About PANZ

Psychodrama Aotearoa New Zealand (PANZ) is an Aotearoa-registered Charitable Trust that offers psychodrama training at campuses throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. PANZ is a part of the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association Inc (AANZPA Inc)


What is PANZ?

Psychodrama Aotearoa New Zealand (PANZ) is an Aotearoa-registered Charitable Trust (NZBN 9429042614814) operated by a management committee in liaison with a Board of Trustees that offers psychodrama training at campuses throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. PANZ is a part of the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association Inc (AANZPA Inc).

What is the purpose and theory underlying Psychodrama training?

Psychodrama is a general term that refers to any approach that expresses the philosophy and methods developed by Dr J.L. Moreno. He described psychodrama as the drama of the soul and the ‘theatre of truth’. The term psychodrama includes the concepts of spontaneity, creativity, role creation, role system, social and cultural atom, surplus reality, social atom repair, and specific psychodramatic techniques such as self presentation, mirroring, doubling, role reversal, concretisation, maximisation and future projection. The generic term psychodrama includes classical psychodrama, sociodrama, sociometry, role training and spontaneity training.

Psychodrama training is intended to develop trainees’ capacity to use the psychodramatic method to waken abilities and energies, to bring into our consciousness a greater sense of who we are and of the unique purpose which each of us has in being on this planet, and to assist us to make a working whole. It invites us to leave the conserved and stultified patterns by which we have imprisoned ourselves, and to enter once more into a free situation. We are invited to create through drama the situations that we have always dreamed of, and, through the release of spontaneity in role play, to develop abilities that have a practical application in life itself.

How long does the training take?

The training is designed as a 5-7 year training programme. The actual time training takes however varies from person to person. Progress is determined in the main by a trainee’s readiness and their completion of developmental tasks that meet requirements specified in the AANZPA Inc. Training and Standards Manual.

How is the training structured?

All training is part time and conducted either as an annual programme with monthly sessions or stand alone workshops. Most events are non residential. Training is at a post graduate level that requires trainees to already be working in a profession in which they can apply the psychodrama method. Largely trainees structure their training to suit their situation. This is achieved in consultation with a trainer/supervisor. Assignments are set through the year along with specific readings. Some assignments are required to be submitted. Formal requirements for certification require greater structure to be determined in consultation between the trainee, their Primary Trainer, campus trainers and supervisor.

Who leads the training?

Training is conducted by trainers authorised by the AANZPA Board of Examiners. Trainers are either certificated TEPs (Trainer, Educator, Practitioners) or are in the process of becoming qualified as TEPs. Typically trainers are staff members of the local campus but from time to time other visiting trainers may contribute to the training programme.

What method of training is used?

Development in psychodrama is primarily achieved through experiential learning in a group setting using the psychodramatic method. Training sessions are active and require participation in group training sessions. Trainees are actively involved as director, protagonist, auxiliary and audience member and learn to use the method through supervised practice in training sessions. The training is an iterative process using content that emerges in group sessions as the focus for didactic teaching and learning tasks.

What requirements are there of trainees?
Trainees are required to attend and participate in training and stay in regular communication with trainers and supervisors keeping them informed of their experience and development and anything that might affect their ability to participate in training. Trainees are expected to maintain their own record of learning, noting hours of personal development and therapy, professional development, supervision and training.

Trainees are required to submit an annual training plan, complete assignments, be in supervision with a trainer if they are applying the method and attend training interviews. Once a trainee has begun applying the method it is expected that they would become an Associate Member of AANZPA, be actively involved in AANZPA and abide with AANZPA’s Code of Ethics.

How do I get into Psychodrama Training in Aotearoa New Zealand?

A person may enter psychodrama training once they have enrolled and meet the entry criteria. These criteria are listed on the website. Enrolment is done electronically via the enrolment form on the web page for each campus. Once the enrolment is received campus trainers will interview the prospective trainee to ensure they have the necessary pre-requisites for training in Psychodrama in Aotearoa New Zealand. Acceptance into training is at the discretion of the trainers in the campus.

Is my previous experience taken into account?

Yes. Psychodrama is an applied method requiring trainees to have a setting in which they can apply the method. Often the trainee has previous experience in other modalities or in professions that contribute significantly to the development of the identity of a psychodrama practitioner. Certification in psychodrama includes 1800 hours of experience some of which may be in allied fields.

What happens if I withdraw from training?

It is expected that trainees keep trainers informed of their situation especially if there are changes that affect their ability to participate in training. Campus policies on withdrawal and refunds are published on this website. Generally, fees are non-refundable once training commences but, depending on circumstances, may be transferred. Withdrawal does not necessarily affect a person enrolling in subsequent training events.

How is AANZPA connected with the training?

AANZPA is the professional body and community of practice for psychodrama in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. As such it is the body that guides the standards and practice of all AANZPA certificated psychodrama practitioners. Psychodrama training is conducted under the auspices of AANZPA. PANZ is accredited as an institute by the AANZPA Board of Examiners which also approves all training staff. When a trainee begins applying the method it is expected that they become an Associate Member of AANZPA and participate in annual AANZPA conference various regional events.

Does Psychodrama Training lead to registration in other fields?

Training in psychodrama covers many of the requirements for certification as a psychotherapist or counsellor. Psychodrama is recognised by the Psychotherapy Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ) so once certificated as a Psychodramatist a person can seek registration with PBANZ as a Psychotherapist.

What is the cost of training in Psychodrama?

Training costs vary depending on the number and type of events a person enrols in. An annual programme is about 100 hours and costs approximately $3500. Supervision hours are additional to this. There is no extra cost for training resources.

How can I pay my fees?

Fees are paid on invoice and are due and payable on receipt of that invoice. Fees must be paid in full by the end of the training year. Arrangements for internet banking and for regular automatic payments can be made with the campus. There is no facility for cash or Eftpos transactions.

What happens to information kept on me?

Information is kept solely for the purposes of training. Information is shared between trainers in PANZ to ensure trainees’ training needs are attended to. Information is confidential to trainers and training records are kept secure.

What do I do if there’s a problem?

The Director of Training of each campus is the point of contact for any problem. It is desirable that anyone who experiences a problem addresses the issue directly with the person(s) concerned as close as possible to the time the problem arises. It is appreciated that this is not always possible so PANZ has a complaints process. PANZ trainers are bound by the AANZPA Code of Ethics so the trainee may also raise a complaint through the AANZPA Complaints Process which can be found on aanzpa.org

What is psychodrama?

Psychodrama is a generic term describing action methods developed by Dr J.L Moreno (1889-1974). Psychodrama focuses on developing creativity to find new, and sometimes novel, answers to life issues. Participants try out and enact different roles and responses to familiar and challenging situations. People often discover ideas and solutions they didn't know existed, and which they would never have found using conventional training or self-discovery methods. Instead of passively absorbing ‘the answers', they actively create their own answers and help other people and groups find theirs. Psychodrama is a spontaneous and fluid method, not didactic and rigid. The emphasis is on each individual developing their own spontaneity, their own capacity for creativity, and applying that to any situation.

What is sociodrama?

Sociodrama is a method developed by Dr. J. L. Moreno that deals with problems in which the collective aspect of the problem is put in the foreground. Sociodrama focuses on inter-group relations and collective ideologies rather than the individual and their private problems. The true subject of a sociodrama is the group and aims at social catharsis or healing. A premise of sociodrama is that the group is organised by the social and cultural roles everyone shares in some degree. Group members identify a particular issue of interest and spontaneously enact a situation to explore or address that issue. Psychodramatic techniques assist group members to gain insight and develop roles that enable new and creative solutions at both individual and collective levels.

What is sociometry?

Sociometry is the social science of relationships. Sociometry enables us to measure, map and develop relationships so that the invisible forces operating in a group are made overt and explored. Sociometry is an essential tool for people to build mature group networks, to strengthen positive relationships and to reduce isolation.

What is role training?

Role training brings about the development of a specific aspect of human functioning that enables a person’s goals for work or personal life to be achieved more fully. The psychodramatic method is mobilising the spontaneity of a group to assist that person develop adequate functioning.

What do I get at the end of Psychodrama training?

Psychodrama is a generic term describing action methods developed by J.L Moreno. In Aotearoa New Zealand we have four specialties in which a trainee can certificate: Psychodrama, Sociodrama, Sociometry and Role Training. Training covers all specialties and a certificated practitioner is able to work in all specialties. The specialty for certification is determined by the trainee’s professional identity and intended area of practice.

  • A psychodramatist primarily works therapeutically with clients.
  • A sociodramatist primarily works with organisations, community and other groups focusing on social issues of concern to the group.
  • A sociometrist primarily works with interpersonal relationships and dynamics operating in families, teams, organisations or other groups of people.
  • A role trainer primarily works in settings where the focus is on developing specific roles e.g. in coaching, training and organisational settings.

Certification occurs at the AANZPA annual conference. Once certificated a person becomes an Ordinary Member of AANZPA and is subject to the obligations of AANZPA membership.

Are there articles I could read on psychodrama and related areas?

An enormous amount has been written on psychodrama. A search of Google Scholar will show up many reading opportunities. AANZPA produces the AANZPA Journal which is freely available and demonstrates the effective use of Psychodrama through members’ articles and book reviews. There have been many books published in several languages since the 1920's including the seminal works of J.L. Moreno, the founder of Psychodrama. An extended bibliography is available. There are numerous scientific journals published around the world in languages such as English, French, German, Scandinavian, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and others as well as articles in a wide range of other journals. New books are published on various uses and aspects of psychodrama every year.

About training

Psychodrama Training is recognised by the Psychotherapy Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ) as a pathway towards registration as a Psychotherapist. Once qualified as a Psychodramatist a person can apply to PBANZ for registration. Trainees wishing to become registered psychotherapists work with campus trainers to establish adequate supervision, client work and any additional training/tasks that might be required given the trainee’s particular circumstances.

Psychodrama training is a post-graduate level of development based on the work of Dr J. L. Moreno. The programme, outlined in the AANZPA Training and Standards Manual, is designed to develop your understanding and expertise in your work with individuals and groups in interpersonal relations, social systems and group processes that enable you to be more effective, spontaneous and creative in your lives and work.

Progress is determined by an assessment of your role development and readiness to commence the next phase of training. Assessment requirements are discussed by you with your supervisor and trainer at regular intervals throughout the training process.

The training is experiential. You will learn from your direct involvement in the psychodrama method as a protagonist, director, auxiliary, group member, and group leader. Supported by supervision, you will be encouraged in the application of the method in your work.

Annual training programmes and short training workshops are provided by PANZ campuses.

A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of mankind.

JL Morneo

Who Shall Survive

About psychodrama

Psychodrama is a philosophy, a body of knowledge and a method for working with groups and individuals to enable the emergence of spontaneity and creativity. This enhances our ability to respond to our life and work situations in ways that are effective, fresh, vital and relevant. We are invited to leave the conserved patterns in which we find ourselves constrained and to enter into a free situation.

Psychodrama has been referred to as the drama of the soul and the theatre of truth. It is a general term that refers to any approach that expresses the philosophy and methods developed by Dr J.L. Moreno.

‘Psyche’ relates to the mind or spirit, while ‘drama’ relates to action, image, and story. Psychodrama is a form of drama that works to enliven the psyche. By combining thinking, feeling and action, psychodrama enables us to explore life and relationships with their nuances and complexities and to get to the reality beneath the surface.

The psychodrama method is based on the idea of highly motivated human beings acting on the aspirations and deepest concerns of the society or subculture or small group in which we live.

History of psychodrama

Psychodrama is based on the philosophy and methods conceived of by psychiatrist Dr Jacob Moreno (1889-1974). It grew out of his experiments in Vienna in the 1920’s with the theatre of spontaneity, a form of improvisational theatre. Moving to the USA in 1925 he continued to combine this with his interest in social science, exploring the possibilities of treating clients using group psychotherapy. This work has been further refined by many practitioners and training institutes around the world including in the United Kingdom, Central and Eastern Europe, USA, South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Though somewhat younger, Moreno was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, and like Freud he developed techniques to get below the surface of ordinary life to help people heal. Yet where Freud used the couch, Moreno used the stage, and instead of sitting passively he was an active participant on this stage.

Moreno developed several techniques related to psychodrama, including sociodrama, sociometry, role theory and group psychotherapy, all of which are studied within the QTIP program.

Psychodrama is being actively used and taught throughout to the world. In places such as North and South America, Canada, the European Union, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan.

About Assignments

Completing assignments enables the integration of theory and practice. You will develop a love of writing by wholeheartedly embracing this task. Your trainers will give a response to the work that you present.

About Supervision

Supervision is regarded as being an integral part of the training process and is available individually or in small groups. 

About Peer Groups

Trainees are encouraged to form peer supervision groups and seek guidance from the Institute staff to establish these.