Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute
Highland,NY 12528 (845)255-7502

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Rebecca and Judy

Rebecca Walters and Judy Swallow

Recipients of the 2005 Collaborator's Award from the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama

Rebecca Walters, MS, LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor), LCAT (Licensed Creative Arts Therapist), and TEP, is the founder and co-director of the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute (1989). Rebecca received her Masters degree in Expressive Therapies from Lesley College in 1978 and has worked with individuals and groups of children, adolescents and adults since then. With thirty years of inpatient experience, she was the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychodrama Services at Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital, Katonah, NY where she ran six psychodrama groups a week with children and with adolescents. She also supervised the psychodrama internship program at Four Winds. While at Four Winds she developed ways to effectively use psychodrama and other action methods in Dialectical Behavorial Therapy skill groups which she ran on the adolescent units several times a week.
Rebecca is a sought after international trainer and is known for her expertise in the use of action methods with children and adolescents as well as in the use of psychodrama in DBT skills groups. She has brought her well received training seminars in these areas to conferences and training institutes throughout the US and abroad. She developed, along with Bill Coleman, TEP, a psychodrama training curriculum for substance abuse counselors for Daytop, NY. She has served on the faculty of Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer College and is currently on the faculty of MD Anderson Cancer Center's I*CARE, a program for Interpersonal Communication and Relationship Enhancement that is a project of the Department of Faculty Development dedicated to improving the communication among cancer patients, their families and their providers. She is the co author of several articles on the use of psychodrama and sociodrama in medical education.
Rebecca is an elected member of the Executive Council of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, an organization in which she is a Fellow. She is the 2010 recipient of their Hannah Weiner Awarded which honors her years of service to the ASGPP. She is the current president of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the ASGPP.
Rebecca is certified as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. She has a private practice in Highland, NY (New Paltz) and is known for her warmth, sensitivity and humor

Judy Swallow, MA, LCAT (Licensed Creative Arts Therapist), TEP, Co-director of HVPI, She is Certified as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy and was the Senior Psychodramatist at Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, N.Y. where she worked for over twenty years with inpatient and outpatient adults including the dually diagnosed.

Judy is a certified family therapist and a trainer and practitioner of Rubenfeld Synergy®, one of the pioneering body/mind approaches to awareness and healing. She has had a private practice in Westchester and the Hudson Valley for over thirty years. Judy is known for her skills in integrating family work, mind/body awareness and psychodrama. She has presented on these topics at national and international psychodrama conferences as well as at USA Body Psychotherapy conferences.

Judy is the past Chairperson of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy and is a Fellow of the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. She is a founding member of Playback Theater and the director of Community Playback Theater in Highland, NY. She has been involved with the development and implementation of intergenerational arts, theater and storytelling programs and workshops for community groups and public schools.

Judy is grandmother to nine grandchildren ages one to twenty seven, a role she loves dearly.


Deborah Shaddy

Deborah Shaddy, MS, LMHP, LCPC, TEP has over 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist, educator, consultant, and in program development. She holds a Master’s degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Deborah has a long-held passion for the power of experiential methods, developed through psychodrama and Virginia Satir’s Process Community. She is certified as a trainer, educator and practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama and as an Experiential Arts Facilitator by Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. She also has been influenced by post-graduate Jungian and object relations studies.
Deborah is known as a warm and skilled practitioner, facilitator and educator. She has brought her skills to individuals, divorcing families, Fortune 500 companies, colleges and universities and religious communities. Her primary area of expertise is in healing trauma and she has a special interest in transforming relationships with self, with families and others, and within organizations and communities. She utilizes her psychodrama and sociometry skills in her clinical practice, in the development and facilitation of spirituality retreats, and in consultations to corporate, academic, and professional groups.

Deborah is the founder of the Sophia Center, a counseling, consultation and training practice. She is currently on the faculty of the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute in Highland, NY and presents at local and national conferences. Deborah is on the Executive Council of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP) where she chairs the Continuing Education Committee.


Jennifer Salimbene

Jennifer Salimbene, LCSW-R, CASAC, CDAC, CP, PAT has a Masters of Science/Masters of Social Work degree from Columbia University. She has over 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist with a focus in the field of addictions and co-occurring disorders, working in inpatient, outpatient and private practice settings. She specializes in the areas of addiction treatment, co-dependency, trauma, PTSD, tweens, adolescents, and families. She is certified in EMDR and has used EMDR conjointly with psychodrama.

Jenny discovered psychodrama working at Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital in Katonah, NY over thirty years ago. Seeing the power of psychodrama she went on for further training with Jonathan Fox.

As the director of an outpatient chemical dependency program at Four Winds Hospital, Jenny designed and implemented clinical programs that integrated psychodrama and Playback Theatre with individual, group, and multi-family treatment with adolescents and families. As Clinical Director at Saint Christopher’s Inn/Graymoor, Jenny developed and facilitated the psychodrama program for homeless substance abusing adults. Jenny directed weekly psychodrama groups for people struggling with chemical dependency issues and co-ocurring disorders at Arms Acres Addiction Treatment Center.

As director of several chemical dependency treatment programs Jenny also used psychodrama to run supervision groups for social workers, mental health counselors and substance abuse counselors as well as support groups for administrative staff.

Jenny has presented psychodrama workshops at local, county, state and national conferences. She presents workshops on how to incorporate psychodrama with Motivational Interviewing and with Prochaska and DiClemente's Stages of Change model. She has also presented workshops for adolescents using sociodrama to help them explore healthier decisions around substance use, cutting, and other destructive behaviors.

Currently, Jenny uses psychodrama in her private practice with individuals, couples, and families and runs supervision groups for counselors seeking professional development.

Guest Faculty

Joanne Gaffney RN, LICSW, CRS

Joanne Gaffney is a registered nurse and a licensed clinical social work psychotherapist with basic education at New York Hospital-Cornell and Simmons Graduate School, where she later became a supervisor. She was staff at Harvard Community Health Plan. Her continued training resulted in certification to provide the modern strategies available today in behavioral health and then in certification to teach them to other professionals. She is certified in Voice Dialogue; Rubenfeld Synergy Method,EMDR, Imago Therapy and in Internal Family Systems. She is the co author of IFS and Health Coaching: A New Model of Behavior Change and Medical Decision Making
*John B. Livingstone and Joanne Gaffney in Internal Family Systems Therapy New Dimensions (2013) pp. 143-158. Sweezy and Ziskind, Eds., London: Routledge.

As part of Gaffney-Livingstone Consulting, Joanne has been an integral partner in the design of a new model of health-related behavior change and has participated in the curriculum design and re-training of nurse health coaches within a corporate environment. She has presented workshops on couples communication skills, provided consultation to staff in hospitals, has appeared on National Television as the “couples expert” and has contributed her work to the 30th year edition of The Ladies Home Journal : Can this Marriage be Saved? She has been a supervisor and a mentor to individuals and groups in both the medical model and healing model of prevention and treatment.

Walter Baile, M.D.

Walter Baile MD is a psychiatrist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His full-time appointment is in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science . He is also Director of the Program on Interpersonal Communication and Relationship Enhancement in the Department of Faculty and Academic Enhancement.

Dr Baile’s main interest is in teaching communication skills to faculty and other staff at his institution and other venues in the United States and abroad using action methods. He and Rebecca Walters developed a technique called
“ Empathy in Action” ™ which uses advanced role-play and other techniques to train others in practical techniques for giving bad news, conducting difficult conversations in supervision and mentoring and other challenging conversations commonly encountered both within and outside of the medical setting. Dr Baile is the author of 100 peer-reviewed articles as well as book chapters, video productions and skills guides.


John Nolte, Ph.D., TEP
John Nolte, Ph.D.,who trained at the Moreno Institute in the 1960's, has been a psychodramatist for nearly 50 years. A certified trainer since 1975, he is the co-founder of The National Psychodrama Training Center and has conducted psychodrama workshops in several countries in Western Europe, in New Zealand and Taiwan. His broad ranging career has included appointments to the State Departments of Mental Health of both Missouri and Illinois, mental health staff positions in private hospitals, and substance abuse and chronic pain rehabilitation programs.

Long an advocate of using psychodrama in non-clinical settings, John found an opportunity at Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College to work with lawyers in developing numerous ways of utilizing psychodrama and psychodramatic techniques in preparing for and conducting trials.

Author of The Psychodrama Papers, John is near completing an extensive explication of the methods, theories, and philosophy of J. L. Moreno, M.D.



Anne Hale

Ann Hale

Ann E. Hale, M.A., TEP studied with J.L. and Zerka Moreno, graduated from the Moreno Institute and edited the student's edition of Who Shall Survive? (1995) Ann founded the Toronto Centre, Playback Theater Northwest (Seattle) and the Blue Ridge Human Relations Training Institute (Roanoke, VA). She currently is revising her book Conducting Clinical Sociometric Explorations and the accompanying CD ROM of sociometric devices. Ann resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke, VA and teaches drawing and painting. Ann is a past president of the ASGPP. She currently directs the International Sociometry Training Network ( and is involved in writing, exhibiting paintings and supervision of psychodramatists.

Bill Coleman

Bill Coleman, LMSW, TEP, is a certified trainer in Tucson, AZ. He is the resident Psychodramatist at Sierra Tucson directing psychodrama groups for the full range of psychiatric and addiction disorders. He has written a manual for Clinicians on the use of Mandalas in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Bill has been a trainer with HVPI for over 10 years and has conducted sessions specifically for Substance Abuse Counselors. He worked as a Psychodramatist at Four Winds Hospital treating dually diagnosed adolescents and was an Adjunct Professor at Russell Sage College teaching a course in Theater Therapy. Bill has conducted workshops and has lectured widely including the Cleveland Clinic where he presented at their Psychiatry Grand Rounds. He is also now associated with a new intensive Outpatient Program at Desert Star Addiction Recovery Center in Tucson where he offers individual therapy and directs psychodrama groups for substance abuse and sex addiction.


Regina Peterson

Regina Peterson, MSC, LCSW, TEP is a psychodramatist at St. Cabrini's Home in West Park, a residential school for adolescent girls. She has an undergraduate degree in art, and actively incorporates her interest in art and creativity in her work with the young women at West Park. Her work at Cabrini's also includes integrating DBT as part of milieu therapy. Regina's previous experience includes working as a social worker at hospitals and nursing homes, as well as being the director of the undergraduate social work program at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania. During 2005, Regina worked extensively with the Red Cross and Department of Social Services to service the needs of the April flood victims in Ulster County.


Donna Little

Donna Little, M.S.W., TEP has been a psychodrama trainer for twenty-eight years and completed training in systemic family constellation with Heinz Stark through Healing Heart and Soul, LLC in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She resides in Toronto, Ontario, where she is a psychodrama trainer with the Toronto Centre for Psychodrama and Sociometry. Donna is vice-chairperson of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. She is also co-author with Ann Hale of a monograph entitled Sociometric Processing of Action Events (2004) The joy she has in her role of grandparent is reflected in her writing and poetry and the work with trainees and clients.


Susan Aaron

Susan Aaron is the founder of Psychodramatic Bodywork®. She is an internationally respected expert on emotions, the body and spirituality. For 18 years Susan's workshops and training have transformed people across Canada, England and the United States, teaching them about the relationship between the body and the healing journey. She consults and conducts workshops for agencies and organizations internationally. Susan is a Canadian Director of Psychodrama, a Psychotherapist, a Registered Massage Therapist and a clinical member of the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists (OSP). Susan is the recipient of the 2006 Innovator’s award, presented by the American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama (A.S.G.P.P.). This award acknowledges her innovative work in combining psychodrama and bodywork.For more information about Psychodramatic Bodywork visit:

Zerka Moreno

Zerka Moreno, with her husband Dr. J.L. Moreno, was the creator and developer of today's methods of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. Zerka Moreno is especially identified by her teaching of the classic model of psychodrama. She is the oldest living representative of Moreno’s ideas and has brought his message around the globe.

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox, MA, TEP is a Fellow of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama and was winner of the Innovator's Award of the ASGPP. He was keynote speaker at the Society's annual meeting in 2006. The founder of playback theatre, he has practiced in many different cultural contexts. Jonathan is also the director of the School of Playback Theater which attracts students from all over the world every summer. He also recently served as the Co-director, Brandeis International Program, Recasting Reconciliation
through the Arts and Culture, Brandeis University.

Jonathan is author and/or editor of numerous books and articles on Playback Theater and Psychodrama, including: The Essential Moreno:Writings on Psychodrama, Group Method, and Spontaneity (1987); Acts of Service: Spontaneity, Commitment, Tradition in the Non-scripted Theatre (1994); Gathering Voices: Essays on Playback Theatre (1999), and a chapter on playback theatre in Africa for the forthcoming book, Compendium of Applied Theatre. His books and articles have been translated into many languages including German, Japanese, and Bulgarian.

Jonathan is an internationally renowned trainer and within the last year has taught at New York University, University of Windsor (Canada), and Manhattanville College, as well as institutes in Finland, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands. He is also a sought after keynote speaker.

In Memorium

The faculty of HVPI mourn the passing of beloved trainers and teachers. Their many gifts to the students and faculty will not be forgotten.We honor their wisdom and celebrate their lives.

Dorothy Baldwin Satten, Ph.D., Mort Satten, Ph.D.

Liz White, MS TEP