The adventure of psychodrama in Norway started when Eva Røine graduated as a licensed psychologist and wrote the book: Psychodrama, playing the main role of your own life. This was back in 1978. Before that, she learned psychodrama at the Moreno Institute, Beacon and the Moreno Institute, New York and assisted psychodramatical work with several practitioners at many different institutions and hospitals in the US. Later, her main teachers for a long period were Bob Ginn and his Norwegian born wife Ildri Bie Ginn. Back in Norway, she started working with admitted psychiatric patients at Ullevål Hospital in Oslo where she remained for sixteen years. It was here at Ullevål, Melinda Meyer got to know Eva in 1976 and started to learn the method. In 1985 Melinda Meyer and a few others established The Norwegian Psychodrama Association. The year after, Eva Røine and Monica Westberg who was trained by Zerka Moreno started the first formal psychodrama training class at Bauker Kursgård in Gausdal. Christina Hagelthorn was one of the main teachers and Melinda Meyer was a teaching assistant. The atmosphere of these early years where truly electric says people who participated, and several of the students from this first magical era are still among the strongest profiles and most experienced psychodramatists in Norway.
After the first few years, Monica Westberg left and went back to her homeland Sweden to continue to teach and direct psychodrama there. Melinda Meyer and Eva Røine taught together from 1990 – 1992. Melinda Meyer had a MA in Expressive Arts and decided to start a training institute in Expressive Arts together with Tone T. Bjørneboe. In addition to holding an MA in Expressive Arts, they were both Psychodrama Directors. The Norwegian Institute for Expressive Art Therapy (NIKUT) was founded in 1993, today called The Norwegian Institute for Expressive Arts and Communications (NIKUT).The Norwegian Moreno Institute (MI)
The name of the original psychodrama school in Norway was changed to The Norwegian Psychodrama Institute (NPI) and Eva Røine and her co-workers moved to Oslo around 1990. NPI has since graduated students on four levels up to the TEP level after the Nordic Board of Examiners’ standard. Eva’s main co-teacher for many years in Oslo was Jana Segula T.E.P. from the first class at Bauker. In the early years of the new millennium, in addition to the Oslo training classes, NPI started a training group in cooperation with the Nordland County Psychiatric Hospital in Bodø. Here both Jana Segula, and later Lillian Borge and Leif-Dag Blomquist taught the methods to a big group of personnel. More than twelve students graduated after more than five years of training and many of them continue to use the techniques and Morenian philosophy in their daily work at the hospital today.
Several teachers from other countries have been teaching at NPI regularly through many years, amongst them Marc Treadwell, Leif-Dag Blomquist, Ildri Ginn and Inara Erdmanis. From 2004, Gro Slettemark and Lillian Borge from the first training class at Bauker plus Eduardo Verdu took on the leadership of NPI. Today Lillian Borge has retired, while Arne Husjord has come in as the third main teacher. In October 2011, NPI celebrated its 25 years anniversary, and at the same time changed name to The Norwegian Moreno Institute (MI). The Institute continues to graduate students on all levels and is also setting up shorter training programs for coaches, business leaders, youth leaders and group leaders in general.
MI and NIKUT are FEPTO-certified Institutes and Melinda Meyer is a founding member. MI and NIKUT are members of the Norwegian Association of Psychotherapy (NFP) and MI is an EAP-certified Training Institute
Eduardo Verdu is member of the board of both FEPTO, PIfE. and The Nordic Board of Examiners.
Arne Husjord, Gro Slettemark and Eduardo Verdu are still the main teachers of MI and continue to be true to the original vision for the institute, yet at the same time tries to build an Institute for the future. Even though Eva Røine retired some years ago, she is still well known both nationally and internationally for her psychodramatic talent, and remains a true legend and an inspiration to a lot of people who had the privilege to know her and work with her.
The Norwegian Institute for Expressive Art (NIKUT)
NIKUT started training Expressive Art Therapists from Sweden and Norway in Psychodrama in 1994. Melinda Meyer, Tone Bjørneboe, Gunnar Reinsborg and Torill Johnsen all Directors of psychodrama have been the main teachers.
Melinda Meyer was inspired from her psychodrama training at Lesley University with Peter Rowen, TEP (Director of the New England Psychodrama Training Institute). All students chose one modality within the arts to do an in-depth training in. Melinda choose psychodrama and did most of her training with Bob and Ildri Bie Ginn at The Psychodrama training Institute of Boston and with Peter Rowen.
Psychodramatists in Norway have during the years been very productive writers. Gro Slettemark has written a book (2004) on the basics in Psychodrama and sociometry with a large amount of examples from her own practice during the last thirty years. Eva Røine has written two books (1978 and 2011) on both historical, philosophical and practical use of Morenian methods. The book from 2011 also includes her own biography. And Lillian Borge has written a book (2011) about Moreno’s theoretical and philosophical roots and fundament, and put him in context with other thinkers of his time and with modern psychology. Arne Husjord has written a visual and poetical book (2011) together with his client Grete Risvik which describes their psychodrama-therapeutic journey together. And also in 2011, Bjørn Rasmussen and Børge Kristoffersen released a highly valued book about Jacob Levy Moreno’s theater expressionism and sociatry.
Other training institutes and programs in Norway
In 2011, The Norwegian Psychodrama Academy (NPA) in Lier, some 45 km west of Oslo was celebrating their ten years anniversary as a training institute in Norway. NPA is a Fepto-certified Institute and was established by Jana Segula and Kristina Malm, another two of the students from the first class at Bauker. Today this institute is planning their third class of C.P. students and Jana Segula is still head of the teachers group. NPA also run shorter training courses for group leaders and their main teachers run therapy-groups both in Norway and abroad. NPA has a broad cooperation with psychodramatists in the Gothenburg area in Sweden as well as with the third Institute of Norway, located in Trondheim.
Trondheim Psychodrama Institute (TPI) was established in 1997 in Norway’s third largest town in the middle of the country. They got their present name in 2000. The leader of TPI is Mai Antonsen, also a student from the first class at Bauker! Since 2007, TPI have offered training of psychodramatists on basic level and plan to start their first psychodrama leader training next year. Mai Antonsen is a very welcomed guest teacher at both MI and NPA specialized in supervision and she has a high quality of teachers in her staff in Trondheim, amongst them the authors of one of the 2011 Norwegian book releases about Jacob Levy Morenos theater expressionism and sociatry.
In the 1990’s, Ken Sprague though psychodrama in Bergen, in a drug addiction therapeutic community. His wife, Marcia Karp also came over to teach this class about once a year or more. The students were graduated and trained specifically for their continuing work in addictions. The project was sponsored by Holwell International Psychodrama Centre of which Marcia Karp was Co-Director. There was a core training group but others came. The training involved about 20-30 students and about 6-10 graduated in the end. Many of these students have later joined the British Psychodrama Association.
In the Bergen area in 1990’s, Gro Slettemark from NPI together with Tine Sofie Steinsland, also a graduate from NPI/MI, did a basic training class that later resulted in more students in Oslo on leader level. Tine Sofie Steinsland has later invited both the Ken and Marcia group and the NPI group to several gatherings in Bergen.
In all parts of Norway, several practitioners of Morenian Methods have marked themselves as qualified and innovative contributors in many fields of the society, from drug- and codependency treatment centers and psychiatric wards, to working with college students, in workplaces and with large global companies.
The Norwegian Psychodrama Association
Since 2008 the Norwegian Association of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy (NFPSG) has played a significant role in the direction of the development of psychodrama in Norway. Under the leadership of Carina Holandsli C.P., and in cooperation with The Norwegian Association of Psychotherapy (NFP) and SABORG , NFPSG finally got a governmental approval. This has so far given psychodrama therapists in Norway the opportunity to get listed in a public register and to put the protected title reg. in front of their professional title. They can also get insurance and don’t have to pay VAT for their therapeutic services. The work for more legal rights in the field of healthcare continues, as the psychodrama community joins forces with several other different creative and alternative psychotherapies in Norway in the strong and efficient association NFP.