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Work on trauma with rituals and dreams played in psychodrama

In the work with groups with collective trauma the important is not to retraumatize the participants. To reach this goal in psychodrama it is important:

1 . To create a safe place, the safe place symbolically marks the conflict, the trauma, puts a limit to the destructive forces by create for the participants of a group the feeling that there is a limit to the emotions and the post traumatic stress , and there is a safe place where you can bring a re- empowerment , self-esteem can grow undermined by the trauma , it is  understood as a psychic space inside where they can feel more  secure, and is a generator of resources including not least the hope and the new action.

2. To give interpersonal support through tele, therapeutical alliance with the protagonist, doubling, helper. Sharing.

3. Dream work

In this presentation we want to focus on the importance of dream play, with the symbolic elaboration to avoid to play traumatic life memories that can retraumatized the protagonist and the group members. Dreams has a trascendental function that sometime try to elaborate spontaneously the trauma.

We can present different tecniques like the incubation of dream, the continuation of play of nightmare with an active immagination process to solve the drama of the dream, how to create a save place in the play of dreams with traumatic memory, the use of double and helper in the dream play for interpersonal support, the importance of a long group sharing after the play of dreams relate of collective trauma. In the work with post traumatic dreams it is always important that psychodrama leader is aware of the controtransfert to decide if to play a dream can retraumatize the protagonist and the group or giving a possibility to elaborate the trauma.

4. Create therapeutic ritual with the capacity to hold and contain the group anxiety and elaborate the group collective trauma.

Symbols are forms of collective memories – stabilizing factor for society’s self-image and identity

Similar to symbols, they are part of collective unconsciousness, they represent historical memory as well as historical traumatic events of certain large group  

They are part of large group identity Part of religious ceremony

Memorial  and funerary rituals

“Rituals of gratitude”  help in transmission from war to peace period

Rituals of confidentiality

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About Speaker

Maurizio Gasseau

Associate Professor of Dynamic Psychology at the University of Aosta. He is Co-chair of the Education Committee of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes (IAGP). Founder of the Mediterranean Association of Psychodrama with the task to develop psychodrama in the Mediterranean countries. President of Mediterranean Association of Psychodrama, Former Vice President of the Federation of European Psychodrama Training Organization FEPTO 2000 – 2006. He has introduced psychodrama and has worked as trainer and supervisor in many countries of the world.
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