You Are Not Your Symptoms: Bodily Symptoms as Metaphors
6:00 – 9:00pm (3hrs)
The hypothesis: The use of psychodrama with psychosomatic patients is more effective than verbal therapies. Psychosomatic states are characterized by the lack of ability to symbolize, the lack of spontaneity, low emotional expressiveness, and low stress tolerance. Very often the patient is not aware of the connection between the bodily symptoms and the psychosocial and environmental factors. In their daily life, the patients act within a reduced role repertoire where the overdeveloped psychosomatic roles dominate. The rationale is that psychodrama is effective in creating clear emotional states, providing symbols for experiences of emotional significance and providing tools to integrate repressed memories of early, often pre-verbal traumatisation. A need for new methods, a new approach and above all a new way of thinking about stress-related diseases are necessary. Health psychology and in particular the contribution of Prof. Aaron Antonovsky, a medical social scientist is of utmost help for a better understanding of psychosomatic diseases.
The workshop is experiential. It gives an opportunity to explore and learn how to transform bodily symptoms into mental structures. The body is carrying both the despairs and the desires.
Judith Teszáry is a psychodrama and sociodrama trainer and supervisor, international lecturer, and founding member of FEPTO (Federation of European Psychodrama Training Organizations). She served as president of FEPTO for 6 years. She is a member of the Task Force for Peace and Conflict Transformation group using the method of sociodrama in conflict areas.
Judith has been working with psychosomatic patients, using psychodrama in a research and treatment project at the Karolinska Institute, Stress Research Department in Stockholm. She is the chair of the Swedish Association of Psychodramatists.