The P.E.R.F.O.R.M.E.R.S. project
(Partnership to Enhance the Recurrent Formation of Educators through the Reinforcement of Sociodrama)
“Recently, during my work with youth with risky behaviour, I’m facing situations and problems which I repeatedly feel are impossible to solve. My colleagues and other people working on the field are reporting similar experiences of becoming paralyzed and helpless without sufficient resources and motivation. Basically, what kind of a credible future could we give them? What could be their place in our society? Whom and in what could they hope? In what can we, the helpers hope? Are we protecting them, or is it the other way round: society should be protected from these youngsters? ” – These questions are constantly formulated by professionals working with deprived, refugee, migrant and Roma youths across Europe. The emerging questions form also the basis of our Sociodrama work in the PERFORMERS project.
In November 2016 youth professionals and psychodrama trainers from 4 different countries had a meeting in Budapest. This meeting was the opening event of a 15 month long European project linking Sociodrama professionals, psychodrama training institutions and organizations working with disadvantaged youth from different countries in order to transfer Sociodrama curricula and methods, and implement it in national psychodrama training systems and especially in the training of youth field professionals.
The project is realized in the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership in Vocational Education and Training (VET) Program framework. This program of the European Commission focuses on social inclusion of marginalized groups of young people (young offenders, refugees, youth with migrant or Roma background) and supports projects promoting the development, sharing and implementation of innovative methods for social inclusion.
Judith Teszáry, together with Kata Horváth form the Hungarian Psychodrama Association started to design the project in 2015. After elaborating the management and administrative background, and working out the professional design of the project, potential European psychodrama partners were invited to participate by using the FEPTO network. On one hand we contacted psychodrama organizations having strong Sociodrama expertise and those expressing the need to make Sociodrama a more significant part of their local psychodrama training structure. On the other hand we asked the psychodrama organizations to start a local cooperation with institutions working with deprived, disadvantaged groups of youths and to select the one they intend to collaborate with within the frame of an international Sociodrama project.
Eventually, 8 organizations from 4 countries cooperate in the PERFORMERS project:
∙ The Hungarian Psychodrama Association (MPE), as coordinator of the project
∙ The Budapest Detention Centre (EMMIBP), as the Hungarian “youth field partner” working with criminalized youngsters
∙ The Swedish Association of Psychodramatists (SPF), as the professional leader of the project
∙ The Huddingegymnasiet, a Swedish high school working with new-coming refugee youths
∙ The Portuguese Society of Psychodrama (SPP), as the organization already having Sociodrama training curriculum
∙ NOS Association, as the Portuguese “youth field partner” working with disabled and disadvantaged youth in a marginalized neighbourhood of Lisbon.
∙ Centre for the Study and Application of Psychodrama (Thessaloniki), as informal Greek psychodrama organization partner.
∙ARSIS a Greek NGO working with youths in the most vulnerable situations for example in refugee camps.
The Hungarian Psychodrama Association, as the leader of the consortium coordinates the project with a local staff of 11 members (Béla Fedor as project leader and Kata Horvath as project coordinator are leaders of the whole consortium). The professional leader of the project is Judith Teszáry, representing the Swedish Association. Each participating organization delegates its own staff in the project. Altogether 42 psychodrama and youth -field professionals are working together in order to develop a Sociodrama supervision and training methodology focusing on five context specific topics, which were defined actually at the above mentioned Budapest meeting.
The project design is based on an integrative structure where international trainings are followed by local ones. The three five-days long international trainings will be realized in Lisbon (January 2017), Thessaloniki (May, 2017) and Budapest (September, 2017). These international trainings similarly to their local iterations in each country are based on the five focus topics. On local level Sociodrama workshops will be held for the youth workers of the partner organizations, for the youth target groups of the partner organizations and for local Psychodramatists interested in the Sociodrama method. All in all approximately 30 Sociodrama training events will be realized during the 15 months of the project in the four program countries.
In order to be able to follow and understand what is happening in each specific context and to draw methodological edifications and conclusions, we are developing a common documentation methodology based on criteria used in Psychodrama process analysis. The “diary” as we call it, is a process description tool for the directors, which helps them describe the process by following guided questions about the context of the given Sociodrama session, about the drama process itself (techniques used, decisions made, etc.), about the evolution of group dynamics, and about emerging social meanings and contents.
According to our plan the PERFORMERS project is supposed to be the first phase of a more ambitious undertaking of psychodrama organizations for the development of a European basic training standard in Sociodrama and a Sociodrama curriculum which could be adapted by psychodrama training institutes in several European countries. In the next phases we are planning to involve in the project other countries’ psychodrama organizations interested in rethinking roles, potentials and forms of Sociodrama for today’s challenging social situations and implementing Sociodrama as a separate branch of their training system.
(Kata Horvath - Erika Molnar - Judith Teszary)