Trainers & Lecturers

Bonnie Harnden
is a creative arts therapist, psychoanalyst, couple and family therapist, and Associate Professor in Concordia University’s Creative Arts Therapies Department. She was the recipient of the 2019 Concordia President’s Excellence in Teaching award.  Her research uses arts-based performance to focus on the effects of trauma and the healing possibilities of awe and gratitude. She was awarded the 2017 Research Award from the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) for her play and film You Arrive (in production), which explores the therapeutic process and how it helps to resolve the effects of trauma. In 2018 she was awarded the NADTA Teaching Excellence Award.

Liane Hofmann
Dr., is a graduate psychologist and works as a research associate at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Psychohygiene (IGPP), Freiburg i. Brsg in the research area of Empirical Cultural and Social Research. Her work focuses on the possibilities of including the spiritual and religious dimension in clinical-psychotherapeutic practice as well as clinical-therapeutic issues related to spiritual crises. Training and continuing education in various psychotherapeutic, body-oriented, and mindfulness-based practices. She is co-editor of the book “Spirituality and Spiritual Crises. Handbook on Theory, Research, and Practice.” For more information, see:

Annette Hornbacher
is professor of anthropology at the University of Heidelberg, specializing in Indonesian performance and ritual research, trance possession, embodiment, and non-Western knowledge systems. After studying literature, philosophy and ethnology at the University of Tübingen, she received her doctorate in philosophy with a thesis on Friedrich Hölderlin’s concept of poetic language as “higher enlightenment”, she was awarded her habilitation in ethnology at the University of Munich with a study on Balinese ritual dance as embodied cosmological knowledge, and has years of practical theater experience as a dramaturge and director at various theaters and an opera festival (Rossin in Wildbad).
Her current research interests are: “Subject Theories and Trance Obsessions,” “Esoteric Writing and Embodiment in Bali,” and “Human-Environment Relations in the Anthropocene.”

Astrid Habiba Kreszmeier
Trained in systemic psychotherapy, special education, counseling and adult education. She is a teaching therapist, lecturer, and author in the theory and practice formation of nature therapy and depth mythology (see Kreszmeier 2019: Healing Dialogues,  In: Pfeiffer (ed.): Nature in Psychotherapy and Arts Therapies). In addition, she is a long-time initiate in the field of Brazilian Umbanda and Candomble traditions and holds a ritual teaching and leadership role there. Her research focuses on the dialogue of human, nature and soul dimensions, as well as polytheistic cosmologies and egalitarian ways of life.

Ilil Land-Boss
M.A. in Theatre and Film Studies, Cultural Anthropology and General Linguistics, dramatherapist DGfT reg., alternative practitioner for psychotherapy (Heilpraktikerin für Psychotherapie), actress, director, performer, lecturer and trainer for theatre, community theatre / pedagogy and dramatherapy.
2017 – 2018 guest professor in the dramatherapy training, HfWU Nürtingen-Geislingen.
Several years of theoretical and practical investigation of rituals.
Since autumn 2020, Ilil is a doctoral student at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) on the theme ‘Creating liminal and ritual spaces in participatory performance – The utilization of embodied ritual structures and principles, and therapeutic elements, to propose spaces of transitional and liminal experience’.

Ingrid Lutz
Head of the Dramatherapy Trainings in Berlin, many years of teaching and lecturing at universities and congresses in Germany and abroad, 2 decades of research projects on rituals and healing methods of other cultures, e.g. in South America, India, Laos. 3-year training in Transpersonal Therapy and Holotropic Breathwork, own practice for supervision and dramatherapy in Berlin-Kreuzberg, she was professor for dramatherapy until winter semester 2017.

Ryszard Nieoczym
is founder & co-artistic director of LeTHAL / Le Theatre de L’Homme Actor’s Laboratorium, a theatre research and performance centre in Toronto, Canada. He has directed over 50 professional theatre productions in Europe, Canada and the USA. He is a former student and a collaborator of Grotowski in both his theatrical and Paratheatrical work. His artistic vision is the creation of Imaginal Theatre rooted in mythic sources; and the focus of his work is theatre research and the deepening of the actor’s craft, which he calls Soundings. He is developing a network of artistic collaborators between Europe and Canada based on theatre research projects. Current Soundings take place in different countries, Greece, Germany, Serbia, Netherlands, Canada …. In association with MadDam, an independent theatre group based in Athens and other independent groups in Canada and Europe, he developed a major international project entitled Ancient Mirrors /Modern Voices, a series of one woman shows based on the archetypal figures of Medusa, Kassandra, Psyche and Eros, Pandora and Pasiphae which were performed in Athens and Thessaloniki. Ryszard Nieoczym’s professional experience, his great intuition, his ability to uncover the depths of the human soul, which pulsates behind each human mask, allows each participant to make a significant step along their individual artistic path.

Susana Pendzik
(PhD, RDT) is a senior drama-therapist, trained in San Francisco, CA. She is a Registered Drama Therapist at NADTA (North American Drama Therapy Association), a founder and honorary member of the Swiss Dramatherapy Association, and an accredited supervisor by I.C.E.T. (Israeli Association of Creative and Expressive Therapies). She lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, at the Tel-Hai Academic College in Israel, at the Dramatherapy Institute of Switzerland, of which she is also a program consultant and at the Institut für Theatertherapie, Berlin. Argentinian born, Susana has lived in Mexico and the U.S, and conducts workshops worldwide. She is a mother, a poet, a theatre director, and a researcher. She is the author of many articles on drama therapy, a book for using action techniques with abused women (Gruppenarbeit mit mißhandelten Frauen, 1999, AG SPAK Bücher; 2nd edition), and co-editor of the book Assessment in Drama Therapy (2011; Charles C. Thomas).

William Sax
was born in a small town in eastern Washington State, studied in Seattle, Wisconsin, and India, and received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1987. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand (where he lived for eleven years), and Germany, where he has been Professor of South Asian Anthropology at the University of Heidelberg’s South Asia Institute since 2000. In total, he has spent about fifteen years in India, and has written or edited three monographs, seven edited volumes, and dozens of essays on theater, healing, ritual, mental health, psychiatry in South Asia, and possession.

Johannes Benedikt Schmidt
Dr. Dipl. Psych., further training in behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, systemic family therapy, systemic supervision, body-oriented trauma healing approaches (Somatic Experiencing), structural dissociation, brainspotting, psychotraumatology (DeGPT), trauma-focused psychotherapy (IKP), systemic constellation work and craniosacral biodynamics. Doctorate on the transcendent in psychotherapy. Since 1995 working in own practice, since 2004 founder and director of the Aptitude-Academy. International seminar and teaching activities. As a psychotherapist and consultant, he is said to get to the heart of things. He has a benevolent sense of humor, his clarity and honesty is challenging for some and liberating for others. Author of the books “The Body Knows the Way” (2008) and “The Transcendent in Psychotherapy – On Spirituality and Presence in Therapeutic Work (2019).

Sri Venu G.
is well known as a research scholar, author, performer/director with rare expertise  in the style of Kuttiyattam. and a person responsible for the rejuvenation of several rare traditional artforms of Kerala. He has inherited the Nava Rasa-practice from the tradition of scholars of the Kodungallur royal family in Kerala through Ammannur Madhava Chakyar. He then conceived the system of Sadhana by codifiying it in a way so that actors from various genres will be able to incorporate the practice of the Nine Rasa-s into their own performance trainings.The Sadhana is nourished not only by Master Venu G.’s. profound expertise of Classical Indian Performance Tradition (Kuttiyattam), but also by his knowledge gained in the field of transcultural performance (World Theatre Project/Sweden, intense pan-asian exchange, ITI Singapore and National School of Drama in of Drama in New Delhi) and encounters with great Theatre Masters of diverse traditions.