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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

AM24-PDW5: The experience of psychoanalysis and psychodrama in working with groups and communities in a situation of social trauma and conflict


Professional Development Workshop: PDW 5
Monday 1 July 2024
9.15am to 5.45pm EEST
CE Credits Available

The experience of psychoanalysis and psychodrama in working with groups and communities in a situation of social trauma and conflict

Zlatko Teoharov & Antoaneta Mateeva

The aim of this workshop is to demonstrate the potentials offered by the combination of psychodrama and psychoanalytic approaches when working with groups on the issues of social trauma and the creation of the enemy-other. In an interactive way the participants will be able to experience parts of this model of work and to reflect on their own practices with the issue. Short theoretical frame and vignettes from facilitators’ personal practice will also be introduced.

The workshop is open for a broad range of practitioners from practice, policy and academy working with groups and situations of social crisis.

In the first part of the work, the participants will be invited through their own active engagement to explore the process of polarization and production of an enemy-other in a situation of group crisis and to reflect on this process. In the second part, the group will explore the potentials offered by certain concepts and methods of psychodrama and psychoanalysis to visualize this process and to open such a space in which the other is not eliminated, the destructiveness is limited and a greater degree of understanding of the opposing position is achieved. In the third part, the facilitators will offer an opportunity to reflect on the work of the previous two sessions by introducing key theoretical concepts from individual and group psychoanalysis and sociodrama, presenting vignettes of their experiences working with these approaches and giving participants the opportunity to share their own experiences with the topic.

Learning outcomes:
The participants will develop more knowledge about the theories and concepts applied in both sociodrama and individual and group psychoanalysis to understand and work with the situations of trauma, conflicts and exclusion in groups and communities. They will be introduced with the specific approach created by the facilitators to combine both paradigms when working on the process of construction of the enemy-other. Participants will be able to experience themselves parts of this approach and will be able to reflect on their own experience and to share their own practices.

Target group:
Professionals working with groups, communities and larger group formations; specialists working with the issues and the consequences of individual and social trauma; team leaders and managers; teachers, social workers, and other helping professionals; politicians, social activists, academics.

Working method:
During the workshop the facilitators will apply participatory, experiential, reflexive and dialogical methods of work with the participants encouraging them actively to engage with the theme and the
methods of work with it. Facilitators will also offer short presentations on the theoretical frame in which they work and vignettes from their personal practice.

The workshop will be organized in 3 sessions of 90 minutes each with 15 minutes break between them.

Working language:
English language

Biographical Summaries:

Zlatko Teoharov, psychodrama therapist (co-founder and board member of the DEA Psychodrama Institute, Sofia), group psychoanalyst (Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Gruppenanalyse - IAG, Bonn, Germany), group dynamics trainer (licensed by Austrian Association for Group Dynamics and Group Therapy - ÖAGG), long-time lecturer at the NBU (Sofia, Bulgaria) and EFHD (Darmstadt, Germany). Teoharov acquires individual, family and group therapeutic practice, consultancy and supervision in the field of psychosocial, therapeutic and organizational work. He is a member of the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy (BAP) and of the Bulgarian Society of Psychodrama and Group Therapy (BSPGT), chairman of the Psychology of Groups Institute (PGI, Sofia).

Antoaneta Mateeva PhD, professor in clinical social work MA, BA and postgraduate programs at the Department of Health and Social Work, New Bulgarian University and researcher at Know-How Center for Alternative Care for Children, NBU. Co-founder, group dynamic trainer and organisational consultant of Psychology of Groups Institute in Sofia. Co-founder and clinical supervisor at Right to Childhood Foundation. Board member of the Bulgarian Association for Supervision and member of the Ethical Committee of the European Association for Supervision ANSE. She holds a PhD in Psycho-Social Studies from the University of the West of England. Her dissertation is on "University education and the culture of social participation in Bulgaria". Member of ISPSO, ÖAGG and ANSE.