Survey of Psychodramatists' Opinions: Issues Facing the Profession for the New Millennium

Article excerpt

As the new millennium approaches, it was felt that a thoughtful questioning of the psychodrama profession could be a valuable process in evaluating potential areas of change. A survey was mailed to 200 randomly selected individuals from the Directory of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. Sixty-five respondents indicated the degree to which changes are anticipated and offered suggestions. A general consensus was that change is inevitable and that the profession would be better served if potential areas of change would be addressed in an organized and thoughtful manner. Areas of predicted change receiving the greatest responses included: populations served by the profession, use of technology, training, ethical issues, and recognition by other therapeutic modalities.

Introduction and Method

In order to ascertain the opinions of psychodramatists about issues facing their profession for the next millennium, 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. The survey was designed by two psychologists and contained primarily closed-ended questions for ease of response, individuals were encouraged to provide additional qualifying or elaborating information for each area of potential change. Sixty-five responses to the survey were received. Of those responding, 25 self-identified as female and 20 as male; 61 reported being White/Caucasian/European American, 1 as African American, 1 as Hispanic/Latino/Latina, and 1 as Hispanic/ White (Biracial). Ages reported included: 3 as 30-39, 20 as 40-49, 23 as 50-59, 13 as 60-69, and 6 as 70 or over.

Of the 65 respondents, 33 indicated that they were certified at the Practitioner level and 32 were credentialed at the Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP) level. In terms of practice as a psychodramatist, 6 reported 5 or less years, 19 reported 6-10 years, 23 said 11-20 years, 13 indicated 21-30 years, and 4 reported 31 or more years. When asked, "Do you identify yourself primarily as a psychodramatist?", 15 replied "yes" and 50 replied "no". Of those indicating that they did not primarily identify themselves as a psychodramatist, 14 reported their primary professional identification as psychologist, 10 as social worker, 7 as psychotherapist, 7 as counselor, 3 as marriage-family counselor, and 2 as occupational therapist.

Results

Following is a summary of responses to the survey about potential areas of change in the psychodrama profession. In some instances no response was given; so the total for each item may not be 65.

Question/Item

                                    Not
                                   At All   Some   Extensive

Do you visualize the psychodrama
  profession changing in the
  next millennium                     3      39       20

In what areas do you predict
greatest changes:

Training                              8      40       14
Certification                        11      41       11
Populations Served                    8      29       27
Ethical Issues                       11      37       15
Organizational Membership             8      41       11
Use of Technology                     9      31       21
Recognition by Other Therapeutic
  Modalities                          8      40       14
Feelings of Empowerment by
  Organization Members               12      37       12
Characteristics of the
  Psychodramatist                    11      39       13

The 65 respondents generally saw some to extensive changes for the profession of psychodrama in each area of response. Each survey asked for elaboration if the respondent chose to provide it. The authors reviewed the comments for common themes, grouped comments by themes, and did not include duplicated comments. Thus, of those responding that changes in the area of training were forecast, the following additional comment-themes were received. …