Holiday 2016
News Update

     Welcome to our Holiday News Update for 2016.  Much is happening in the psychodrama community, while sociometric connections are increasing following Zerka's death and the divisive presidential election in the US.  Perhaps we all feel the need for a stronger bond, knowing that it's through unity that we will find our individual as well as collective strength.     
     Our own President Obama spoke of the necessary call to action, when he was speaking with his daughters, Malia and Sasha -- don't regress to a fetal position.  Ed Schreiber kindly sent a link to Obama's statements that appeared in an expansive interview in the New Yorker. 

      It was so heartening to have such a powerful response to the e-letter we sent out about Zerka and her TSI brood. 

    Many people have continued to share stories, so we've decided to feature some in each succeeding news update in a column called Zerka's Corner, until the next ASGPP conference that will be dedicated to her in May 2017.   (Please see Zerka's Corner below for these stories.)

     Here at TSI, we continue to grow  with Dr Kate's extended and expanded tour of Asia (see her Musings below), and with other TSI Trainers' and Team Leaders' workshops filling fast.

Kate with the Hong Kong group.

      The December/Holiday Women's Salon that meets at Kate's home in Charlottesville is already full and places are being reserved for the April one.  These Salons are basically an informal gathering of an international group of women who support each other to find their strength to face whatever issues arise.

     In July 2016, an East Coast Training Group began in Media, PA.  There have already been several excellent and successful training workshops and on the horizon are several more for 2017.
     In January, Kate will present Making Friends with Your Defenses, while in February, there will be a re-introduction of the original  Surviving Spirits  personal growth workshop--this time addressing trauma and addictions.
Original Surviving Spirits Logo

     Guest TSI Trainer, Linda Ciotola, workshop facilitator extraordinaire and co-developer of the TSM's Body Double, will carry on the East Coast Training with The Brain & Trauma: What Works for Healing, in March.  TSI Trainer, Monica Forst visits again in June for another stellar training workshop, Transforming the Trauma Triangle.

       Kate will return for a personal growth workshop in July and a residential training in August with Monica Forst, Directing Intensive: Attachment and Trauma. 

  Scott Giacomucci is sponsor, registrar, and information-person for all East Coast workshops:
     The  West Coast Training Group still centers in the San Francisco Bay Area and has several exciting workshops coming up in 2017.  Kate will be there for a full month in March, conducting workshops with Sylvia Israel, Armand Volkas, and Vlada Za pesotsky.

Armand and she will lead participants gently and safely through the precarious journey of Collective and Individual Trauma Healing
     While Sylvia and Kate will look at Projective Identification in Relationships with the training workshop, Stop, in the Name of Love
Kate and Vlada help participants find the way home to their personal Truth with the training workshop, Finding Your Way Home
Vlada is in the process of writing a book on this very journey and has established the role of Housekeeper, which is akin to TSM's Observing Ego--very interesting!  
     CEUs are available for Training workshops.  Hours count for national certification in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy; the Association of Experiential Therapists, and International Certification in Trauma Therapy through TSI. 
      Both Coasts' training workshops are filling fast into Summer of 2017 -- so get your registrations in.   (Please see our Workshops' Section below and website calendar for all the current information.)

     Also, for more information about our Trainers and Team Leaders and on becoming a TSI Trainer and Team member, please visit our website, where you will find an updated tab for TSI Certification.

     In this edition we continue our format of interviewing a TSI Trainer.  In previous news updates we had the privilege to interview Ben Rivers, Linda Ciotola, and Sylvia Israel. (Please click on their names to read the interviews.)
     Today, we bring Mario Cossa, a brilliantly creative psycho-dramatist, to your doorstep.  We hope you enjoy dancing with Mario as much as we did in our Interview below.

     We also continue the feature "Dr Kate's Musings" -- her thoughts and feelings about a variety of subjects.  Here she tells of her experiences on her last trip to Asia.  Her musings are always thoughtful and insightful, and delightful stories complete with pictures, both personal and professional.

        On a personal note, my husband and I will be moving back up to Pennsylvania in early January.  While I love Charlottesville and have been here, on and off, in the foothills of the serene Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains for over 30 years, it's time to move 'back home.'  I grew up in the Western suburbs of Philadelphia and most of my family is still there.  My son and his wife, and several nieces and nephews live in NYC, so being close to family is the main impetus for this move. 
       And, our new home will be very close to the East Coast Training Group's locale, hopefully offering me the opportunity to be involved personally and professionally in some way.
      I will miss Kate very much, but, interestingly, with all her and my travels, we did not see each other in person all that often.  Friends and 'sisters' though we are, our link has been and always will be 'the work.'   TSI/TSM/TSI are very close to my heart and always on my mind.  I will continue to edit this news update, chapters, and  papers and produce flyers for TSI workshops, along with editing others' books.  Kate and I will continue to work closely and be close (she can even stay with me when she's doing training in PA, if she wants to), and I will continue to fill you in, every few months, with what's happening in the TSI world.

     Once again, Kate and I are happy that you've joined us.  Because this edition is so full to the brim, we will forego a teaching column that we usually have.  I hope to pick up next time with clarification of the "Alphabet Soup" that is TSI: TSM, TSIRA, TSI, TL, AL, TAE, etc.
     In the meantime, we would like to keep the conversation going, so if you have any comments and questions, please contact Kate at  And please check out TSI's schedule of Workshops for the coming year (see below).

Sending you wishes for peace, health, and the very best
of the coming holiday season -- for the last time from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Francesca Toscani, TEP
Edito r

Zerka's Corner
     This new column's purpose is to share stories
of Zerka from the TSI and general psychodrama
communities, which we will do with each newsletter. Most of the stories and memories came to us
in response to the special e-letter we sent out
after Zerka's death.
     We hope these words, Zerka's and others', will enlighten, soothe, and give pause for reflection.
     BTW, this photo of Zerka is a selfie she took with Sergio's phone.

     First we hear from Sergio Guimaraes, who developed a personal and professional relationship with Zerka and published 15 YouTube videos of conversations with Zerka.
     In a last recorded conversation, Zerka tells one of her own fairy tales about an old Swiss timekeeper, an anecdote about one of her grandparents, and her views on medicine, medications, and time.  She also explains how she spent her time at the nursing home: exchanging emails with family, friends and colleagues both in the US and abroad, reading, and dealing with "the zoo". 

     Editor's note:  This video is so very touching.  Her mind and manner are so lucid.  Oh, how we miss Zerka:
      And, here's one that will take your breath away --- stay till the end: 

     Below are excerpts from a note that Sergio wrote to Kate outlining his experiences with Zerka over a 6-year span. (For Sergio's full letter, please click here .)

Dear Kate,
     I'll have to thank both Jeanne Burger and the Liverpool City for allowing me to meet Zerka in 2008...Jeanne let me know Zerka was still running a few workshops at home in Charlottesville, Virginia. Late September I was there for a first weekend group experience, and since then I didn't stop going to see her every time I could...on a "psychodrama - à-deux" basis. 
     At the beginning, we started recording on a video camera...Gradually, as our relationship evolved from a professional setting to a true friendship, a number of videos came to the fore: ..."Living Moreno"..."From A to Zerka - On Psychodramatic Rules, Techniques and Adjunctive Methods"..."Zerka - The first Psychodramatic Family Album", and a several other videos produced on a homemade basis, including "To Dream Again", based on her last memoir book.
     Even after her move to Rockville Nursing Home, we kept meeting and working together...there is one, "Moreno the Teacher", on a number of lessons she learned from him...; also another one, "Globetrotting with Zerka - The United Nations of Psychodrama", in which we take the 193-country UN list of official State Members and go through each one, starting with The Netherlands, of's really worthy to hear and see the stories she was glad to tell us during that world tour.
     That's it, dear Kate. Hope it will be helpful.

Zerka videos on Sergio's site:  

     Steven Durost, who is a member of the TSI Action Healing Team, will be working with Linda Ciotola in the March workshop, The Brain & Trauma: What Works for Healing.  He shares his memory of working in Zerka's Charlottesville living room, the impact on him, and the world of surplus reality -- weird and 'geeky.' 
     Steven writes:
     I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for the week-long workshop that started with three days in Zerka's living room and finished with three days with Mario Cossa and Linda Ciotola...How often can you work with someone who was so instrumental in creating a whole field of therapy?
     There were people from all over the world in Zerka's living room...We all had a reverence...had made the pilgrimage and before us was not an empty stone facade to bow before. Zerka was anything but that. She was clear and present and knowing and completely in the moment. A library of her and J.L.'s books held the space behind where she sat. I opened a couple to see them inscribed by J.L. himself. I have to say, it was a thrill. That which had been theoretical was becoming real and knowable.
     I know this next part will sound real "geeky" and weird, but there was another-worldliness to my time with Zerka. Time and space warped and I could feel myself standing in living history...Her living room was a rift in the time-space continuum and one could enter all alternate univ erses...My guess is Zerka is re-inventing herself even now-if not in some other time and space-then definitely through each of us who met her, knew her, or are touched by her amazing creation. 
Click here for Steven's full reminiscence.  

      Clark Baim, from England, writes: Around 2008, I asked Zerka to hand write a poem of hers, so the BPA could auction it and raise money for the Mike Watson Trust (a BPA sponsored charity).  It raised £200 at auction and Zerka was delighted.  She described the poem as having never appeared in print before. Here it is:

Notions on Time

Time is not only the present.
It is also the past and future.
Sometimes they merge and we are lost.

Time is elusive.
It can't be touched
yet it forms us.

Clocks show public time.
Yet time is a personal

      From Patty Phelps: There's an obituary on Zerka Moreno in the Washington Post today, Monday, October 24, 2016, on page B 6.  Thought you might want to let people know. 
     And, another obituary from Rockville Nursing Home, where Zerka spent her last days:


Mario Cossa 
        How do we start???  Well, Mario was born on December 8th (happy birthday, Mario!).  It was on his 2nd birthday that JL and Zerka decided to have their wedding day ... and the rest is history.
        From his background in theater and the arts, his studies in medicine, psychology, and counseling, Mario has sung, danced, and played his way, with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work, through life and into our hearts.  Though he now lives and works in Bali most of the year, his work brings him to the US also. 
Please click below and visit his website,, to find out more about our favorite Trickster and TSI trainer. 

Click here  to read Mario's full interview,
including photos.


Ogoh-Ogoh statue in a Balinese parade.  


      We have a full selection of stimulating an d inspiring workshops, both for training and personal growth. They are  planned for the c oming seasons -- in the East & West Coast United States.   Please note that CEUs are available for psychologists and nurses in West Coast Training.  TSI Trauma Certification credits and hours toward psychodrama certification are also given at all workshops.   
         Click here  for information on the workshops and visit our  website
 to view a full calendar of events. 

  Hello to all our TSI readers here and abroad.  
I want to start off with my gratitude to Francesca and to celebrate the first year of the TSI News Update!  It is all we had imagined and more!  

       * A teaching tool about psychodrama, TSM, trauma, spontaneity and healing.  
       * Connections to our history through our new Zerka's Corner.   
       * Showcasing all TSI Trainers, not just me, and showing the breadth of TSM around the world-how each trainer has contributed to its on-going development.   
     * The international interviews are great and I know readers will continue to look forward to learning about new members of the TSI community they may not know yet. 
        Our News Update reaches out to show the international expansion of TSM both in Mario's interview and in my Musings about this year's Fall trip to Asia. While I continue to work with Sylvia Israel, Armand Volkas, and Vlada Zapesotsky on the West Coast and Scott Giacomucci on the East Coast, this edition's update focuses exclusively on my work in China and Hong Kong.

History: Why Is Kate working in China? 

      Since 2004, I have been going to Mainland China to conduct TSM training and personal growth workshops.  In 2004, I was asked by Dr Lai Nien-hwa from Taiwan and Professor Sang from Nanjing University to be among the first Westerners to bring suicide prevention to China. This invitation followed a government mandate for all universities to create their first mental health programs and counseling services for students.  In the first 4 years, I taught at over 20 different universities

Kate with large group in Chongqing, China 

Dear Friends of TSI,
    As we move into winter, a time of self-reflection and hibernation, a time to gather strength to go forward to face traumas seen and unforeseen, we hope that this TSI newsletter has touched your heart. Please email me at with any ideas, questions, and comments. 
    I wish each and every one of you stillness on the Winter solstice, the darkness night of the year, and the gradual opening of light as the new year begins.  And, I look forward to connecting with you at a workshop or through the newsletter in 2017! 
     Be well, be spontaneous, and be creative!

Blessings and Balance,

Kate Hudgins 
Therapeutic Spiral International        

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