John Cassons c.v. and publications

I was a dramatherapist, psychodrama psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer and the inventor of the communicube. In 2012 I was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award by the British Psychodrama Association. Below is the citation delivered by Diane Adderley and Olivia Lousada at the annual conference in Cirencester:

Dr John Casson – BPA Lifetime Achievement Award 2012

 In recognition of his outstanding commitment to the development of our profession, the British Psychodrama Association confers on Dr. John Casson this Lifetime Achievement Award.

John was awarded his psychodrama diploma from Holwell in 1991 and became a Senior Trainer ten years later. He chaired the Accreditation Committee from 1999-2001, where he was instrumental in creating both our Training Standards document and our Continuing Professional Development policy. As one of the founders in 1996 of the Northern School of Psychodrama, he has fostered the development of numerous psychodramatists over a 16-year period and can thus truly be said to have had a major influence on the next generation of the profession. Finally, in 1997 he instigated the setting up of the first Training for Trainers peer support group for psychodramatists, which remained in existence for well over 20 years.

It was not enough for John simply to achieve the award of Ph.D. fromManchesterMetropolitanUniversityin 2002. He then went on to develop his doctoral research into the creation of:

–        a book (Drama, Psychotherapy and Psychosis: Dramatherapy and Psychodrama with People Who Hear Voices, published by Routledge in 2004);

–        a full-length play (Voices and Visions, performed at the Arden School of Theatre,CityCollege,Manchester in 2006);

–        and the Communicube and Communiwell, transparent structures used to externalise the internal world of the client, through the placing of small representational objects in three-dimensional relationship to each other.

Of equal importance is John Casson’s qualification as a dramatherapist, where he is highly-esteemed as a practitioner, trainer and writer. He has worked hard to promote dialogue and understanding between the two modalities, most notably by organising the first (and only) joint conference for psychodrama and dramatherapy inYork, 1995, called ‘The Healing Drama’.

As an energetic writer, John has contributed numerous book chapters and journal articles to the literature of psychodrama and dramatherapy, including a seminal paper called ‘Living Newspaper: Theatre and Therapy’, published in 2000 in the prestigious Tulaine Drama Review ofNew YorkUniversity.

John’s working life as a psychotherapist and supervisor has been based in the northwest ofEngland, where he set up a creative therapies service for mental health service users in Tameside,Manchester, and founded a private practice, Inscape Creative Psychotherapy and Counselling Service, near OldhaminLancashire.

When we move beyond the sphere of psychotherapy, John’s role repertoire is equally astounding. As a father, a sculptor, a respected Shakespearean researcher (with two books and numerous articles to his name), puppeteer and mask-maker, parade creator, playwright and poet, he brings phenomenal energy, creativity, integrity, determination, a love of finely-honed detail, humour, warmth and stamina to all of his many wide-ranging activities.

To conclude, the BPA has been hugely enriched through the years by John Casson’s innumerable contributions – as well as his invocation of feisty, thought-provoking discussions at our annual AGMs.

As Dr Casson approaches his forthcoming retirement from NSP, the BPA is immensely proud to offer him this Lifetime Achievement Award.

June 24th, 2012

Here is further information, a brief c.v.:

Qualifications:

1974 B.A. Hons: English and European Literature: Warwick University
1978 M.A. Shamanistic Elements of Oriental Theatre: Birmingham University
1979 P.G.C.E.: English and Drama: Bretton Hall College, Wakefield
1983 Post Graduate Diploma in Dramatherapy: College of Ripon and York St. John, University of Leeds
1990 Dramatherapy Supervisor: Institute of Dramatherapy
1991 Dramatherapy Trainer: Institute of Dramatherapy
1991 Diploma in Psychodrama: Holwell Centre, Devon
1994 Psychodrama trainer: British Psychodrama Association
2001 Accredited as a senior trainer by the British Psychodrama Association
2002 Awarded Doctorate by the Metropolitan University of Manchester

Career:

1975 – 84 worked as puppeteer, performer, maker, director in community and experimental theatre, international
1980 – 81 Teaching English and Drama: Horsforth School, Leeds
1984 – 94 Dramatherapist: Brindle House Community Mental Health Centre, Hyde, Cheshire
1990- 93 Principal Dramatherapist and Arts Therapies Co-ordinator, Tameside and Glossop Health Authority
1989 – 91 Visiting tutor in dramatherapy/psychodrama for the Counselling Course: South Manchester College
1992 – 3 Dramatherapy Trainer in India at invitation of British Council
1994 – 7 Course Leader of the Diploma in Dramatherapy: City College, Manchester
1994 – Private Practice as Psychodrama Psychotherapist, Dramatherapist, Supervisor
1996 – Founder member of the Northern School of Psychodrama
1997 Established Inscape Creative Psychotherapy and Counselling Service: Uppermill
1997 Founder member of The Northern Trust for Dramatherapy
2000-2001 Co-facilitated, with Madeline Andersen-Warren, the first group for men who were survivors of sexual abuse in Huddersfield and subsequently facilitated a second group.
2003-6 Training manager (part time) for CRUSE Bereavement Care for the NW.
2003-4 Psychodrama psychotherapist and dramatherapist (part time) at the Bowness HDU at Prestwich Hospital, Manchester: a low secure rehabilitation unit in the NHS

Award
2012 A Life Time Achievement Award from the British Psychodrama Association

Theatre Experience

Acted and directed in Manchester Theatre of Spontaneity,John Thaw Theatre,2008 – 2009
Created The Cosmological Tales in the Grand Little Theatre, with John Harris, 2006 – 2008
Board member Doo Cot Theatre,Manchester, 2007 – 2009
Puppeteer for Manchester Pride Amnesty International entry,2008
Created Giant Butterfly puppet for Manchester Pride, 2007
Wrote Voices and Visions (performed at Arden School of Theatre, City College, Manchester), 2003 – 2006
Created Giant Pink Bird puppet for Section 28 demonstration in Manchester, 1988
Free lance career as puppeteer (including Opera North, Wexford Festival Opera), 1982 – 1984
Performed and made puppets and masks for Interplay Community Theater, Leeds,1983
Created and performed in Ragged Rainbow Theatre, Leeds, 1979 – 1984
Performed with Jagran Clown Mime Theatre, India,1976
Performed with Bread and Puppet Theatre, USA and Europe, 1971 – 1976

Voluntary:

1985 Founded Dramatherapy North West
1989 Organised the Conference of the British Association for Dramatherapists
1991 Director of the Laboratory Theatre, Hyde
1995 Organised the first joint Conference of the British Association for Dramatherapists and the British Psychodrama Association
1997 Set up the Training for Trainers Peer Group for members of the Psychodrama profession.
1999 – 2001 chair of the Accreditation Committee, British Psychodrama Association

My research with people who hear voices (auditory hallucinations):

From 1994-2002 I conducted research with people who heard voices, who were struggling with psychotic experiences, including ?schizophrenia?. This was doctoral research at the Centre for Human Communication, Manchester Metropolitan University. I was awarded the doctorate in 2002. The thesis is available for sale, on CDRom. Anyone interested in this work should contact me for further details. I have written a full length play “Voices and Visions” based on this research and would be happy to share this text with anyone interested. I have published a book Drama, Psychotherapy and Psychosis: see the section “My research with people who hears voices” for a summary report on this work and information about the book.

My Publications:

1984, The Therapeutic Dramatic Community Ceremonies of Sri Lanka, The Journal of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Vol 7 No. 2

1986 Starting Life as a Dramatherapist: The Journal of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Vol 9, No. 2

1990 Dramatherapy into Psychodrama: An Account of a Therapy Group for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse (with Pam Corti), article in the Journal of the British Psychodrama Association Vol 5 No. 2.

1993/4 Dramatherapy in India: The Journal of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Vol 15 No. 3 Winter

1994 The Therapeutic Elements of Drama: The Newsletter of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Spring

1994 The Anti-Therapeutic Aspects of Theatre: The Newsletter of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Autumn

1995 The Therapeutic Value of Performance: The Newsletter of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Summer

1995, Dramatherapy, Psychodrama and Dance Movement Therapy, Journal of the British Association for Dramatherapists, 17 (1 & 2).

1996, The Healing Drama: a Colloquium Between People Jointly Qualified as Psychodramatists and Dramatherapists, Journal of the British Psychodrama Association 11 (1 & 2)

1996 Flying Towards Neverland: chapter 11 in Professional Care of the Elderly Mentally Ill edited by Liz Matthew: Chapman & Hall

1996 Archetypal Splitting: Drama Therapy and Psychodrama, article published in The Arts in Psychotherapy Journal, U.S.A.

1997 J.C. Reil: Theatre Therapy (1803) Newsletter of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Summer

1997 Psychodrama in Individual Psychotherapy: Journal of the British Psychodrama Association Vol 12 No. 1 & 2

1997 The Therapeusis of the Audience: chapter 4 in Dramatherapy Theory and Practice 3 edited by Sue Jennings: Routledge

1997 Dramatherapy History in Headlines: Who did What, When, Where? Journal of the British Association for Dramatherapists Vol 19 No. 2 Autumn

1997 Treading the Boards: On Moreno’s Original Stage, article in the Bulletin of the British Psychodrama Association, February.

1998 The Stage: The Theatre of Psychodrama: chapter in The Handbook of Psychodrama, edited by Holmes and Karp, Routledge

1998 The Hall of Mirrors: the Mirror technique in Dramatherapy, Psychodrama and Playback Theatre, article in the Journal of the British Psychodrama Association

1997-8 Shamanism, Dramatherapy and Psychodrama, lecture published over four issues of Cahoots: the magazine of alternative therapies, Manchester.

1998 Right/Left Brain and Dramatherapy, article in the Journal of the British Association for Dramatherapists.

1998 Dramatherapy: a Heterodoxy not an Orthodoxy, the Journal of British Association for Dramatherapists.

1999 Evreinoff and Moreno: Monodrama and Psychodrama, Parallel Developments or Hidden Influences? article in the Bulletin of the British Psychodrama Association, Vol 14, Numbers 1 & 2.

1999 Dramatherapy, Psychodrama and Dreamwork, article in the Journal of British Association for Dramatherapists.

2000 Living Newspaper, Theatre and Therapy, article published by the Tulaine Drama Review, New York. See:
LIVINGNEWSpics.pdf

2000 Maxwell Jones: Dramatherapy and Psychodrama, 1942-9, Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists

2000 Dramatherapy, Psychodrama and Dance Movement Therapy, article reprinted from 1995, Journal of the British Psychodrama Association, Vol 15, No 2

2001 The Social, Role and Cultural Atoms, article in the Journal of the British Psychodrama Association, Vol 16, No 2

2001 J.W. Von Goethe and J.C. Reil: Theatre Therapy 100 Years Before Moreno, article in the Journal of the British Psychodrama Association, Vol 16, No 2

2004 Drama, Psychotherapy and Psychosis, Brunner-Routledge (to order this book see the webpage on this site: My research with people who hear voices)

2004 Sculpting: paper published in the Prompt: newsletter of the British Association of Dramatherapists Summer edition

2006 The Five Story Self Structure on the Communicube in Counslling Psychology Review Vol. 21 No. 2 published by The British Psychological Society

2006 Shakespeare and the Healing Drama. Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists Vol 28, No 1, Spring

2006 The Five Story Self Structure: a new therapeutic method on the Communicube, British Journal of Play Therapy Volume 2, December

2007 17th Century Theatre Therapy: Shakespeare, Fletcher, Massinger, Middleton and Ford: Five Jacobean Healing Dramas. The Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists, Volume 29, No 1, Spring

2007 (with Brenda James) Evidence for the Authorship of Shakespeare-Neville in Double Falshood: The Lost Play of Cardenio, Journal of Neville Studies, April, Vol One, No. 1, available from: nevillejournal(at)yahoo.co.uk
Note send an e-mail to this address requesting a copy of this new virtual journal. Replace (at) with @. More information at:
www.henryneville.com

2007 Psychodrama in Miniature, chapter 14 in Psychodrama, Advances in Theory and Practice, edited by Baim, C. Burmeister, J. & Maciel, M., Hove, Routledge

2007 The Sun’s Darling: A Sixth Jacobean Healing Drama, The Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists, Volume 29, No 2, Autumn

2008 (with Dr. Bonnie Meekums) The Earliest Document of Dance Movement Therapy in Britain: John Lowin Roscio’s 1609 Brief Conclusions of Dancers and Dancing: The Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists, Volume 29, No 3, Winter

2008 Shakespeare Theatre and Therapy, article in The Psychotherapist, Journal of the UKCP, Issue 38, Summer

2008 Involving Children Playfully in Family Therapy, with David Steare (contributions from Drew Bird), artilce in CONTEXT the magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK, Issue 97, June

2009 Enter Pursued by a Bear, The Unknown Plays of Shakespeare-Neville, Dolman Scott (see: www.domanscott.com)

2009 Seventeenth Century Theatre Therapy, Six Jacobean Plays chapter 7 in Dramatherapy and Social Theatre, Necessary Dialogues, edited by Sue Jennings, London, Routledge

2010 Much Ado About Noting, Henry Neville and Shakespeare’s Secret Source, Dolman Scott (see: www.domanscott.com)

2014 Scenes from a Distance: Psychodrama and Dramatherapy, chapter 8 in Empowering Therapeutic Practice: Integrating Psychodrama into other Therapies, edited by Holmes, P., Farrall, M. & Kirk, K., Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Training Handouts:
Please be in touch if you want a copy of one of these:

Sculpting
Sociodrama
Sociometry
Soliloquy
Pre-Therapy
Psychomusic
Dream work (later developed into an published article)

Living Newspaper (later developed into an published article) see:
LIVINGNEWSpics.pdf

Foundations of Psychodrama
Role Reversal
Mirror (later developed into an published article)
Closure
Social, Role and Cultural Atom
Masks
Metaphor
Structuring
Role Theory and Analysis
Projection and Sculpting
Tele and Auto-Tele
Sculpting
Locus, Status Nascendi and Matrix
Act Hunger
Surplus Reality