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Begin Psychodrama Training

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There are many ways you may first be exposed to psychodrama, for example:

  • as a client in group, couples, family, or individual therapy,
  • at a one-time conference presentation,
  • watching a video demonstration,
  • in a college or university course on counseling techniques,
  • attending a workshop,
  • completing a Distance Learning module or program on psychodrama and/or sociometry.

Not everyone who offers “psychodrama” is adequately trained in the use of this powerful approach. In order to assure quality control, the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy maintains a certification process for credentialing Certified Practitioners – assessed as competent to facilitate psychodrama in the context of their professional scope of practice – and Certified Trainer, Educator, and Practitioners – authorized to offer training that can be credited towards the certification of psychodrama practitioners.

Individuals who received training outside the United States and Canada or who reside outside the United States and Canada have at times sought certification by the Board. As a result, the Board has established guidelines for non-USA certification options for these situations:

  • individuals trained in countries with which the Board has a reciprocity agreement (Australia and New Zealand, Israel, and Taiwan);
  • immigrants to the United States; and
  • individuals living in countries without certification Boards.

Decide to Pursue Certification

Trainees are encouraged to read and periodically review the Certified Practitioner Standards. The training and certification process in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy is postgraduate learning. It can take three (3) or more years to complete the process for practitioner certification. The certification process proceeds on three concurrent paths.

  1. Training, especially face-to-face in ongoing training groups and workshops led by a TEP.
  2. Supervised practicum in which you lead psychodrama sessions under the guidance and oversight of a TEP or other designated supervisor, in preparation for an (observed) onsite assessment of your adequacy as a practitioner.
  3. Study of psychodrama history, philosophy, theory, and other areas related to effective practice in preparation for a written (essay) examination.

The roadmap for this journey has specific procedures and non-negotiable dates: adhering to these will help trainees progress as quickly and efficiently as possible. As they move through these concurrent processes of training, engaging in a supervised practicum, and preparing for the written exam,  trainees will want to be aware of key milestones.

To maximize co-creation between participants in psychodrama training and to avoid a hierarchical learning model, the Certified Practitioner process is based on an adult learning model in which a Primary Trainer (and, to a lesser extent, Secondary Trainer and adjunctive trainers) plays a key role as, among other things, mentor/consultant.

Adult Learning Model

Certified Practitioner training applies principles of adult education learning in which the adult learner informs him/herself of the requirements for certification and chooses trainers to meet those needs.

Additionally, an adult learner self-monitors progress towards meeting those requirements, initiating meetings and taking all necessary actions to fulfill the goal of certification. Practitioner trainees must demonstrate personal maturity and responsibility for assuring that their own needs to be met.

Mentor/consultant Relationship

The training and certification process in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy begins with a co-created relationship between the person in training and certified trainers. The Primary Trainer (and, to a lesser extent, Secondary Trainer and adjunctive trainers) has several sub-roles including teacher, trainer, practicum supervisor, exam coach, etc.