MPC’s Experiential Therapy Group Open to New Applicants

The Michigan Psychodrama Center (MPC) is now accepting applications from those interested in joining an ongoing therapy group. We meet bi-weekly on Wednesday afternoons, from 3:45 – 6:15 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. Due to the pandemic, the meetings are currently conducted remotely via Zoom.

This therapy group utilizes experiential action methods for doing personal work. These methods are know more broadly as psychodrama.

What Is Psychodrama?

As we’ve explained in our prior article of the same title, a typical psychodrama session will usually consist of three phases: the warm-up to action, the action or drama, followed by group sharing. The drama itself is focused on one individual whose work more broadly reflects the group’s concerns. This individual is known as the “protagonist.”

Through the psychodrama action method, the protagonist and other group members develop insight into past inter and intrapersonal issues, traumas, present challenges, and future goals and find healing through psychologically and physically working through unresolved issues. Group members are the healing agents for one another.

How Do I know if this Group is Right for Me?

Psychodrama incorporates and involves both the body and the mind and is effective toward the treatment of a broad range of issues and concerns. Persons experiencing relationship challenges, seeking to overcome past trauma, loss or addiction may find psychodrama to be a profoundly healing experience. The same is true for individuals seeking healing from various mood, emotional or personality disorders.

What Are Group Sessions Like?

We provide members with a safe space and format to process and communicate difficulties, pain or challenges. While each session is different, we generally begin with the directors checking in with the protagonist from the last session. We may engage in a brief processing of their work as we continue with group building. Then, after warm-up, the group will typically move into action with activities and/or the selection of a new protagonist. We also periodically utilize breakout sessions to enable members to share on a smaller level and get to know each other individually.

Many psychodrama interventions are utilized each session which may consist of everything from empty chair work all the way through to more complex dramas involving multiple scenes and auxiliaries.  Participants therefore will have the opportunity to experience the psychodramatic roles of protagonist, auxiliary, double, witness and audience member.

What Should I Know About this Group?

Our Wednesday afternoon group consists of a small number of highly motivated individuals and has existed together for a decade. Over this time, the group has become proficient in utilizing psychodrama action methods to help new members assimilate and feel safe and comfortable. We have found that new group members are easily role-trained in the method by other more experienced members and the facilitators.

How Will I Know if I can Join the Group?

Our Wednesday afternoon psychodrama therapy group is open to anyone wishing to explore and experience the profound therapeutic value of psychodrama and group therapy. No psychodrama experience is necessary.

However, participants must make a commitment to the group to attend every session. No drop ins are allowed as this is a working therapy group. Individuals interested in simply trying psychodrama are advised to enroll in one of our daylong, weekend or intensive workshops.

Is There a Screening Process?

Prescreening is necessary for any form of group psychotherapy, and the need for careful prescreening is heightened in this context because of the more intense nature of an experiential group and the action methods utilized. A group candidate therefore may be referred for individual therapy if they are thought not to be ready to engage in the psychodrama process, or while in the psychodrama group.

What Factors Are Considered in the Prescreening?

Consequently, when selecting new group member candidates, it is necessary for us to carefully consider group dynamics and sociometry, and this requires that any potential new group candidates be prescreened. The group must also be prepared for the possible entry of a new group member. 

Is the Group Confidential?

The MPC also stresses the need for strict confidentiality and we require and incorporate high levels of individual and group trust, safety, and confidentiality. Group members are not allowed to discuss anyone else’s work in the group, and outside collaboration among group member is strongly discouraged.

Once a new group member has been identified, they will be asked to sign a contract of confidentiality and will also be asked to verbally pledge confidentiality to the other group members.

Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?

The fee for each 2.5 hour session is $75 and some of this cost may be covered by your insurance. This is one of the questions that will be addressed during the prescreening process.

Can I Join if I Want Psychodrama Training?

While the group’s leaders, Dr. Elizabeth Corby and Patrick Barone are both certified by the American Board of Psychodrama Examiners to provide training to others, this is not a psychodrama training group. Instead, the primary focus of this group is personal work. Accordingly, psychodrama training hours are not available for students seeking psychodrama certification.

Instead of joining this group, individuals wishing to gain training hours or otherwise exploring the role of director in a teaching environment are encouraged to consider participation in our monthly psychodrama training group.

Who Do I Contact?

Please contact the Michigan Psychodrama for more information at dr_ecorby@yahoo.com or (248) 702-5572.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dr. Elizabeth Corby is a clinical psychologist and certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Dr. Corby is also certified by the American Board of Psychodrama Examiners as a Certified Practitioner (CP) and Trainer of psychodrama (TEP). Dr. Corby founded the Michigan Psychodrama Center in partnership with Patrick Barone, JD, CP, PAT, and together they provide a wide variety of workshops and training opportunities, including weekend intensives and a regularly meeting psychodrama training group. Dr. Corby also maintains a private practice in Birmingham Michigan where she helps her clients through the transformative processes of psychotherapy, CBT and psychodrama. She works holistically with her clients; utilizing a variety of scientifically supportive neurobehavioral, relational and action methods. In both the individual and group settings Elizabeth helps her clients integrate mind, body and spirit thereby providing healing from a variety of challenges including anxiety, depressive disorders, and alcohol and substance use and dependence disorders.