Report zur Fepto Conference in Liège

Der diesjährigen Bericht zur Fepto Conference kommt von unserem jungen Delegierten Ilija Dojchinovski, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der IPU International Psychoanalytic University Berlin.

Vielen Dank, Ilija!
Das Vorstandsteam

Summery report

Name of event: FEPTO Conference and Annual meeting
Date of event: 5. – 11. May, 2023
Location of event: Liège, Belgium
Organizer: Federation of European Psychodrama Training Organisations (FEPTO)

Conference summary

From 5th till 7th of May, FEPTO organized the 17th conference titled “From external violence to internal shadows: When Psychodrama Helps To Confront Reality”. Participants came from several countries such as, N. Macedonia, Greece Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Portugal, France, Croatia, Serbia and Switzerland. Some of attendants were psychodrama trainees and some were psychodrama therapists and trainers. The conference began with a welcoming speech by Vincent Magos and Nikos Takis. In the following day and a half, five parallel workshops were held. I took part on workshops led by Irina Stefanescu, Leandra Perrotta, Irina Gruia, Manfred Jannicke, and Luciano Moura. This year, the content of the workshops was not given prior to their beginning but was meant to emerge from the group dynamics and interests. During the sessions, we could explore our individual and interpretational processes. Some of the facilitators offered a short overview of some more recent trends in psychodrama, for e.g. the therapeutic spiral model or offered short vignettes that emerged from the group process. On last day, on a plenary gathering, there was a presentation of the work from the small reflection groups (the workshops).

For me, this conference was a very important event. After three years of distanced connection with psychodrama, mostly due to pandemic restrictions and caution for in-person gatherings, I could meet in-person colleagues with whom I have had contact since my first involvement in psychodrama world in 2009. The enriching social and learning atmosphere brought new insights to me both on personal and professional level. I could exchange ideas about potential future cooperations with colleagues from many European countries and present the current situation of psychodrama in Germany based on my current knowledge.

Annual meeting summary

From 7th till 11th of May, FEPTO organised the 29th Annual meeting titled “Spontaneity and creativity in the transforming world: 30 years of FEPTO and beyond”. Participants came from many institutes around Europe. The participants were welcomed by Bernard Robinson with a title: “The relationship to speech in psychodrama. The disturbing strangeness of a voice that comes from elsewhere”. The next day several small working groups were formed with predefined topics. I chose the group that worked on sociometry application. The group consisted of 18 people, and we had three successive sessions. The work in the small group was very inspiring since it brought three subtopics – sociometry in selection of a protagonist, sociometry as a diagnostic tool, and sociometry and sexuality. Facilitator was Leandra Perrotta. The work of the group was dynamic since each of us, at some point, could take over the lead of the group and process it in a sociometric way. The potentials of sociometry were explored and put into connection with our professional experience of using it in different settings. Meanwhile, our colleagues from Turkey presented their work with those affected by the disastrous earthquake. There was a celebration of the 30th anniversary of FEPTO foundation and a city sight-seeing was organized. On the 10th of May, the General assembly was held and some changes to the constitution were proposed i.e., 2 votes for accrediting organisations (actual state: 1 vote) and 3 votes for training institutes (actual state: 2 votes). Majority of the representatives voted in favour of this change. The second proposal referred to the membership of institutes i.e., resubmission for approval of membership every 5 years. The rationale behind this proposal was to stimulate the institutes to be active and to have an overview of member institutes which no longer are active. Majority of voters were in favour of this change. On the assembly, four candidate psychodrama institutes were also presented. The representatives elaborated their work in front of the audience and answered questions. All four institutes were accepted as new FEPTO members with majority of votes.

For me, the Annual meeting was a great opportunity to meet people from many institutes around Europe and discuss variety of topics concerning psychodrama application and its potentials. I could also have a closer look at the structural changes and development of FEPTO and its future aspirations and goals. The choice of the topic of sociometry was important step for me because it is an area where I would like to deepen my knowledge and expertise. My particular interest lies in the field of sociometry as a diagnostic tool of group dynamics as well as its therapeutic agency.

As a recent member of DFP and representative on this event, I could share my current involvement with psychodrama with other colleagues. In fact, two of my PhD projects involve psychodrama interventions and there were many supportive and positive feedbacks about them from all colleagues I talked to. The professional interests of my mentor Prof. Schnabel who is DFP contact person of psychodrama research group correspond to my interests in psychodrama research, as well. This is a nice connecting loop because my first encounter with FEPTO was the FEPTO Research Committee meeting in Budapest in 2009. Since DFP has a committee that take cares about enhancing psychodrama research, I see my contribution primarily in this area. After finishing my PhD projects, I would be glad to present them on a future FEPTO RC meeting. There was a proposal that the future research committee meetings take place once a year. Currently, RC meets twice a year.

At the end, I would like to express my honour to have represented Deutscher Fachverband für Psychodrama and to express my gratitude for their financial support of my participation on this event.

Ilija Dojchinovski
International Psychoanalytic University Berlin