years studies) psychodramatists,
- about 200 trained psychodramatists and CPs (5-7 years studies) psychodramatists, and
- 12 Psychodrama trainers TEP (10-11 years of studies).
- Psychodramatist CP and Psychodrama trainer TEP are certified by NBE.
In 1999 psychodrama trainers TEP formed an association MOPSI – Association of Morenian psychodrama trainers in Finland, which is a member of FEPTO, too.
Helsinki Psychodrama Institute was founded by Mrs. Sirkku Aitolehti in 1992. It is a member of Nordic Board of Examiners since 1996 and FEPTO since 2011. Helsinki Psychodrama Institute is actively participating international cooperation in developing theory and practice of psychodrama. It has coordinated international projects like Inspirational pedagogy (2013-2014, funded by Nordic Council of Ministers), and EBTS-Trainings (2017-2019, funded by Erasmus+Adult Education). It is active both in NBE and FEPTO.
In the institute, we train psycho- and sociodrama, axiodrama and sociometry, and supervision (organisational counselling) and coaching based on these. A new field of application is working with researchers on climate change on different levels: society, communities, groups, individuals and the whole world.
Helsinki Psychodrama Institute