Survey of Psychodramatists' Opinions: Professional Issues Post 9/11

Article excerpt

To find out psychodramatists' opinions about issues facing the profession that might have been affected by the terrorist acts of 09/11/2001, a survey was mailed to 200 individuals selected at random from the Directory of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. Of the 78 respondents, 45 (58%) indicated that they felt the terrorist acts changed the profession "some-to-extensively". Client issues, populations of clients served, approaches to psychotherapy, and training in psychodrama were major areas of perceived change. While 78 respondents may not represent the entire profession, it was hoped that the opinions conveyed could guide discussions as the healing professions attempt to cope with the after-effects of acts of terrorism.

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Introduction and Method

To ascertain psychodramatists' opinions about issues facing the profession that might have been affected by the major acts of terrorism in the United States on September 11th, 2001, a survey was mailed to 200 individuals selected at random from the Directory of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. Two doctoral-level psychologists, one of whom has extensive training in psychodrama, designed the survey, which contained primarily closed-ended questions for ease of response. Respondents were encouraged to provide additional qualifying information for each area of perceived change.

Of the 78 respondents, 67 provided demographic information. Of those 67, 40 were female and 27 male; 64 indicated that they were White, 1 responded Asian/Pacific Island American, and 2 indicated "other" as their race/ethnicity. In terms of age, 5 were 30-39, 11 were 40-49, 34 were 50-59, 12 were 60-69, and 5 indicated "over 70".

Twenty-six of the 67 respondents providing demographic information indicated they were certified at the Practitioner level and 41 said they were credentialed at the Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP) level. The average number of years indicated in practice as a psychodramatist was 19.0, with a range of 2-50 years. Twenty-nine self-identified primarily as a psychodramatist, and 38 indicated that their primary professional identification was other than as a psychodramatist. Of the latter 38, 12 self- identified as psychologists, 8 as psychotherapists, 9 as social workers, 4 as professors, 2 as professional counselors, 1 as a clinical consultant, 1 as a music therapist, and 1 as a lawyer.

Results

Following is a summary of the 78 responses to the survey of significant issues facing the psychodrama profession following the terrorist events of September 11th (commonly called 9/11).

Of the 78 survey respondents, 11 (14%) felt the terrorist events of 9/11 changed the profession of psychodrama extensively, 34 (44%) felt those events changed the profession "some", 26 (33%) indicated no change, and 7 (9%) left the question blank. When asked about areas of the profession that might have changed as a result of 9/11 events, "client issues" was indicated as the area of greatest change, with 53 (68%) of the respondents indicating "some-to-extensive" change. "Population of clients served" was another area of notable perceived change, with 44 (56%) of the respondents indicating "some to extensive" change. In addition, a notable number (42 or 54%) of respondents felt that their approaches to psychotherapy were changed because of 9/11 events. …