Summer Conference 2024

Facilitators & Lecturers

Jean-François (J.F.) Jacques, PhD, MA, SEP
is a registered drama therapist, trauma therapist, certified Somatic Experiencing practitioner and clinical supervisor in private practice. Originally from Belgium, he has lived in the UK for 25 years. For over 13 years he worked as a drama therapist in a community mental health facility for adults in the National Health Service. He holds a PhD in autobiographical performance and meaning from Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, UK) where he is also a lecturer on the MA program in Drama Therapy. He is a former co-editor of the journal Dramatherapy, has published in the field of creative therapy practice and has lectured internationally at conferences. He is the editor of Trauma and Embodied Healing in Dramatherapy, Theatre and Performance (Routledge, 2024). He is also trained in the Chekhov acting technique. In addition to his work as a dramatherapist, he is an interdisciplinary artist and director of the Theatre of Lived Experience for visual, performative and literary arts, which aims to open up public and creative spaces for dialog. /

Prof. Mooli Lahad, PhD
has 2 doctorates, one in Psychology and one in Human and Life Science.
Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Drama Therapy at Tel Hai College in the Upper Galilee, Israel. He is a senior medical and educational psychologist, founder and president of the Community Stress Prevention Center (CSPC, a non-governmental organization established in 1981), founder of drama therapy studies in Israel and former director of the MA program at Tel Hai College.
He worked as a consultant for UNICEF during and after the Yugoslavian war and as a consultant to the NATO Committee for Psychosocial Disaster Preparedness. He has led numerous international post-crisis and post-disaster psychosocial projects focusing on empowerment and training local professionals to train others in their community, with special programs on resilience and crisis management for communities.
Professor Lahad is the author and co-author of 35 books and numerous articles on topics such as communities under stress, rehabilitation of communities after disasters, coping with life-threatening situations, resilience and the use of arts-based therapies in post-disaster treatment, treatment methods and protocols for PTSD in children, adolescents, adults, families and communities.
He developed the globally taught BASIC PH integrative model of resilience and coping and the SEE FAR CBT psychotrauma treatment protocol. He has been awarded six professional prizes, including the international WIZO prize in cooperation with the WHO for humanitarian aid.

Ingrid Lutz, MA
Leading lecturer and teaching supervisor of the 4-year theater therapy training courses at the Institute for Theater Therapy in cooperation with the Catholic University of Applied Social Sciences in Berlin, head of the training department at the Institute for Theater Therapy, former professor of theater therapy at the HfWU Nürtingen.
3-year additional training in transpersonal therapy and accompaniment.
For 20 years, focus on working with traumatized people, several theater therapy projects and publications on the subject, since 2019 lecturer of the ITT training series ‘Working with Trauma in Drama Therapy’.

Lucía Muriel
is a psychotherapist and one of the few in Germany to address the issue of racism in therapy. She was born in Ecuador and has lived in Germany since her early childhood. At the end of the 1970s, she studied critical psychology at the Free University of Berlin and then went into educational work, focusing primarily on the social and psychological consequences of racism and exclusion, flight and migration. She focuses her attention on the 2nd and 3rd generations. In addition to her psychological, artistic and therapeutic work, Lucía Muriel is also an activist and has initiated the founding of several migrant and feminist organizations and associations. Fifteen years ago, she set up her own practice as a psychotherapist. Her additional training includes the AIT trauma therapy method, transcultural psychotherapy and systemic therapy.

Gabriele Pekusa
is a drama therapist, body therapist and authorized 5 Rhythms® teacher. She has completed further training in Somatic Experiencing, Narm – Neuroaffective Relationship Model, PI – Prenatal Integration, SEI – Emotional Integration.
She worked for 14 years as head of the theater and body therapy department at the Oberberg Psychosomatic Private Clinic.
She is a teaching supervisor and leads self-awareness groups as part of further training in theater therapy. Since 2008, she has been offering individual theater therapy support and supervision using artistic methods in private practice.

Heike Pourian
(Dipl. Kulturpädagogin, born ‘ 67) sees herself as a researcher of change. Her home is improvisational dance, which she experiences as an inspiration and field of experimentation for transformative processes. She helps people to consciously perceive themselves as individuals and collectively at the threshold marked by the current paradigm shift. Her trauma-informed and nervous system-appropriate communication is becoming increasingly important. She has created the practice Standing with the Earth: Pausing and Sensing in Public Space. In 2021, she published her book ‘Wenn wir wieder wahrnnehmen’. Awake and sensing the crises of our time. She is also the mother of two wonderful adult children.

Armand Volkas, MFA, MA, MFT, RDT/BCT
is a psychotherapist and registered drama therapist in private practice and clinical director of the Living Arts Counseling Collective in Berkeley, California. He directs a training program for students, interns, and licensed therapists who wish to integrate drama therapy into their psychotherapy practice and is a North American Drama Therapy Association certified instructor. In addition, Armand is an adjunct professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He has developed innovative programs using Drama Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy for social change, cross-cultural conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
Armand Volkas leads Healing the Wounds of History, a therapeutic approach that uses theater techniques to work with groups of participants from cultures that share a common heritage of violent conflict and historical trauma. Healing the Wounds of History has received international recognition for bringing together groups with conflicts such as people of Japanese and Chinese backgrounds to their World War II heritage, people of Armenian and Turkish backgrounds, and descendants of Holocaust survivors and the Third Reich.
He is also the artistic director of the Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble, which has been running for 35 years. At the heart of Armand’s work is a deep respect for the power of personal history to build bridges between people and cultures.

Marc Willemsen, MA
is a registered drama therapist and lecturer at the HU University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. He is a PhD student at the Open University, affiliated with the HU Research Center for Youth and the collective research center for art therapies, KenVaK. He initiated the group practice Het Speelvlak and joined the network for health professionals 1nP.
He is a graduate of the Institute for Developmental Transformations, a registered psychodrama therapist, (training-) supervisor and group therapist. He is an EVS board member and co-training director of DvT Netherlands.


Steffi Bednarek, MA, BA, MBACP
is a Gestalt psychotherapist, trauma therapist and internationally published climate psychologist. She has been head of the psychology department at two UK universities, set up a trauma unit in Brighton for women experiencing domestic violence and has been working on systemic change as a climate psychologist since 2018. She is an honorary member of the Climate Psychology Alliance and co-founder of the journal Explorations into Climate Psychology.
Her book Climate, Psychology and Change will be published on June 18, 2024. The systems thinker Fritjof Capra called it “an important contribution to the conversation on climate change”.

Resonanz lab:

Johanna Benz
founded with Tiziana Beck in 2013. The two have been working closely together since their studies at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. The duo, based in Leipzig, Berlin and Paris, develop individual graphic recording formats for conferences, workshops, symposia and performative events. Through the live drawing process, they illustrate and comment on facts, ideas, statements and subjective images with the aim of creating new connections between visual and applied art, science, research and education.

Dr. Lucia Rainer Wichmann
is a performer, dramaturge, researcher, cultural mediator and lecturer. She studied at the Universities of Halle/ Saale, Macquarie Sydney and Hamburg and specialized in “Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies” (a.pass). At the Faculty of Movement Studies and the Center for Performance Studies at the University of Hamburg, she was awarded a doctorate with the thesis On the Threshold of Knowing. Lectures and Performances in Art and Academia (2015). From 2016 to 2020 Lucia Rainer was Professor of Aesthetics and Performance at MSH Hamburg. Since 2022 she has been a visiting professor for scenic practice at the HfWU Nürtingen. She works in the independent art scene as a dramaturge and performer and is active internationally as a lecturer in art and education.

Fabian Chyle, Dr., BC-DMT
Fabian Chyle is a choreographer, dance movement therapist, researcher and supervisor. He studied dance and theater at the Theaterschool Amsterdam and dance/ movement therapy at Columbia College Chicago. As a choreographer and performer he created more than 25 full-length-evening productions, which combined dance, theater, new classical music and multimedia. As a dance/ movement therapist he specialized in working in forensic and psychiatric settings, in working with people with dementia and in community projects. He received his doctoral degree in 2016 from the University Witten-Herdecke. Between 2017 he was the head of the dance department of the Akademie der Kulturellen Bildung. Since 2022 he is a full-time professor for dance movement therapy at the SRH Hochschule Heidelberg.