PSYCHODRAMA IN ISRAEL
Psychodrama has been active and prevalent in Israel for many years. Professional psychodramatists, who recognize the unique quality of this therapy, have played a significant role in psychodrama’s development over the years. Their dedication and professional contributions till today have brought wide spread recognition and professional standing in the mental health and group therapy fields in Israel.
Here we will mention the founders and pioneers of psychodrama in Israel, significant events that occurred throughout the years, and what’s happening in the field today.
Psychodrama in Israel began with J.L Moreno’s visit to the country in the 1950s. It was during this visit that Moreno visited therapeutic and educational institutions.
The first psychodrama teachers arrived in Israel in the 1970s and 1980s and included Dr. Ada Abraham who had studied in France; Professor David Kipper, Dr. Eliev Naharin, Dr. Einya Artzi, and Dr. Nathan Kellermann, who studied at Beacon in the USA; Yaacov Naor who studied at New England Psychodrama Institute in Boston and at Beacon; Oded Nave who studied at Lesley University in Boston.
These pioneers taught and practised psychodrama in private clinics and psychodrama training institutes that they initiated and established in Israel.
In 1990, these pioneers established the Israeli Psychodrama Association. They built the foundations for psychodrama and facilitator training and certification.
The association works according to the laws and regulations of the country and is a non-for-profit organization. For many years the number of its members has risen and experienced psychodramatists hold senior positions in the organization’s management.
The Israeli Psychodrama Association has hosted two international conferences, one in 1996 and the second in 2000 in cooperation with the IAGP.
In continuing the work of the early founders, the new generation of psychodramatists has been active throughout the years as teachers, facilitators and therapists. Some of them developed professional skills and creative applications for various populations.
There are approximately 500 psychodramatists, 15 teachers and 20 trainers in Israel today.
Many of the Israeli psychodramatists are also members of the umbrella organization for expressive arts therapists, Y.A.H.A.T (I.C.E.T.).
Psychodrama is highly developed and widely recognized in Israel. Therapeutic and rehabilitation centers open their doors to this profession. Psychodramatists are received in schools, mental health hospitals, prisons, drug and prisoner rehabilitation centers, battered women shelters, trauma centers, and many other frameworks. A large majority of psychodramatists also work with private patients.
Many psychodramatists in Israel specialize in trauma and post-trauma, working with both Jewish and Arab, adult and children war survivors as well as soldiers. In addition, much work is done with first and second generation holocaust survivors.
It is also important to note that there are several groups utilizing psychodrama for Israeli and Palestinian dialogue. These groups take place in eastern Jerusalem.
An inter-cultural educational meeting between psychodrama students and teachers from Israel and Europe occurs once a year.
The majority of psychodramatic work in Israel is clinical and group therapy. Psychodrama is also used as an educational tool for teachers and organizations.
We have lately witnessed sparks of integration between psychodrama, Judaism and other spiritual philosophies.
For the past several years the Knesset (Israeli parliament) has been undergoing a legislative process approving expressive arts therapy as a mental health profession under the Treatment of Mental Patients Act.
Books written in Hebrew:
Naharin, E., 1978, I the Creator
Naharin, E., 1985, Stage Instead of Couch
Artzi, E., 1991, Psychodrama
Books written by Israelis in English:
Kipper, D., 1986, Psychotherapy through Clinical Role Playing
Kellermann, P.F., 1992, Focus on Psychodrama: The Therapeutic Aspects of Psychodrama
Kellermann, P.F., 2000, Psychodrama with Trauma Survivors: Acting Out Your Pain
Kellermann, P.F., 2007, Sociodrama and Collective Trauma
Kellermann, P.F., 2009, Holocaust Trauma: Psychological Effects and Treatment
Books translated from English to Hebrew:
Holms P. and Karp, M. (Eds), Psychodrama Inspiration and Technique
Schools and training institutes for psychodrama:
AIP Lesley University – Israel Branch
Yad Hacharutzim, Building F-10
P.O. Box 8178
South Netanya, 42160
Seminar Hakibbutzim – School for Advanced Learning
Training Center for Expressive Arts Therapists – Division for Psychodrama
149 Derech Namir
Tel Aviv, 62507
ISIS Israel-Psychodrama and Intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy Center
30-32 Haim Lebanon St.Shenkar School for Engineering/Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv, 61484
Kivunim – School for Analytic Psychodrama
34 Derech Hahagana, Tel Aviv
Jerusalem Academic College – Training Institute for Expressive Arts Therapists
P.O. Box 16078
Beit VeGan, Jerusalem, 91160
In addition, there are many university departments that integrate psychodrama courses, like theatre studies, group facilitating studies and more.