History & Philosophy

D.E.A. Psychodrama Institute is the union of 8 Bulgarian Psychodrama trainers and practitioners with diverse backgrounds and experience in the field of psychology, psychotherapy, medicine, human sciences, arts and related fields. All of them are alumni of the Psychotherapy 2000 foundation, member of FEPTO with main trainers Dr David Jeroham and Dr Evgenii Gentchev. The founding members of DEA have finished their trainings at different times between 2002 and 2010 and have all subsequently worked as trainers for their organization of origin. In recent years, the need for autonomy and the expansion of the activities have led to the formation of a separate training entity. That is how the Institute has been established and formally registered as a non-for-profit foundation in 2016.

Individually, several of the founding members of DEA have been conducting Psychodrama training groups as early as 2002-2003. They are currently active in 4 major Bulgarian cities: Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas. A total of 5 Psychodrama Directors/Therapists and 28 Psychodrama Assistants/Consultants have graduated their training groups so far.[1]

The acronym “D.E.A.” stands for the main theoretical and methodological orientations of the organization: Dramatic, Existential and Analytic. Deep-rooted in J. L. Moreno’s legacy these reference points also reflect the diverse paths the institute trainers have followed in their careers. Having qualified as psychodramatists, they have further developed their skills by specializing and working also in other modalities: psychoanalysis, group analysis, positive psychotherapy, relational psychomotorics, community arts, etc.

Through its trainers, the institute is affiliated to various other organizations, projects and initiatives – nongovernmental, educational, academic and clinical. At present, most of the staff members work as psychotherapists, group leaders and trainers, consultants or supervisors. Several are part- or full-time academic lecturers in major Bulgarian universities in Sofia, Varna and Bourgas. Since 2002 two of them have been actively involved in implementing and teaching at the first Bulgarian Master-level programme based on Psychodrama (MA Artistic Psychosocial Practices and Psychodrama) at the New Bulgarian University. Since 2005 five of them have been or are currently involved as board or committee members of the Bulgarian Society for Psychodrama and Group Therapy. Since 2012, two of the trainers have founded and run the annual Psychodrama Festival in Plovdiv. Staff members have been actively contributing to the development of Playback Theatre, to the practice of Individual Psychoanalytic Psychodrama in clinical settings and the applications of Psychodrama in working with severe mental illness.

Through the years the institute trainers have established various contacts both locally and internationally through their work. Prof Thomas Schwinger, PhD – a German Psychodrama trainer and academic – a now-retired trainer at the Moreno-Institut Überlingen and member of its scientific committee, has been an important supporter and external supervisor to their training of origin. Mme Chantal Neve-Hanquet, Belgium, has been facilitating the formation of the team and supervising some of its activities. Many informal connections have been established with psychodramatists from all over Europe and overseas.

[1] Psychodrama training in Bulgaria is commonly divided into 2 parts (or ‘levels’): Level 1: Psychodrama Assistant/Consultant – the equivalent of 200+600 training hours and Level 2: Psychodrama Director/Therapist – the equivalent of Level 1 + 600 training hours for a total of 1400 training hours. Only graduates of Level 2 are entitled to conduct groups autonomously.