Europe: Some highlights from the 4th European Dramatherapy Conference in April, 2018

Click the play button to watch the video.

The European Federation of Dramatherapy (EFD) Conference was held once again this year, this time in Nurtigen Germany on the 27 and 28th of April 2018.

Thanks to the Prime Minister of the federal state of Baden-Wurtemberg, Winifried Kretschmann the patron, hosted by Johannes Junker, federation first president, and director of dramatherapy at the Hoschschule für Wirtschaft Wumwelt Nürtingen host university, the EFD were able to put on a marvelous meeting of creative and therapeutic bodies, minds and souls.

Uniting Dramatherapists from all over Europe and the world, the conference was a bubbling hub of creative energy with professionals sharing their methods, imagining new ways of working together, and crossing the borders of culture, practice and language. “Borders in Action” was this year’s theme, which invited all practitioners to question the notion of limits, of frameworks, of ethics, of the borders inside and outside.... in dramatherapy.

The weekend was opened by key note speakers Anna Seymour (UK) who addressed the Brexit phenomena, and Salvo Pitruzzella (IT) with Jessica Williams Ciemnyjewski (UK) who spoke on the origins of the federation.

To recapitulate, the EFD was born in response to a growing need to unite and connect dramatherapists from all the nations of Europe, to close the gap in the differing methods, to share and learn from each other’s practice and to develop a common language in dramatherapy.

Standing in a circle against the walls of the welcome room, creating a physical perimeter, dramatherapists from around Europe came together, held hands, leaned upon one another and created a physical embodiment of borders. This human border was a powerful image making tangible a limitless notion, and theme which all dramatherapists explore, confront and question in their work and that which was delved into over the two-day conference.

Questions of thresholds, safe spaces, bordless-ness, processes, journeys, shadows, transitions, internal and external borders, tangible and intangible borders, form and formlessness, and borderline disorders...were some of the themes touched on in a variety of paper presentations, workshops and performances from international dramatherapists.

The EFD has decided to hold its next conference in 2020 – replacing the annual event with a biennial conference.

In 2020 they are pleased to announce that the conference will be held in Prague.

Eliza Sweeney, French representative for the EFD, M/MPhil Dramatherapist

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