Evolution of group work and Psychodrama
"If God ever comes back, he’ll come back as a group”. These are the words of the innovative, ahead of his time, psychiatrist J.L. Moreno who wanted to emphasize the extreme power of the Group. He was the first professional to use groups as a therapeutic module and he was the founder of the first recognized method of Group Psychotherapy: Psychodrama.
Although the word psychodrama might come with negative associations in modern days, in Greek it literally means the action of the soul, the action of the mind.
In the parks of Vienna, Moreno as a young medical student watched young children play freely in groups and observed how liberated they felt and how spontaneously they would change from one character to another, how they would behave, benefit and thrive in the group.
These new ideas, his philosophical and academic journeys and his existential view of life influenced his work as a practising psychiatrist. He began to conceive groundbreaking techniques. Action methods, role play, sociometry and other innovations are being used nowadays in many other forms of psychotherapy. With his holistic approach embracing our whole existence, our physical, emotional, spiritual well-being, our behaviour, our social relationships, our past, our inner thoughts, our life, he threw a new light upon psychotherapy. In recent years, his philosophical ideas, his psychotherapeutic legacy, the precious and versatile tools, have been applied with great success in many fields: individual and couples psychotherapy, therapeutic and corporate environments (Group Dynamics, Goal-setting, Team-building, Role-playing and so much more).
“Emotions are not a luxury, they are a complex aid in the fight for existence”.