“Sociometry is powerful.

It allows us to connect with parts of ourselves,

each other and whatever we consider

greater than ourselves."

-Wisdom from Barbara Guest Hargin

Barbara Guest Hargin was guest expert trainer for the weekend workshop, A Sociometry Deep-Dive: Beyond Spectrograms, Locograms and Step-In, held at LPTI on June 23-26. During this powerful weekend, Barbara taught—in action—the sociometric cycle (Hale), the healing cycle (Mosher), and the classical psychodramatic Encounter (Moreno, Hale). One participant remarked on their evaluation that what was most significant about the workshop was “The leadership of Barbara and Cathy, which made it a safe space to work with sociometry.” Thank you to the workshop participants and to Barbara for sharing her expertise with LPTI.

Notes from Cathy

More Appriciations 

Dear Psychodramateers:

Welcome to the Summer edition of Behind the Scenes at Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute!

Appreciations to This Year’s Guest Trainers: Thanks to all who participated in the two ongoing Training Cohorts and the Special Topic Workshops during the 2021-2022 training year. And special thanks to the guest trainers who offered their knowledge and expertise this past year—Paula Catalan Bayon, Linda Ciotola and Barbara Guest Hargin. It is a distinct pleasure to bring trainers with expertise to complement and expand the knowledge and skill I can offer, and this year’s guest trainers brought exceptional gifts. (Please note that all three of these outstanding trainers are on the line-up for the 2022-2023 training calendar. See attached.)

An Embarrassment of Riches: The LPTI community continues to grow and flourish! In fact, we are beginning to outgrow the LPTI space. To accommodate the interest in the two most recent Special Topic Workshops (Working Skillfully with Shame and Cultivating Seeds of Self-Compassion), we had to offer a second delivery of both workshops. 

The space we use—my home/office/psychodrama studio—comfortably accommodates about 12 participants with opportunities to eat together in the dining room, rest or meditate quietly in the fireplace room (under renovation and will be open again by the Fall), avail themselves of at least 3 break-out rooms in addition to the psychodrama studio, and enjoy the feng shui gardens outside. I have always considered one of the defining features of LPTI the comfortable, home environment, and I have been loath to move to another, more commercial, location. Additionally, because there is no additional cost for using my space, I have been able to keep the fees for training events here very reasonable compared to similar offerings in the MD/DC/Northern VA area. (Note: We offer 7.0 CEs/psychodrama training hours for all one-day workshops and 21 CEs/hours for weekends with approval from the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners, NBCC, and the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy [ABE].)

To accommodate the growing interest and maintain the comfort and convenience of my Laurel location, I am offering a new training cohort in the Fall. Scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month, this cohort will be in addition to the ongoing training groups that meet on the second Wednesday and second Saturday. The new cohort is specifically intended for participants new(er) to psychodrama or to the trauma-informed, classical style of psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy we teach at LPTI. If you plan to participate in one of the 2022-2023 ongoing training cohorts, please register at your earliest possible convenience and no later than August 15. After that, we will open up the cohorts to the people on the waiting list. See attached announcement for further information.

"2021-2022 Saturday Cohort ” (absent Kimberly Dailley)

"2021-2022 Wednesday Cohort" (absent Meade Jones Hanna)

To accommodate interest in the Special Topic Workshops, I am considering holding at least some of those at a different location to be announced. I am exploring a location in downtown Bethesda and another in Ellicott City. If you have a space or know of a location that we might use for one or more of the one-day workshops, please contact me. 

I am excited about the line-up of Special Topic Workshops for the 2022-2023 training year. We hope to kick off the year with a workshop led by guest trainer, Julie Wells, from Florida. Julie, who serves as Vice-President of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, will be here for the September ABE Meeting, which LPTI is again hosting in September. She will offer a workshop here on Wednesday, September 14. Registration is now open, and the workshop is limited to no more than 10 participants. 

More Appreciations: In closing, I want to call out some of the wonderful LPTI community members who continue to make our work here possible: 

  • LPTI “Team Capo” (Administrative/Research/Legacy Project Support): Sam Clocks (aka, Sarah Klotz), Carley Foster and Thomas Northrup. Special thanks to Thomas who has taken on service as the LPTI Registrar.
  • LPTI Leadership Circle: Carley Foster, Laura Greer, Will Halm, Cintra Harbold, Thomas Northrup and Kimberly Dailley.
  • LPTI Newsletter Editor: Sam Clocks
  • Peer Mentoring Program: Will Halm
  • Peer Reading Group: Thomas Northrup
  • Operations Manager: N’Kosi Ayize
  • LPTI Gardner: John Williams

Many thanks to these generous LPTI community members, and for their continuing interest and support.

May we all be well, and may our lives be of service!


May we all be well!

How May I Help You Today?

Research at LPTI

Beginning September 2022, LPTI is collaborating with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) to conduct a research project on the effectiveness of psychodrama in teaching the skills of self-compassion.


We plan to administer pre- and post-tests to gather the data during the LPTI's Fall Women’s Group that will run from September to December. We will then conduct qualitative interviews with invited participants 30 and 60 days after the group to measure the impact on mental health outcomes. 


The knowledge generated from this study is expected to advance the understanding of psychodramatic role-play as a modality to help clients cultivate self-compassion. We also anticipate participants’ greater understanding and enactment of the roles of self-compassion will lead to beneficial mental health outcomes. This research project is the first of three research and evaluation activities planned for the 2022-2023 LPTI training and practice year. Stay tuned for updates on LPTI’s efforts to formally assess the effectiveness of our practice and training efforts at LPTI. For further information, contact Cathy.

Coming Up at LPTI

Sunday, August 14: The Heart is Like a Garden: Helping Clients Cultivate the Skills of Self-Compassion Event Flyer

Sunday, September 14: Sociodrama Topic (to be chosen by group vote), Guest Trainer Julie Wells Event Flyer, Registration Link

Sunday, October 2nd and Saturday, November 5th: 2022 Action Methods Supervision/Consultation Group Event Flyer, Registration Link

October 2022- June 2023: LPTI Training Cohort, meets monthly on either the Second Saturday or Wednesday of each month Event Flyer

New to LPTI? Register for our new introductory cohort here, meets monthly on third Wednesdays. 

Thursday, December 08-11: Special Topic Weekend: Directing Skills Intensive, Guest Co-Trainer: Paula Catalan Bayon, LCPC, CP/PAT

Thursday, March 9th-12th: Blue Mountain Retreat, Save the date!

See More LPTI Workshops (Tentative Calendar 2022/23)

All programs require preregistration.

Email: cathynugent@verizon.net

Phone: 410-746-7251

For Your Psychodramatic Toolbox:

Nature Informed Therapy Warm Up

By Tania Lanning

Yugen is a Japanese word used to describe the indescribable sensory experience that occurs when we feel a deep oneness and awareness of Nature. Similar to this notion, when strong emotions arise (e.g., sadness, grief, joy, anxiety) the inability to verbalize or conceptualize meaning can be overwhelming. 

One of the most beautiful and powerful elements of psychodrama is the opportunity to express and practice moving through these processes in dynamic and creative ways. Incorporating Nature and natural elements into the therapeutic process allows for an expansion of the interventions we utilize with our clients, as well as an opportunity to widen the resources available for self-care and wellness management. Additionally, the expansive ways one can co-relate with Nature reinforces an authentic way of relating to the environment and provides a practice for strengthening self-efficacy. 

Current research associates incorporating Nature into wellness practices with a reduction of stress and anxiety levels (Song, 2019). Nature Informed Therapy draws from well-researched principles in psychology, such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, evolutionary psychology, and transpersonal psychology. The approach centers on the idea that Nature is a co-therapist and healing agent. 

“Gathering Our Resources /A Basket Full of Resources”

A Nature-Informed Psychodramatic Exercise

During this therapeutic offering, the protagonist identifies and concretizes strengths by selecting items from Nature to represent personal strengths and resources. 

Whether or not you are able to take a client into an outdoor or public space during a session is an important consideration for your practice.  You can alternatively try this exercise inside by having a basket, box or bowl of nature’s treasures (such as sticks, stones, moss, leaves, and pinecones). Gathering these materials ahead of time can also be a fun and therapeutic process for the therapist. 


  1. Introduce the concept to your client that when working with themes of self-compassion, acceptance, or shame, it can be grounding to first establish strengths. Ask your client to choose three items in nature that represent a strength and/or supportive inner, outer or upper resource. The act of noticing and seeking out these objects shifts your client into presence, into a mindfulness process. 
  2. Ask them to name the object and describe to you a time that this strength has shown up for them in their life. Other questions to ask could be : 
  • How present are each of these strengths in your life’s circumstances right now?
  • Are there any additional strengths that you would like to include and practice having more available to you?

Concretizing strengths with natural items not only provides a source of inspiration in the moment, but can also establish future resourcing behaviors by creating reminders in daily life. A beautiful pine tree on their property can be filled with cones of gratitude, or a field of dandelions can remind them of their kindness or sunny outlook in life.  It can be incredibly empowering and supportive to have a steady access to this type of cue.

May you have many moments of enjoying the petrichor dancing in the wind, and remember to listen for the melodic psithurism that inspires you to savor the present.

For more information on Nature Informed Therapy visit natureinformedtherapy.com 

If you would like to be informed about future nature-inspired workshops and groups visit www.myintegrativewellness.com or email me at Tania@myintegrativewellness.com

Jo, H., Song, C., & Miyazaki, Y. (2019).

Physiological benefits of viewing nature: A systematic review of indoor

experiments.International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(23), 4739.

Cartoon Corner
6636 Park Hall Drive
Laurel, MD 20707
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