Michigan Psychodrama Center to Again Present at the ASGPP 79th Annual Conference

Michigan Psychodrama Center’s co-founders Patrick Barone and Dr. Elizabeth Corby will be presenting a 90-minute workshop at the 79th ASGPP annual conference “Honoring the Past & Visioning the Future” The conference, which will be all online this year, will take place on April 7-11, 2021.

The American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama presents an annual seminar each year, and is a place where practitioners both present and attend a variety of workshops lasting 60 minutes to a full day.  The purpose of the workshop is both to share new ideas with others in the community as well as engage in personal work. This will be the third time the Michigan Psychodrama Center has been approved to present at the seminar.

This year’s 90-minute workshop will be on the topic of Bibliodrama, which is a long-standing area of focus for the MPC. Bibliodrama is a psychodrama modality which explores a written text using a variety of psychodramatic and improvisational action techniques.  It is a group interpretation or re-imagination of what has previously been written. The text can come from any source, but the MPC most often utilized sacred texts, primarily taken from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles.

In Bibliodrama, the group re-imagines not what was written but what was not written.  In the Biblical context, what is written has been called the “black fire” while what is not written is called the “white fire.”  Bibliodrama explores what is not written, meaning it explores the white fire.

Patrick Barone, who is also a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College, likens Bibliodrama’s exploration of the white fire to the College’s method of “discovering the story.”  When engaging in a discovering the story session with other lawyers a trial lawyer will often explore what has been left out. For example, if the case involves allegations that a criminal law has been violated, then the lawyers will explore what has been left out of the police reports.  It is akin to looking at the untold story.  Exploring a criminal case in this way helps to uncover the unwritten truth.  The hope is that the unwritten truths revealed in a discovering the story session can then be used to obtain justice in the courtroom.

Similarly, in a Bibliodrama session participants may seek the discovery of unwritten truths contained within the sacred texts the group is exploring. Such truths can powerfully serve to connect the group members to the texts.  They can also serve to produce a spiritual revelation or provoke an emotional catharsis based on an action insight into the participant’s personal and emotional life.

This year the MPC hopes to introduce others to the relevance of Bibliodrama to each participants personal and professional lives. Individuals interested in attending are encouraged to sign up for the 2021 annual conference.