HISTORY OF PSYCHODRAMA IN GREECE
by Nikos Takis
The first application of Psychodrama in Greece dates back to the 1960’s. Back then, the psychiatrist John Mantonakis was using a form of Psychoanalytic Psychodrama as a supplementary tool in the treatment of psychotic patients in an inpatient unit of Aeginitio, the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Athens, in the context of his Doctorate dissertation. This was also the topic of the first book published in Greece about Psychodrama [Psychoanalytic Psychodrama, J. Mantonakis, 1968]. In the following years psychodrama was mainly used for treating patients with severe psychopathological disorders in various mental health institutions.
During the 80’s Psychodrama started being used more widely in private practice as well; by practitioners who returned to Greece after receiving training abroad. In 1985 it started being applied in the Open Psychotherapeutic Center (led by the psychiatrist J. Tsegos) and in the 90’s in the HAGAP institute (led by the psychiatrist V. Menoutis). Soon the first training programs also appeared. The OPC was the first organization that became a member of FEPTO. It is also important to note that, during the same time period, there was another training program organized in Thessaloniki by Jinnie Jefferies, Senior Trainer of the London Institute of Psychodrama.
For the next two decades Psychodrama flourished in Greece. Firstly, Konstantinos Letsios organized a training program in Collaboration with the Hungarian Association and Max Clayton, a key figure of Psychodrama in Australia and New Zealand, which resulted in the formation of the Psychodramatic Center for Personality Development. In 2004 the Greek Psychodrama Society was founded. The president of the society is Nena Vlassa, Director of Athens Psychodrama Institute. Psychodrama was widely used and applied, in diverse settings: drug treatment programs, mental health services, special education, private practice with children, adolescents and adults, organizations etc.
New training institutes have been established the last couple years, some of which are members of FEPTO, while others are in the process of becoming members. FEPTO Member institutes are:
- Open Psychotherapeutic Center
- Psychodramatic Center for Personality Development
- Athens Psychodrama Institute
All these institutes are located in Athens. The Institutes that are not yet FEPTO members (or in the process of becoming members) are:
- Center of Athenian Psychodramatic Encounters (Athens)
- Center for the Study and Application of Psychodrama (Thessaloniki)
- Greek Center for Psychodrama (Thessaloniki)
All institutes are in close collaboration with experienced European and International Trainers. Lastly, in 2015 Greece was represented for the first time in the FEPTO council through the election of Nikos Takis, Director of Endohora Institute, and his appointment as Chair of the Annual Meeting Committee.