Updated February 2004


Artistic Director - John Bergman
Because we think that the priorities of dramatherapy, and the arts based treatments have shifted so dramatically, we have separated books and articles and exercises from research. This page will be just for books in our field and some exercises. So some of the books on this page will stay BECAUSE they are so critical to the field. The only exception is we have included a few of the chapters that we have written in the field of criminal justice on this page.

But there is a new page for research alone!
The books we put on this page are intended for new dramatherapists, people in the field of criminal justice, people who are experienced with experiential work and WANT MORE!! And whoever else rolls up.

But first ...
Our book is PUBLISHED!!!
And we think it looks GREAT!

Thank you to our publishers - Woods 'n Barnes - especially David and Mony.

It’s called:
Challenging Experience, (2003) by Bergman J and Hewish S
Published by Woods 'n Barnes. Oklahoma.

And it’s 100 or more dramatherapy exercises for the treatment of violent and sexually violent adult and adolescent clients .It’s laid out in a format for treatment if you want – and intended for staff who really know their way around the material- NOT FOR NEW STAFF. (Sorry)

So far we have had a review by Adam Blatner:

“ The authors have thought out the issues of warming-up, exploring different therapy goals and degrees of involvement. This itself is a good contribution to the theoretical foundations of drama work. Thus, exercises are noted along two parameters: Are they for warming-up, low intensity, high intensity, or calming and cooling in the service of closure? Is the goal of therapy opening up to the mind; remembering; remembering and feeling; attachment; human needs; changing; or maintaining and moving? The authors also note which exercises are more kinesthetic and which are more verbal, or how they may be mixed. This first part of the book is a must-read for all group leaders!”

The second part of the book is rich in action exercises. In addition to the one-hundred and five specific exercises, there are plenty of good references–the authors revealing their capacity for scholarship and respect for what else has been done in the field–and a good psychological understanding of the complexity and the touchiness of the subject matter and the populations served.

And a dear friend of ours wrote:

"Your book rocks, by the way, we picked it up at the conference, we loved going through it, seeing the pictures (of you!), and laughing as we remembered so many of the exercises. I have already used the warm-up exercises in a training for the school on non-verbal behaviors and Rick and I are using the book to plan a marathon group (7 hours) with the kids from the sex offender program in December. So thank you and I hope many others discover it!"

Pre-List: ..Touch and for those of you into games!
Boy Scout handbooks from the 50's. Invaluable exercises that you can mould really fast.

McNeely D.A., Touching: Body Therapy and Depth Psychology. pub. Inner City Books , Toronto

Montague . A., Touching.

The Body In Analysis,(1986) edited by Schwartz-Salant N., Murray Chiron Publications , Wilmette, Illinois

A Dramatherapy PLUS Criminal Justice Book List.
(And in two months we will give you an art/picture list!)

Bergman J., Hewish S., The Violent Illusion. Drama therapy and the Dangerous Voyage To the Heart of Change , Arts Approaches to Conflict
Edited by Marian Liebmann, Pub by Jessica Kingsley

Bergman J., Life, the Life Event and Theater. A personal Narrative on the Use of Drama Therapy With Sex Offenders The Sex Offender.Vol.1
Edited by Cellini and Schwartz, Civic Research Institute Press

Bergman J., Using Drama Therapy to do Personal Victimisation work with sexual aggressors ,A review of the Research. The Sex Offender. Vol.2
Edited by Cellini and Schwartz, Civic Research Institute Press

Bergman. J., (2000) Creating New Cultures: Using Drama Therapy to Build Therapeutic Communities in Prisons. Current Approaches in Drama Therapy. ed. Lewis .P ., Johnson .D .R., pub.Charles C .Thomas. Illinois.

Blatner, A. (1997a). Acting-In: Practical Applications of Psychodramatic Methods (3rd ed.). London: Free Association Books.(some dynamite ways to shape a session)

Boal, A., (2002), Games for Actors and Non- Actors. Routledge. N.Y. (Boal is crucial—whether for FORUM work, or for spontaneity work with criminal justice staff, or just cross cultural work. )

Brandes, Donna & Norris, John. (1998). Gamesters Handbook 3. pub.Stanley Thornes., Cheltenham,( there's also viol 1 and 2-- I used to use 1 when I first started work—fabulous book)

Cossa . M., Acting Out . Accelerated Press. great improvs, I've used a few of these with a slew of clients-

Dayton, Tian. (1990). Drama Games: Techniques for Self-Development. Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL ( more sit then action but great paper and pencil exercises)

Dayton, Tian. (1994). The Drama Within: Psychodrama and Experiential Therapy.

Einon,D., (1989) Creative Play. Penguin, Australia. ( One of the simplest and best books on developmental play stages for children, what they’re doing and thinking. Although its getting on, it has a mess of stuff for people who work with children and want to do a compare and goal set with their clients!)

Emunah, Renee. (1994). Acting for Real. Drama Therapy Process and Technique Brunner/Mazel ( if you're working with children this is a dynamic book for the beginner who might want to also design a program)

Fox, Jonathan; & Dauber, Heinrich (Eds.). (1999). Gathering Voices: Essays on Playback Theatre. Tusitala Publishing, New Paltz. (playback theatre techniques are a critical part of the orchestra of dramatherapy)

Fox, Jonathan. (1994) Acts of Service: Spontaneity, Commitment, Tradition in the Nonscripted Theatre.. Tusitala Publishing, New Paltz, NY

Hughes.D.A., (1997), Facilitating Developmental Attachment. Aronson ,New Jersey. ( this is the one of the best books there is on attachment techniques with young folk! And most of it experiential.)

Hunter .M., The Ethical Use of Touch In Psychotherapy SagePress very important material on the therapy of touch, and one more piece to add to the argument against touch sterility.

Jennings S., Cattanach, A., Mitchell, S., Meldrum, B., & Chesner, A. (1994). Handbook of Dramatherapy, Routledge

Jennings, S. (1998). Introduction to Dramatherapy: Theatre & Healing: Ariadne's Ball of Thread. pb. Jessica Kingsley/ Taylor & Francis.

Johnston.C HOUSE OF GAMES(Making Theatre From Everyday Life),published by Routledge.

Jones. P., Drama As Therapy, Theatre as Living.- -Routledge Press-the chapter on assessment is very useful- and he mentions older tools!

Kellerman P.F., and Hudgins.M.K., (2000) eds. Psychodrama with Trauma Survivors. Jessica Kingsley ,Philadephia . ( One of the best collections trhat there is on treating trauma with psychodrama techniques, and criminal justice folk should at least peer at this).

KNOPP .F.H. ( Faye Honey) A Primer on the Complexities of Traumatic Memory of Childhood Sexual Abuse -Safer Press. This woman was an inspiration to all of us who have worked for any length of time with folk who sexually offend. Wish she was still here! This material on how the brain works and knows and what trauma does still cuts through a lot of the standard yammer and stimulates real thought about working in the field.

Lambie .I. ,Robson. M ., Simmonds. Embedding Psychodrama in a Wilderness Group Program for Adolescent Sex Offenders . The Journal Of Offender Rehabilitation, vol 26, no's. 1&2 1997 great role reversal material.

Landy, R.J. (1994).Drama Therapy: Concepts and Practices (2nd Ed). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas

Sternberg .P.,Theatre for Conflict Resolution. Heinemann Press. Pat is a sociodramatist and one of my favourite people in the drama therapy field- no one is more clear and direct. The book is filled with exercises, ideas, affect igniters etc.

Wiener, Daniel J. (1994). Rehearsals for Growth: Theater Improvisation for Psychotherapists. New York: W.W. Norton. (-a psych who loves improv -some great variations of classic dramatherapy exercises)

Yablonsky, Lewis. (1992). Psychodrama. Brunner/Mazel ( look at the intensity of this mans work- that’s what's hard to teach, how high the affect is pitched)

And some Exercises

The simplest way to go deeper , especially when the block/resist/confusion begins, is to help the client CREATE the block. For instance - the client says “I don’t know”, and if you can’t go round this in anyway, then……
· “ when you said I don’t know, what was that like?
· And what did that look like?
· How big?
· Noisy or quiet?
· If I don’t know sat in a chair what/how would it sit?
· Let’s talk to it now-
· Mr. I don’t know are you working hard on the client?
· How? Etc.
Then role reverse. We write about it in Challenging Experience. Turn the block/resistance into a character that the client can control, not be controlled by it.

This is one that has been on the site for a year or more, but it works:- Sometimes clients simply cannot make sense of their own minds. So ... Take four or five dolls, toys, masks even clothes pegs with different colours- then do this:
· Ask the client who/what is the front part of his mind, mark this with a prop, then what is the back part. It might be a sad mask, or a box for another secret.
· As you progress you can begin to create craters in the middle of his head etc. Its an animated map or diagram.
· Once the basic configuration is there then you can set up action exercises, e.g.: using two chairs create the hillside that is the hill in the client's mind. Try to get him to defend the hill, show more of the "voices” in his mind and so on.

For more info on the cutting edge of Theatre and Drama Therapy,
contact Artistic Director
John Bergman at: Macflap@aol.com or macflap@optusnet.com.au