Russian-German training in humanistic psychodrama

Evgeny Sheronov and Pavel Sevastyanov, employees of the International Center for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the Pedagogical-Psychological Institute of the Kostroma Nekrasov State University, took part in the seminar “Humanistic Psychodrama” from January 30 to February 12, 2014 under the direction of their scientific supervisor Prof. Dr . Hans-Werner Gessmann at the Bergerhausen Psychotherapeutic Institute (Germany, Duisburg). Pavel and Evgeny were included in the Russian-German training group, which consisted of colleagues from the Moscow State Psychological-Pedagogical University and psychologists working in social institutions in Duisburg and surrounding towns. dr Rimma Chirkina, head of the MSPPU’s Laboratory for Youth Technologies, accompanies the Russian participants as a coordinator. E. Sheronov: “Although this trip was not our first internship in Germany, we had prepared for it very carefully. The journey to the destination took 9 hours: Kostroma-Moscow, Moscow-Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf-Duisburg. Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Gessmann, director of the PIB, gave us a warm welcome. Meals and accommodation were organized by his institute. The next day we visited an anatomical exhibition “Body Worlds” in the city of Bochum. This exhibition has currently been visited by more than 37 million people. 200 real human bodies, including plastinates of individual body parts and organs, are on display, which, according to the organizers, are suitable for showing visitors the functionality, possibilities and beauty of the human body. The ethical side of producing such exhibits is being discussed all over the world. After a short recovery time, we immersed ourselves in the seminars. The courses took place every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not only humanistic psychodrama, but also the German-Russian composition of the group was extremely interesting for us. Pavel Sevastyanov performed the simultaneous translation of the professor’s work and feedback, which enabled the Russian and German group members to work together. Those were very interesting experiences! At the end of each event we wrote minutes. This enabled us to receive a certificate for our participation in the training program at the institute. To obtain the Psychodrama Assistant Diploma, participants need 208 seminar hours, 40 hours of supervision, and written theoretical work on the subject of Humanistic Psychodrama. The exam should also be passed. We plan to continue the training with Prof. Gessmann, there is an opportunity for this at the International Center for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the KSU (ICCPP). Prof. Gessmann has been working at the ICCPP in April and September for several years. In the middle of our training, the school group from Moscow visited us. Prof. Gessmann told them the history of his institute, which is one of the oldest private psychotherapeutic institutes in Germany. The students became very interested and started asking questions.
Evgeny Sheronov und Hans-Werner Gessmann
The chess player - www.kö
Psychodrama Group 2014
Pavel Sevastyanov translates simultaneously
Pro Paraguay Initiative - Hermann and Ute Schmitz

At the center of our training, we were invited to a second special exhibition in the city of Kempen. Hermann and Ute Schmitz have been involved in charity in Paraguay for 20 years: they develop foundations for humanitarian aid, provide free medical aid. With this exhibition they wanted to draw the visitors’ attention to the way of life of the native Paraguayans, their social and everyday problems. After the exhibition, during a joint dinner in a Turkish restaurant, Hermann Schmitz told us about his initiatives, about what has been done and what is still planned. A larger number of people around him are willing to commit themselves over a long period of time to help those in need.


On the last day of our trip we were invited to the city of Mühlheim by the music therapist Lüdger Sümpelmann. Lüdger introduced us to the organizations where he works with children and young people. One of them – “Ginko” – is a foundation for addiction prevention (alcohol consumption, smoking, drugs). Armin Köppe, employee of the foundation, introduced us to his professional work. We were amazed at how big the organization is and how many methods it uses. For example, in North Rhine-Westphalia there are around 130 branches. We also visited some children’s homes, where they work with children with difficult social situation and difficulties in mental development. It is interesting that they live, study and receive therapy in one and the same facility, which is very well equipped.

The free time in the evening and another day off enabled us to arrange the training and travel program through German cities. We express our thanks to the management of the Kostroma State Nekrasov University, to the management of the Bergerhausen Psychotherapeutic Institute and to Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Gessmann personally.