Introduction to History
In 1988. started first regular, once a week psychodrama experiential training group in Former Yugoslavia. It was in Belgrade, once a week, every Wednesday and session lasted 180 minutes. Group was led by Dusan Potkonjak who at that time was a senior student of psychodrama in British Psychodrama Associations, BPA in International Training Center for Psychodrama and Sociodrama in Hollwell, Great Britain. Dusan qualified in BPA as psychodrama practitioner in 1991. and in 1994.he become a trainer of BPA. Members of this Belgrade group were Jasna Veljkovic, current Senior Trainer of Serbian Psychodrama Association – SPA Moreno, Zoran Djuric and Zoran Ilic, Senior Trainers of Belgrade Psychodrama Center – BPC, Member of FEPTO, Vladimir Milosevic, Senior Trainer of Institute of Psychodrama, Member of FEPTO and others, on average 15-20 members. In 1989. this group was joined by Sanja Zivotic, who qualified as Psychodrama Psychotherapist in SPA Moreno.
Serbian Psychodrama Association Moreno – SPA Moreno was founded in 2003. and first group of 15 students started regular experiential training group. At that time Dusan Potkonjak was working in London and he was coming to Belgrade four times a year and he was leading intensive training – 3 group session in one week. In total 8 groups each visit. In Dusan’s absence this group was led by qualified psychodrama practitioners – Vesna Vukovic, Predrag Trudic and trainer Jasna Veljkovic. Special therapy and training experience in Group Analysis was organized. All students that started in 2003. have at least 100 sessions of group analysis led by group analysists Marija Vezmar, Ljiljana Milivojevic and Tija Despotovic, qualified by London Institute of Group Analysis Overseas Training.
Also regular direct supervision was organized for SPA students. In these groups students were leading part of the session and were supervised by Slavko Mackic, psychodrama trainer of Instutute of Psychodrama Belgrade and also psychoanalyst.
In 2004. SPA Moreno was approved by National Serbian Psychotherapy Association (SDPS).
There were 4 generations of SPA students: First generation from 2003 to 2011. (15 students), Second from 2009 to 2014 (16 students), Third from 2011. To 2016 (9 students). Forth, current generation started in November 2015. (11 students).
SPA Moreno is registered as a non-profit organization.
Formal Structure of the Organization
Relevant bodies of SPA Moreno are:
General Assembly consists of all members of SPA Moreno (including all students, qualified psychotherapists and 2 senior trainers)
Council of SPA Moreno (6 members including president, main trainer, treasurer etc)
Educational Training Council - Committee of 9 members (2 Senior Trainers plus 7 Qualified Psychodrama Psychotherapists)
Two Senior Trainers: Dusan Potkonjak and Jasna Veljkovic
Co-Trainers: Marija Vezmar and Ljiljana Milivojevic, Trainers of Group Analysis
Guest Trainers: for 2 students groups co leader was Lidija Vasiljevic, Senior Trainer of RAIP, member of FEPTO;
Zoran Djuric and Zoran Ilic, Senior Trainers of Belgrade Psychodrama Center, BPC member of FEPTO were examiners on practical exams ; Slavko Mackic and Dragoljub Nedic, Senior Trainers of Institute of Psychodrama, member of FEPTO were examiners on practical exams.
Guest trainers are also members of Board of Examiners.
Visiting international trainers: Marcia Karp, Sue Daniels, Kate Bradshaw, Olivia Lousada, Jana Segula, Peter Hawort
Candidates who may apply for training in psychodrama with SPA Moreno should be at least 24 years old, graduated or students of the last year of their graduate studies. They should submit their professional biography (especially previous experience in psychotherapy) and personal biography, seen trough psychotherapy mirror (like important relationships, life events, changes and current life situation), a kind of psychotherapy biography. After these 2 biographies are submitted to SPA Senior trainers, than interview with group leaders is organized, assessing candidate’s eligibility for the training. Candidates are required to attend minimum of 40 hours of open psychodrama sessions or psychodrama workshops prior to entering the group training. Open Psychodrama Groups are conducted every Saturdays 18h-22h by senior trainer Dusan Potkonjak and SPA qualified psychodrama therapist.
Training in SPA is divided in the 3 stages (levels), that include minimum of five years experience in experiential-educational psychodrama group, and two-year experience in group analysis, theory lessons and essays, conducting psychotherapy psychodrama group for two years under supervision and writing diploma clinical paper about development of the group they led , minimum 80 group sessions . During training a candidate is required to successfully pass three practical exams ,leading psychodrama group for 150 minutes in presence of trainers . Also there is written exam in theory of psychodrama and group psychotherapy. There are 14 groups of questions and exam last 190 minutes.
Overview of 3 levels TRAINING PROGRAM in psychodrama and group psychotherapy:
Candidate who fulfils all criteria and passes the final exam (3rd level) earns diploma in psychodrama and group psychotherapy and a title of CERTIFIED PSYCHODRAMA PSYCHOTHERAPIST and may apply for National Serbian Certificate in Psychotherapy.
SPA- Moreno Training program is inspired with basic Moreno philosophy of human Encounter, Tele, Interpersonal relationships and Interpersonal learning. This is explored and externalized in action on psychodrama stage, theatre of spontaneity , theatre of life and truth. Possibly first catharsis of expression happens and than possibly catharsis of integration. In SPA we are exploring compatible integration of Psychodrama –Moreno, Group Analysis –Foulkes, Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy –Yalom. Exploring group process on psychodrama stage.
SPA-Moreno Training Curriculum consists of:
Minimum of 810 experiential training hours in psychodrama groups. Each of these 810 hours last 60 minutes. Within this hours students have self-experience as group member, protagonist, auxiliary, double , and take part in writing protocol of a session and in processing of previous session. After 12 months of experience in experiential training groups students are gradually encouraged to lead action warm up . Than to lead one scene with protagonist. After 12 month of experience student-protagonist may chose other student as the director for the chosen topic. Feedback to the student-director is provided in the processing part of the next session. Every group session consists of 240 minutes. First 60 minutes is a processing of previous session. Than after 10 to 15 minutes break there is experiential session lasting 165 minutes.
Main part of directing experience students gain in separate sessions of direct supervision .Session of direct supervision also last 240 minutes. In first minutes students decides who will lead a session. Student may lead part of a session or a whole session in presence of a trainer . After sharing there is a break of 10 minutes , and processing follows. If there is still time than second student may continue to lead psychodrama session with another protagonist.
In current training of SPA Moreno it is important to separate as possible a psychotherapy experience and training experience. We agree that boundaries betweenpsychotherapy groups and training groups are often blurred . So experiential training groups led every Sunday for 240 minutesby senior trainer Dusan Potkonjak and two co-therapists are more psychotherapy orientated . Also 60 to 80 sessions of Group Analysis, led by group analyst and psychoanalyst Marija Vezmarare more therapy groups.
There are more training orientated groups like direct supervision, supervision with protocols, theory sessions led by senior trainer Jasna Veljkovic and others.
In experiential training groupone hour last 60 minutes. There are in total 810hours in experiential training groups.
All other training hours in supervision, and theory lasts 45 minutes.
All students have extra psychotherapy experience in 60 – 80 group therapy sessions in Group Analysis. These groups are led by several therapist – Trainers Group Analysts and Psychoanalysts : dr Marija Vezmar , dr Ljiljana Milivojevic and dr Tija Despotovic. Each group session last 90 minutes. In total, it is 120 – 160 experiential training hours in Group Analysis.
Theory and techniques: Educational request is minimum of 120 hours of theory with trainers. : minimum of 80 theory hours in peer students theory groups (these groups are often supervised by trainer or qualified psychodrama practitioner). Theory is given not only in the form of lectures, but also as the “theory through action” when theoretical concepts are presented lively on psychodrama stage. Like inner and outer world, internal objects and spiting are explored on psychodrama stage. In this way of presentation students understand and learn theory and its clinical application deeply and also learn and practice psychodrama techniques. Students have 400 hours of theory for writing essays, group protocols (including final diploma clinical paper) + taking written exam in theory of psychodrama and group psychotherapy.
Supervision: Educational request is minimum of 80 hours supervision with trainers and 80 hours in peer supervision student group). Supervision is divided into:
Individual supervision with protocols of sessions with trainers (minimum 40 hours with qualified supervisor, trainer). It includes individual supervision-consultation about diploma clinical paper with each of the 3 trainers, members of the Board of examiners, prior to presentation-defense of Clinical Paper;
Group supervision with protocols with trainers;
Direct supervision when student lead a group in presence of a trainer
Plus 80 hours of peer student supervision.
Supervised psychotherapy practice: 300 hours: minimum of 80 session (preferably minimum. of 100 sessions) of conducting psychodrama psychotherapy group with co-therapist (250 to 300 hours) + supervised practice in individual psychotherapy (optional) + conducting workshops and open psychodrama groups (optional).
After 80-100 sessions of leading psychodrama psychotherapy group students have to write a Diploma Clinical Paper (CP) about 80 to 100 psychodrama sessions of the group, they led. CP has request to be written on the average: 60 pages, between 45 to 80 pages format A 4. Than, every student have to present Clinical Diploma Paper in front of the Board consisted of 3 examiners. This presentation last 120 minutes. Prior to presentation student has individual consultation-supervision with each member of the Board of examiners (each lasts minimum 90 minutes).
Example of Training in Psychodrama with current SPA Moreno psychodrama training group that started its training in November 2015:
Experiential training group is happening once a week on Sundays from 6 to 10 p.m. conducted by Senior Trainer Dusan Potkonjak and two co-therapists
Once a week on Fridays session of group analysis is taking place from 6.15 to 7.45 p.m. Led by group analyst Marija Vezmar.
Once a month there is direct supervision ( 240 minutes ) when students are leading group therapy session under direct supervision of trainers
Once a month there is a theory session which lasts 150 minutes. This session is led by trainers and qualified SPA psychotherapists.
Once in a two months there is a peer student theory group which lasts 150 minutes.
In total there are 10 to 11 events in one month.
Specificities of the SPA Moreno Training Program:
Therapy experience in Group Analysis (120-160 hours)
Direct supervision when students lead a group in presence of trainer taking place once a month
Theory through action
3 levels of Training. 3 practical exams , when student lead a group for 150 minutes in presence of 3 trainers
Written exam in theory of psychodrama and group therapy consisted of 14 group of questions (lasts 190 minutes)
Writing 13 essays on the theory of Psychodrama and Group Analysis, as well as students personal experience of psychotherapy as a clients in a group+ writing protocols of a sessions.
Writing Diploma Clinical Paper,CP - 60 pages A4; Contains clinical processing of group development through 80-100 group session with description of each member of the groups and ilustrations with clinical vignettes, and protocols of whole sessions; Also CP contains special part, special student interest – topic from the theory and practice chosen by student, described with clinical examples from the group
Comparation with FEPTO minimal training standards
*Students are required to have a minimum of 810 hours in their experiential training group. There are in total 203 of such sessions . Each session last 240 minutes. Every group session consists of one-hour long processing (total of 203 hours) and three hours of experiential work( aproximetly in total of 609).
However, part of the experience hours is also students’ training for conducting, since after the first year students on occasion may begin conducting warm-ups, vignettes and full psychodrama.
**As mentioned, these hours are calculated in the number of hours of self-experience. Besides conducting experience in experiential group, training for conducting is also provided in the form of hours of direct supervision groups , which is organized apart from their ongoing experiential training group. Direct supervision groups are joined by students from different training groups. Since after the first 12 months student-protagonist may chose other student as the director for the chosen topic. So student lead a group. Feedback by trainer to the student-director is provided on the processing part of the next session in experiential group, and in a same session of direct supervision group.
***Number of hours of required experience in group analysis (60 to 80 sessions). Apart from that, students are encouraged to attend various psychodrama workshops and workshops in other psychotherapy modalities, their own individual psychotherapy, playback theatre etc. In SPA there is a special interest group in Playback theatre , Playback-Beograd which have regular rehearsals and performances and a school of Playback theatre.
Required literature consists of the following chapters and books:
1. Moreno : Psychodrama Comprehensive text book of psychiatry . Williams Wilkins
2. Sachs Psychodrama chapter from the book- Comprihensive text book of group psychotherapy. Williams Wilkins
3 Pines : Group Analysis chapter from a same book.
4.Haigh Group Psychotherapy , chapter from a book Essential psychotherapy
5. Yalom Group Psychotherapy chapter from a book- Text book of psychiatry . American psychiatris press.
6. Handbook of psychodrama Marcia Karp, K Bradshawand others , Routledge
7. Acting in- Blatner . Free association books
8. Psychodrama , experience and Process- Goldman
9. Foundations of psychodrama.- Blatner, Springer 1988
10. Essential Moreno J. Fox . Springer
11. Theory and Paractise of Group psychotherapy Yalom Basic books
12. Psychodinamyc group .psychotherapy . selected chapters . Rutan Stone Guildford press 2001.
13.Veljkovic J., Djuric Z.(2003). Psychodrama and Sociodrama 2. revised ed. Belgrade Serbian Association of Psychologist- Center for Applied Psychology.
14.Djurić Z, Veljković J.,Tomić M.(2006). Psychodrama - A Begginer’s Guide. Jessica Kingsley Publisher. London and Philadelphia.
15.Veljkovic, J. (2014). Psychodrama changes.1.ed .Belgrade. Endowment: Andrejevic.
16 Edited by: Veljkovic, J. Authors: Potkonjak, D. Veljkovic J., Djuric, Z, Dzokic, Z, Savic, S., Zivotic, S. ( 2018).
In the Labyrinth of Psychodrama- examination of practice. Belgrade Serbian Association of Psychologist- Center for Applied Psychology.
1. Moreno Psychodrama , volume 1. , 2, 3
2. Psychodrama with trauma survivors . Kellerman , Hodgins,Blatner,Karp, Jessica Kinsley.
3. Psychodrama since Moreno Holmes , Karp , Watson, Routledge
4. The inner world outside Holmes Routledge
5. Psychotherapy through clinical role playing Kipper Bruner Mazel
6 Essentials of psychotherapy- Stein Haigh Butterworth
7.Comprehensive group psychotherapy Kaplan .. William Wilkins
8. Psychodynamic psychiatry Gabbard , American Psychiatric Press
9. Fokus on Psychodrama Kellerman
10 Psychodrama Greenberg , Moreno. Condor book
11 Drama as therapy Theather as living- Jones, Routledge
12. Foulkes : Selected papers Karnack
13. Experinece in groups Bion
14. Group psychotherapy of psychosis Pines Jessica Kingsley
15. Anti Group -Nitsun Routledge
16. Foundation and application of group psychotherapy Ettin Jessica Kingsley
17. Introduction to psychotherapy Batteman , Brown Routledge
18. The work group of group analytic interventions Kennard , Routledge
19. Who shall survive- Moreno
20. Handbook of Groups Psychotherapy. Edited by Kleinberg , Wiley, Blackwell, 2012
21. Group Analytuc psychotherapy , a meetings of minds .by Behr and Hearst , Whurr Publishers , 2005
SPA Moreno has a large library with various titles (including those from the list of required and recommended literature) available to students and psychotherapists.
Trainers, psychotherapists and students of SPA Moreno organize and actively participate in different workshops, seminars and conferences, including the main national annual training conference, where they run several workshops and presentations each year.
They also have published books and articles like books by Jasna Veljkovic above . Also Dusan Potkonjak presented plenary lecture on international conference :Evolution of psychotherapy , importance of interpersonal relationships and interpersonal learning in groups psychotherapy. Positive transparency of group psychotherapists. We will present published articles, chapters in a books , workshops and lectures in separate presentation ...
Two Senior Trainers:
Dusan Potkonjak MD , is psychiatrist and a trainer of British Psychodrama Association , BPA , since 1994.. He is a main trainer of SPA. In 1988 Dusan started with first experiential training group in Belgrade once a week .He graduated in Psychodrama in 1991 in Great Britain with BPA. His primary trainer was Marcia Karp, student of Moreno .In 1993 he fulfilled required number of 1300 hours in diploma course of group analysis with London Institute for Group Analysis , overseas training.
Jasna Veljkovic Ph .D. is professor at the Belgrade University, clinical psychologist. In 1990 she finished certificate course in Psychodrama awarded jointly by the University of Belgrade, Department of psychiatry with support of British Council. She was one of a founding members of YUPA , and later BPC. She is IAGP member , ECP holder ( 2002 ). She fulfilled 1300 hours in diploma course of group analysis with the London Institute of Group Analysis overseas training. She published several books about psychodrama..
Number of Graduates
At present moment there are seven (7) SPA Moreno qualified psychodrama psychotherapists: Jelena Vidic, Renata Stanojevic, Jelena Milic, Maja Milic, Marijana Radulovic, Sanja Zivotic and Uros Antic. We are expecting three (3) more psychodrama therapist – Dragan Milivojevic, Gorda Bozovic and Gojko Rakas to qualify in next seven months.
Number of Training Groups
There were 4 generations of SPA students: First generation from 2003 to 2011. (15 students), Second from 2009 to 2014 (16 students), Third from 2011 to 2016 …. (9 students). Forth, current generation started in November 2015. (11 students).
Code of Ethics
SPA Moreno abides by the Code of Ethic of Serbian Association of Psychotherapists (SDPS) and agrees to abide by the FEPTO Code of Ethics.